An "elaborate" camp was built in a High Wycombe woodland - on top of a protected badger sett. 

The camp site, where fires had clearly been set, will be dismantled by Chiltern Rangers on April 23. 

But the community group, which looks after woodlands in the area, said the "elaborate" camp had been built very close to what they believe was an active badger sett. 

Bucks Free Press: The camp - photos by Chiltern RangersThe camp - photos by Chiltern Rangers

Badgers are protected and so are the burrows they live in under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. 

The RSPCA says it is illegal to "intentionally or recklessly damage or destroy a badger sett, or obstruct access to it". 

Chiltern Rangers said: "We encourage people to enjoy our woodlands, and don't dismantle dens as a rule because that's part of growing up and having fun in the outdoors.

Bucks Free Press:

"There is something to be said for mutual respect and understanding though, building an 'elaborate' wall/fire site/reflector jobbie on top of a badger sett is neither of those things.

"Nor is slinging litter down the slope (it was cleared up two weeks ago). Or performing your own woodland management."

In a notice left at the camp site, they said: "Whilst we appreciate your endeavour, you have neither permission to construct this or have fires in our woodlands. 

"Along with that, you are carrying this out on what is, or more likely was, an active badger sett which is a criminal offence as they are protected by law." 

They encouraged those who built the den to join one of their conservation sessions instead.