Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 18°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

Euston: Duke of Grafton forced to spend £40,000 to save protected newts on Euston Estate

18:12 12 May 2014

Euston Estate Manager, Andrew Blenkiron, with the fence which was put in place during conservation work after great crested newts were discovered while building a reservoir on the estate.

Euston Estate Manager, Andrew Blenkiron, with the fence which was put in place during conservation work after great crested newts were discovered while building a reservoir on the estate.

European Union rules have forced a Suffolk duke to spend £40,000 to save 10 protected newts on his country estate.

Plans to create a 60 million gallon reservoir at the Duke of Grafton’s Euston Estate, near Thetford, were delayed when officials called for staff to save great crested newts in the location before building work could begin.

Andrew Blenkiron, estate manager, said extensive work, including constructing 7,000ft of 18inch-high fencing to enclose the 20 acres around the proposed reservoir, had cost about £4,000 per newt.

Some 400 buckets – which had to be checked twice a day – were then placed on the ground around the reservoir site to trap any newts.

The European Union has declared the newts as endangered and placed them on a protected species list.

“I am obviously very disappointed that we had to follow the route of a full planning process,” Mr Blenkiron said.

“Farmers take everything in their stride and get on and do what they need to do but this has cost an awful lot of money and time.

“It has also delayed our business expansion plans by two years.”

He said that initial reservoir plans were rejected as planning officers called for the estate to apply for full planning permission.

This meant additional surveys were required, including ecological studies, before the reservoir could be dug on the 10,500-acre estate.

The Government body, Natural England, enforces the EU guidance. A spokeswoman for the group said: “The legislation around European protected species is really rigorous.”

The estate’s spending included having to provide two new ponds for the newts to replace one being lost because of the reservoir plan.

An additional £60,000 was required for further survey and excavation work to ensure the reservoir does not destroy any buried artefacts. Mr Blenkiron said the estate was given a Government grant, funded by EU money, of £110,000 for the reservoir project which is to cost between £320,000 and £350,000.

But instead of this being spent on the building of the reservoir, which is to be used to increase the estate’s crop production, it will be used to pay additional fees.

The estate, which is currently the home of Henry FitzRoy, known as Harry, who is the 12th duke. It has been the Grafton family’s base for more than 300 years.

4 comments

  • As an ex girlfriend of mine used to say "my heart bleeds custard" !

    Report this comment

    freedomf

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

  • Are we supposed to care about how much this very wealthy Estate spends TO COMPLY WITH THE LAW? We all have to spend money to comply with the law. What concerns me more is the VAST amount of taxpayers' money given by the EU to wealthy landowners for a variety of projects whilst ordinary people and other businesses have to fund them out of their own pockets. The UK is run by landowners and their chums for the benefit of landowners and their chums.

    Report this comment

    Johnthebap

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

  • Given a grant for £110,000 and being a Duke and farmer, are we supposed to have sympathy for him or give him a pat on the back for helping to save the newts to which he has been told to do. To give something back to the land he owns and farms should be more of a pleasure than a burden on his finances.

    Report this comment

    ran 528

    Monday, May 12, 2014

  • I have some of these dear little newts too, in my small garden pond. Lovely to hear that their protection is being enforced. He can afford it...!!

    Report this comment

    Fi, Stowmarket

    Monday, May 12, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Adeseye Ogunlewe, who has won a place at the Rio Olympics

Nigeria’s fastest man – a University of Essex graduate – has won a place at this year’s Rio Olympics.

Four people were taken to hospital after the crash. File picture.

A five-year-old boy was who involved in a horror crash in Essex is in a “serious but not life-threatening” condition, police have said.

The One Community Cup took place at Goals Soccer Centre, based near Suffolk New College. Photo: Inspire Suffolk.

A football tournament has been praised for bringing together people from different cultures and backgrounds in a celebration of sport.

A tractor broke down just after the Orwell Bridge.

A tractor has broken down on the A14 in Nacton just after the Orwell Bridge.

Chelmsford Crown Court

A mid-Essex school has been ordered to pay £46,000 after a poorly-planned refurbishment exposed staff to asbestos.

Stock image of a fire engine.

Four fire crews worked for nearly three hours to extinguish a combine harvester blaze in Hoxne.

Dementia friendly pub, the Hadleigh Ram

A Hadleigh pub has been rewarded for its efforts to become accessible to all by being named the first dementia friendly restaurant in the town.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24