Badgers to be rehoused in temporary accommodation

Badgers are to be protected on the routes of Edinburgh's trams by creating a series of safe "runs" which could cost more than £500,000. A network of bridges, tunnels and fencing is to be constructed to stop the animals wandering across tram lines and getting killed.

Four families of badgers are known to live in the direct path of the city's proposed tram network - near Edinburgh Airport and along the Roseburn Urban Wildlife Corridor.

New figures released to the Evening News under Freedom of Information laws reveal that £320,000 will be spent on 11,000 metres of badger fencing along both tram lines. Council leader Donald Anderson said these measures would mean that Edinburgh will have "the best provided-for badgers in the country". But wildlife campaigners said a simpler solution would be to build tram lines away from the existing setts.

During the construction phase of the tram network, the badgers will be temporarily rehoused at a cost of £20,000, while there will be an £85,000 bill for wildlife experts to monitor workers and badgers. SNP councillor Steve Cardownie said: "This appears to be quite expensive, and we could probably relocate the badgers and put them in a penthouse in Leith for a quarter of the price. Nevertheless, the law has to be complied with."

£500,000 to protect badgers from trams (Edinburgh Evening News, 2 February 2006)