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17 October 2004
Salisbury Plain sites damaged by badgers

Badgers have been burrowing into prehistoric burial mounds on Salisbury Plain (Wiltshire, England) and disturbing human remains and artefacts. Because the animals are protected, there are limits to what can be done to stop them. English Heritage has studied the damage to Bronze Age round barrows in order to find a solution. "There are an increasing number of cases on Salisbury Plain and more widely where badgers have moved into ancient earthworks," a spokesman said.
     The project has been carried out at Barrow Clump, a Bronze Age round barrow on Salisbury Plain. Jonathan Last, an archaeologist from the English Heritage Centre for Archaeology, said: "The badgers have been digging away for some years. In this mound human remains have been found in the spoil thrown out by the badgers."
     The aim of the project, which may be extended to Marlborough Downs, Wilts, is to establish what badgers do inside monuments and whether they favour a particular type of deposit. "We can then extrapolate which sites might be most vulnerable and decide which need protection," Mr Last said. The project would also consider how best to keep badgers away.

Source: news.telegraph (16 October 2004)

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