Highlands & Islands

Badgers 'making mess' in Highland graveyard

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Media captionThe graveyard at Arnisdale

A church congregation is facing the challenge of protecting a graveyard from badgers.

The animals, a protected species, have been described as making "one heck of a mess" at the Free Church Continuing's kirk at Arnisdale.

Badgers can be controlled, but only with a licence from government agency Scottish Natural Heritage.

The graveyard in a remote part of the west Highlands has not been used for about 50 years.

Image caption Badgers are a protected species under wildlife legislation

Church elder William Mackenzie told BBC Radio Scotland that the badgers probably got in after a gate was left open.

He was not aware of any remains being disturbed, but added that the animals had been making "one heck of a mess".

Mr Mackenzie said: "I don't blame the animals for this but in times gone by we'd have been able to drive them away. They are protected, we are not."

The mammals are protected by the Protection of Badgers Act 1992.

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