We’ve been supporting the Campaign to Protect Pont Valley by trying to get local authorities to step in to stop the wildlife crime occurring – the destruction of Great Crested Newt habitats which is already occurring as preparatory work gets underway.
By now you’ve all seen our lovely picture of Carol the newt that was found on site two days before Banks moved in.
What most people haven’t seen are the documents below which we obtained by a freedom of information request, which show Natural England expressing to Banks Group back in June 2017, that despite the negative result for great crested newts, in their opinion, it is likely that they are still on site…
[pdf-embedder url=”https://www.coalaction.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Page1-Annotated-Meeting-Summary-Notes-from-Monday-12-June-between-Banks-Group-and-Natural-England_Redacted.pdf” title=”Page1 Annotated Meeting Summary Notes from Monday 12 June between Banks Group and Natural England_Redacted”]
If you’re not sure how Natural England reached this conclusion, take a look at DEFRA’s own report on eDNA surveys (like the one used by Banks Group) explaining how they can draw a ‘false negative’ conclusion in shallow water. Remember this was the third hottest May (2017) since records began.
Natural England go on to recommend relocation options for the newts, more or less discounting the scenario (Option 1) in which newts aren’t there…
[pdf-embedder url=”https://www.coalaction.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Annotated-page-2-Meeting-Summary-Notes-from-Monday-12-June-between-Banks-Group-and-Natural-England_Redacted.pdf” title=”Annotated page 2 Meeting Summary Notes from Monday 12 June between Banks Group and Natural England_Redacted”]