SUMO helps to save badger set

SUMO, now the UK's largest provider to the construction industry of utility surveys using the latest technologies including Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) has undertaken a very unusual job.

Instead of locating underground services such as water mains and gas pipes, SUMO has been using its high-tech equipment to find the location of a badger set.

The badgers had burrowed under a road in Derbyshire, leaving it close to collapse. Although the badgers had been seen in the area, nobody was certain of the exact location of their set. Derbyshire County Council needed to find out the location of the set, without disturbing the badgers.

SUMO franchisee Paul Henshall, based in Matlock, was asked to survey the road area and locate the badger set using the high-tech Pipehawk GPR system, the only radar system approved by the Badger Protection Society.

'I was surprised when I was offered this job - it is definitely a first. However, it is great to see the Council is going to such lengths to look after the wildlife,' said Paul.

'At first I wasn't sure whether we would be able to pick up the badger set at all. But once we set up the equipment and established the results I was sure we had found the place,' added Paul.

Now the team at Derbyshire County Council have the location of the badger set, they can start to devise a solution to the problem.

At the moment the council are planning to dig up the road, put a concrete roof over the top of the badger set and then resurface the road. The only problem with this is it may result in the road surface being slightly higher which has implications for drainage.

The council are working on the problem at the moment and are hoping to come up with a solution that is good for both the badgers and road users.

SUMO has worked for over 1,000 customers throughout the construction industry including all the major construction companies, utility suppliers, local authorities, highway agencies and house builders. Prestigious sites SUMO has worked on include Old Trafford, Wembley Stadium, Alexandra Palace, Westminster Palace and Kempton Park Race Course.