Council powerless to stop grave-disturbing badgers in Swindon

Radnor Street Cemetery
Image caption Radnor Street Cemetery was designated a Local Nature Reserve in 2005

Nothing can be done to prevent badgers disturbing human remains in a town cemetery, a council says.

Badgers have burrowed under graves bringing bones to the surface at Swindon's Victorian Radnor Street Cemetery.

Frances Bevan, of the cemetery's preservation group, said the situation was "very distressing" for relatives.

Swindon Borough Council said: "Licences to move badgers are only granted in exceptional circumstances."

A spokesman said: "There have been occasions over the years where human remains have been found above the ground in the cemetery and we have reverently re-interred these as close to their original graves as possible."

Ms Bevan, from the Friends of Radnor Street Cemetery group, added: "It is quite a worry because the cemetery is pretty much left to its own devices and you just feel that there isn't anything you can do.

"The badgers are left to breed. I've no idea how many are up there but there are a couple of huge setts."

The site was designated a Local Nature Reserve in 2005, and under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 it is illegal to interfere with a sett.

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