Badger sett in Hythe flood defence moved

A badger sett that risked undermining a reservoir flood defence has been moved at a cost of £80,000.

The Environment Agency is repairing an old railway embankment which serves as a dam for a reservoir outside Hythe. The total cost of the work is £650,000.

The agency said the badgers had built a network of tunnels in the embankment. The animals have now been moved to nearby private land nearby.

Critics have questioned whether the project is value for money.

Dairy farmer Phil Hook said: "They've obviously got to make new setts for them but it still seems a lot of money to move a few badgers a 10 minute walk away."

New sett

Ian Nunn, of the Environment Agency, said more than 100 homes would be at risk of flooding if the dam failed.

He said: "The embankment holds back flood water. Badgers have been gradually digging their way into the embankment, weakening it.

"The project is all about strengthening the embankment and moving the badgers somewhere more suitable."

The new sett has been constructed using earth and drainage pipes to form tunnels and sleeping chambers.

The badgers have been coaxed to the sett using food with one-way gates stopping them from returning.

The repairs project, which began in May, is set to finish in December.

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