web analytics

THE GREAT CRESTED NEWT FARCE

By ATWadmin On May 2nd, 2008

First the details. Here’s a picture of a fine looking fellow. Newt385_283933a.jpgThe great crested newt, Britain’s largest newt species, is scarce in some parts of Europe but thrives in the weedy ponds and small lakes of Cheshire, which has an estimated 18,000 breeding sites.

Got that? It thrives in Cheshire! There are loads of them there.

So, a  council is to challenge legislation after spending £60,000 to move four newts a short distance from the path of a construction site. The tiny colony of great crested newts, which proliferate throughout Cheshire, stood in the way of new classrooms and an IT block at Fallibroome High School in Macclesfield. Under both European and domestic legislation the developers were required to find the newts a new home and follow a complex set of procedures which pushed up costs. Senior members of Cheshire County Council have written to Hilary Benn, the Environment Secretary, about the matter. Barrie Harden, a former council chairman, said: “Around £15,000 per newt seems a ludicrous sum of money. They are a legally protected species under EU regulations.”

He’ll get no change on the matter. Forcing UK councils to conform to EU decrees is the name of the political game here and so splashing out £60,000 to move four newts in an area where there is already a  proliferation of newts seem very logical. It’s not the issue of the newts – it is the issue of who controls Britain – and it ain’t the British government anymore.

18 Responses to “THE GREAT CRESTED NEWT FARCE”

  1. David –

    Yes, the core of the matter is one of who governs Britain. Yet again we have legislation which is not our own, derives from a foreign power and costs us.

    As for the newts, I know this story only too well. Property development is my business and the mention of ‘great crested newts’ is an invitation to walk away from any land or scheme. Being a protected species, only those with the appropriate license may handle them. Anyone else doing anything to disturb them faces a fine of up to £5000 per newt. Yes, per newt.

    It’s odd really. The rarity of the great crested newt saw it become a protected species in the first place, but it’s amazing how many sites have them. The more we come across them the more convinced I am that their listing is a greenie triumph in holding up development.

    And yes, at £15,000 (I’m not surprised) per newt here or a £5000 per newt fine for getting rid, I’d have recommended taking the fine.

  2. The rarity of the great crested newt saw it become a protected species in the first place, but it’s amazing how many sites have them.

    Er, could it possibly be because the protection has been successful in reversing their decline? To do that you need to stop habitat loss, and that inevitably means putting restrictions on developers proposing to concrete over the ponds.

  3. Penalty points for misleading headline, David. I thought that was going to be an article about Ken Livingstone, and instead got something about an endangered species which may actually be worth saving. Oh well.

  4. I thought it was about Ken too. Maybe they should have transported the two newts to him to add to his collection, especially since it looks like he’ll have more time on his hands after today.

  5. Mr Smith,

    I have to admit that I was thinking Ken when I wrote newt!

  6. The idea that a piece of bait, because that’s what newts are they are fish bait or an important ingrediant in a witches brew can stop the construction of places for humans to live should enrage everyone. We are basicly being told that the piece of bait is more important than you.

    In the US midwest there is a move on to put the Sage Hen on the endangered species list. Now mind you the range of this bird covers 11 states and is as prolific as the pidgeon.

    but what the listing will do is prevent reopening these areas to coal and oil development.

  7. Troll

    In the early days on the African plains our ancestors were "pieces of bait" for lions.

    No doubt you and your like would be quite content to see all remaining wildlife wiped off the face of the planet. Luckily for the wildlife, you are a small and diminishing minority.

  8. oh contrair Peter man has always been the greatist predator to walk the face of this planet.

    we are furless, clawless, and fangless yet we killed our way to the top of the food chain.

    Your kind are the aborations to the natural law of the world not mine.

  9. Troll

    Our ape ancestors were hunted by all sorts of predators further up the food chain at the time.

    It’s sure a shame that a few of those pesky buffalo survived, isn’t it. Of course it was liberal do-gooders who were responsible. Real men like you would have happily killed off the last few.

  10. Mama/Troll –

    but what the listing will do is prevent reopening these areas to coal and oil development.

    Being in the business I am, I’ve had plenty of meetings with members of the fast expanding eco-industry, some of whom have the ear of government. There’s no doubt in my mind that devices such as listing certain types of flora and fauna, whilst the original intention may have been honourable, are now used to stifle commerce.

    I did put this to one time-served eco type – off the record – who feigned horror and then smiled.

    Peter –

    No doubt you and your like would be quite content to see all remaining wildlife wiped off the face of the planet.

    Of course not. That would give us nothing to shoot.

  11. Pete Moore

    The only reason the eco industry is "fast expanding" is to try to put a stop to decades of habitat destruction in the name of "progress". Destruction of ancient woodland and hedgerows, draining of wetlands, chemical-based industrial agriculture etc. All cheered on by free-market ultra-zealots like you.

  12. "The Great Crested Newt Farce"

    Jesus, David i thought you were already calling it for Ken

  13. Peter –

    Gosh, so I’m not just a zealot but an ultra-zealot. Since I haven’t cheered on any of those dreadful activities you list, I’m not sure if I qualify as an ultra. In fact much of what you protest has been subsidised at one time or another by taxpayer money.

    You’ll find that I love the countryside, but I at least recognise it’s wholly managed and shaped by man. Not a single part of it is natural in the way that romantic eco-types imagine it is.

    I’m also in favour of private property rights, which happily are the only guarantor of conservation.

  14. I’m also in favour of private property rights, which happily are the only guarantor of conservation.

    So you must be against National Parks and the right to roam. Both are commie at heart, eh?

  15. Peter –

    Yes, I am against National Parks and the right to trespass. Both are communistic in philosophy. Strange to say, I haven’t been invited by any ramblers to roam at will through their property.

    Even so, I don’t think it’s particularly charitable to own vast estates and purposely keep strangers out, although the landowner must have that right.

  16. lets talk about state land preserves where timber removal and forest maintanence has been stopped due to the eco-wackos Every woodland that has been "preserved" and left natural has burned with catastrophic results. Even the American Indians used to manage the forest but the enviros know better so now every year we loose millions of acres from wildfires

  17. Peter,

    "Our ape ancestors…"

    I know this was a mere slip of the typing finger but most of us didn’t have apes as ancestors. Any more of that sort of nonsense and I’ll sic my big brother Richard on you :0)

    Troll,

    Did you know that in Britain a chap can be executed for killing a wild swan? Apparently all those animals are the property of Brenda Windsor, and the law dates back to the time when serfs would kill a swan (or a "royal" deer) in order to feed their hungry families. Never been repealed AFAIK.

  18. Ahh where is Robin Hood when you need him….