Berwick MP calls on Natural England to act over badger sett

Anne-Marie Trevelyan is urging Natural England to step in to remove a badger sett causing damage at Tweedmouth Cemetery in a letter to the head of the organisation.

By Andrew Coulson
Friday, 20th August 2021, 11:25 am
Anne-Marie Trevelyan, MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed.
Anne-Marie Trevelyan, MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed.

The MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed has been contacted by many constituents on this issue.

She initially took the matter up with Northumberland County Council, but has now said that it has been prevented from acting as the issue is in the hands of Natural England.

Ms Trevelyan said: “It is hard to put into words how distressing this situation is for grieving families to witness the resting places of their loved ones disturbed by badgers in this way.

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“I know how keen Northumberland County Council is to move this badger set, but they need permission from Natural England, which has thus far been denied.

“In my letter to Natural England chief executive Marian Spain, I have asked Natural England to reconsider their initial position and work with Northumberland County Council to relocate this badger sett.”

The MP has been contacted by relatives of those whose graves have been damaged, including a constituent who gave permission for her to send photos of his son’s disturbed grave to Natural England so its leadership team could see the damage for themselves.

Fears have been raised about the possible consequences if the badgers continue to cause damage to graves and the wider cemetery, such as digging over ground, undermining headstones or even uncovering remains.

And this has prompted some campaigners to suggest they would camp out to protect it, rather than risk seeing traps or poison set by others if something is not done.

Badgers and their setts are protected under law.