Flood defences put at risk of collapse by badgers have been protected in a scheme funded by Somerset Rivers Authority and delivered by the Environment Agency.
Steel sheet piles have been installed in a raised flood bank near Isle Brewers (pictured above) to stop badgers digging right through it. If this had been allowed to happen, flood water could have surged through and destroyed the bank.
No badgers were moved or harmed in the work, which was carried out by a specialist contractor under licence from Natural England. Badgers are a protected species.
Cllr John Osman, chairman of Somerset Rivers Authority (SRA), said: “This work will help to stop water flooding overland into Isle Brewers from the River Isle. The bank is one of several structures that limit and control flows around the village, and if it had collapsed, restoring it would have cost a lot of money. So I’m pleased that SRA funding has helped to prevent destruction and protect local people and properties.”
Raised banks are attractive to badgers on the Somerset Levels and Moors because they are warmer, drier and easier to dig through than cold sub-soil.
Dr Rachel Burden, Somerset Flood Action Plan Manager for the Environment Agency, said: “Along with routine maintenance by the Environment Agency of the whole scheme around Isle Brewers, this work will ensure that the level of flood protection to the village is maintained and flood risk is managed appropriately. Thanks to landowners for their help and agreement to gain access to deliver the work.”