Badgers in the small Southwest Friesland town of Molkwerum have caused far-reaching rumblings due to their digging.
After fixing the subsiding track several times, rail network manager ProRail has applied for permission to evict the badgers and tempt them into an artificial sett nearby.
‘They are natural diggers, who love to dig in land that lies a little higher, whether that’s in dykes or natural hills,’ ProRail spokesman Aldert Baas told Dutch News. ‘Friesland is as flat as a pancake: the only thing that’s raised is the railway embankment, which is why it’s appealing for them to dig there.’
‘We have applied for permission for our approach to alter the living conditions of these protected animals, offer them a serious alternative and keep the track safe.’
There are 40 locations in the Netherlands where the railway track is potentially compromised by eager badgers, and after monitoring these, ProRail has come up with a plan to tempt the protected species elsewhere.
It has applied for permission from the enterprise agency Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland to construct a fence around the railway in Molkwerum to stop badgers encroaching above and below ground, while leaving a hole for them to escape.
The aim is to build a tunnel under the track for the badgers and an artificial sett for them to move into, reports Omrop Fryslân.
ProRail expects a decision in the short term and wants to begin the move in December, before the planting season for next year.
In the meantime, train drivers are instructed to slow down at the location. ‘This is a difficult problem to solve,’ flora and fauna expert at ProRail Michel van den Bogaert told Omrop Fryslân. ‘So we are sticking a finger in the sand.’
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl
The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.
DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.
If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to,
you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.