A mother-of-two has told how badgers crossed her garden after being ‘hijacked’ by council workers from a nearby cemetery.
Devinnia Holloway said three animals dug up her lawn in Acocks Green after graves were reportedly ‘collapsed’ by badgers digging underground at Yardley Cemetery and Crematorium.
She pleaded with the city council, which initially worked with an environmentalist to relocate the badgers, fearing they would interfere with the graves, to step in and fix the problem.
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It is understood that at least five other rear gardens in the same street along Kilmorie Road have been dug up by the protected animals.
“We feel like we’re trapped in our house because we can’t go out and enjoy our garden, which we should be able to do,” Devinnia, 44, told BirminghamLive.
“We hear them every night. The damage they’ve done is just scary. It’s just awful.
“I don’t want the badgers to get hurt, but I just want my garden back. I want to go into my garden without feeling upset.
“I wish it was like before. I do not know what to do.
Devinnia, who has children aged nine and 17, contacted her local MP Jess Phillips who inquired with the council.
The authority has confirmed that several empty sets have been closed at Yardley Cemetery, but one remains open as badgers are still present.
But the council said there was “no way to control where badgers can roam in the local area”.
“We’ve been in the house for nine years and never had a problem. But it got particularly bad just before Christmas,” Devinnia said.
“We had heard that grave owners had been told there was a problem with badgers.
“The badgers are now in my garden. I had to review CCTV footage to show they were there.
“I closed my blinds because I can’t look at it anymore. The garden is unrecognizable. The children can’t go out because there are a lot of holes and tunnels.
“I hope the council will want to help people. I don’t see why I have to pay to have my garden leveled and re-grassed.
“They (the council) want to protect their property, but don’t care where the badgers have moved to.
“If it had been done in a professional way, surely they would have come up with a plan after the fact when they moved the badgers and where they were actually going to go.
“They need to make sure the badgers were safe. They (the council) protected their property, but don’t care about people who own their own homes.
“We are now stuck in our own house with a garden that we cannot use. My child cannot use his bike and go to the garden.”
It is illegal to harm badger setts under the Badger Protection Act 1992. However, strict rules allow “a licensing provision restricting or removing badger setts.”
In a statement, a City Council spokesperson told BirminghamLive: “Birmingham City Council has worked with an environmentalist and taken action, which respects the restrictions as badgers are a protected species, around the graveyard cobbles of Yardley.
“Several empty sites have now been closed but one remains open as the badgers are still present.
“Special fencing has also been installed along a perimeter of the site, from where the badgers are thought to migrate. Active monitoring of the cemetery will help assess whether further action is needed.
“There is no way to control where badgers may roam in the local area, as such we are not responsible for wildlife in the area or their behavior in or around residents’ properties.”
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