Badger licence application to be submitted in attempt to resolve Tweedmouth cemetery concerns
A badger licence application is to be submitted to Natural England in an attempt to solve issues at Tweedmouth cemetery.
Northumberland County Council is also inviting Natural England to conduct another site visit after local residents raised concerns about the possibility of memorials being damaged or remains being unearthed.
Senior officers met with local campaigners and other interested parties last Thursday.
Council leader Glen Sanderson said: "It was good to meet with local residents in Berwick to hear first-hand their concerns and I'd like to thank them for taking the time to discuss this issue with us - which I fully appreciate is distressing for them.
"Following the meeting I wrote to Natural England advising that we are going to submit a licence application and inviting them to return to the cemetery for another site visit.
"In the meantime we are continuing to monitor the situation closely, repairing any surface damage caused by foraging activity as quickly as possible."
Badgers and their setts are protected under law, making it an offence to intentionally attempt to kill, injure or trap one, or interfere with their habitats. There are some exceptions to this but they require a special licence.
The council has previously been advised by Natural England that the location of the setts and the surface damage being caused would not be sufficient for them to consider the grant of a licence for the badgers' relocation. However, if there were any significant escalation of problems they would consider a formal application.
Michael Stewart, campaigners’ representative, said: “On the whole, it was felt that progress had been made, and that the council are taking our concerns seriously.”