A woman has blasted her local council after they moved a well-established badger sett into her back garden with no warning.
Mum-of-two Alison Hughes, 52, moved into her new home in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, three months ago.
But she was shocked to wake up last week and find a man-made badger sett had been moved to the edge of her back garden from a schoolground nearby.
Book-keeper Alison is now fearful that the badgers will tunnel underneath her house.
She said: ”What happens if the animals burrow into the ground and affect my property?
”I’m not worried about them being in the garden as long as I can see them, but the way this sett’s built – it goes down about four or five foot deep, and then they’ve built a mountain of earth on top of it.
”The badgers are going to be tunnelling at four or five feet, they’re not going to be tunnelling at the top of the hill. They’ll be tunnelling at the bottom where the nest is.
”They didn’t event let me know that this was going to happen.
”I am not happy. We had nothing at all in the way of warning at all. I’m very angry about the way that this has been handled.”
Alison was woken up on May 26 to the sounds of a digger working outside the rear of her new house.
When she went to investigate she saw that the piece of land next to her back garden was being cleared between her own property and the adjacent school.
But when she returned to check on their progress she discovered they’d left a four-foot-high mound of dirt with tunnels leading directly into her garden.
She was told the sett had been created to replace a previous one that was jeopardising the foundations of the school on the other side.
Furious Alison says she has received no communication from the council about the plans.
She added: ”It took me three months to get my planning for my extension and they can just come along and do what they want.
”They did say that they were at fault and that they should have notified me of their intentions, but obviously it was an oversight and the man actually dealing with it was on holiday.
”They’ve said they’ll give me something in writing saying that my property won’t be damaged but I’m still waiting.
”I want something in writing saying that they won’t be coming this way and if they do the council will put it right.
”They could have had the common decency to tell me. They only had to come down and say, ‘Oh, by the way, this is what we’re going to do.
”There’s nothing you can do about it because they’re protected and we’ve got to move them. But nobody said anything, they just sort of turned their backs on us.”
A North Somerset Council spokesman has apologised for not notifying Alison of the plans.
He said: ”We are sorry that we didn’t contact the residents close to the new sett sooner, and our officers have since met with the resident of the nearest property to clarify the situation and explain that we don’t expect any problems to arise as a result of re-homing the badgers.
”Badgers are a protected species, so the council is required by law to ensure that their natural habitat is protected.
”After seeking advice from ecologists, an artificial sett has been built for the badgers above ground, and they will be encouraged to move into this over the next few months.”
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