Call for fences along ‘death trap’ road in Derbyshire

A main road in north Derbyshire has become a ‘death trap’ for badgers, campaigners say.

The A61 Unstone-Dronfield Bypass, between Chesterfield and Sheffield, is a hotspot for roadkill, says Mid Derbyshire Badger Group.

The volunteers record reports of dead badgers on roads throughout the country.

They say it is not uncommon to find up to seven carcasses in one day along an eight-kilometre stretch of road through forests where the animals nest.

An appeal is being made to Derbyshire County Council to strengthen fencing along the route to keep animals away from the dual carriageway which travels at 75 miles per hour.

They also want to install badger signs to make motorists aware of the risks of encounters with animals along the road.

The council says that while it supports the principle of fencing upgrades, budgets will not extend to current costs.

‘Balance of nature’

A spokesperson for the Mid Derbyshire Badger Group, which has launched a petition, said: “We record the location of every badger lost on our roads, as far as we know, and these maps have enabled us to identify several road hotspots. deaths in our region.

“One of these hotspots is the A61 ring road between Chesterfield and Sheffield. It is not unusual to see up to seven slaughtered badgers along this stretch of road, which stretches just eight kilometers.

“This road, which cuts through the forests where these creatures live, has become a death trap for them.

“Badgers are an integral part of our ecosystem. Their loss is not only tragic; it also disturbs the balance of nature.

“But half of our badger population has been lost in the past decade due to culls and road accidents.”

A spokesperson for Derbyshire County Council told the BBC: “We would like to thank Mid Derbyshire Badger Group for highlighting this important issue. We strongly support their overall campaign to protect wildlife on Derbyshire’s roads .


The stretch is regularly crossed by badgers (BBC)

“They contacted us specifically asking us to consider fencing along the A61. However, this would be a huge and costly task, requiring resources that we simply do not have in our budgets for the coming year.

“We have a duty to the people of Derbyshire to make sure we make the best use of the money we have, and this year that means doing everything we can to repair our roads after one of the wettest winters on record. .

“While there is no specific approved badger warning sign, we do have wildlife warning signs on the road to warn motorists of any wildlife that may be in the area, including badgers.”

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