The badgers and the barrow

Badgers and bones win MOD conservation Award

A project to protect a bronze age burial site on MOD land from a clan of Badgers, while resettling the badgers at the same time, has won the MOD’s annual Sanctuary Awards.

The Awards are held to recognise both groups and individual efforts towards conservation of MOD land in the UK or overseas. They are run by MOD’s Defence Estates.

At the Awards ceremony held today 17 October 2007, at London’s Imperial War Museum, the Sanctuary Award and Silver Otter trophy was presented to the South Pembrokeshire Ranges Recording Advisory Group (SPRRAG) for their work in preserving the Brownslade Barrow archaeological monument at Castlemartin Range and resettling a large badger population in the area.The Barrow is a Bronze Age burial mound designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument. In 2001 range staff noticed human bones on the ground close to the designated area and that Badgers living in the area were disturbing the bones. Action was required to prevent further disturbance and stop the badgers reaching the protected area. The project involved arranging for licences to resettle the badgers, constructing a new sett, working with specialist ecologists to ensure that all the badgers had moved and then arranging for archaeologists to carry out excavation.Over 1,000 bone fragments were discovered and are being analysed by specialists at the University of Lampeter. The Sanctuary Award Board felt that this project was an excellent example of MOD’s stewardship of the rural estate. It also demonstrates highly effective partnership working between SPRRAG, Defence Training Estate, the National Park Authority, Cambria Archaeology, the Countryside Council for Wales and the Badger Consultancy, amongst others.

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