Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 22°C

min temp: 13°C

ESTD 1874 Search

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.

shares

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.

shares

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

Police are investigating

Essex Police are investigating after silver-plated cutlery and an imitation Rolex watch were stolen from the house in Fennes Road.

The scene of the collision on the A1088 at Honington.

Dr Ronak Patel, aged 33 of Ixworth, died following a collision between a lorry and the Volkswagen Golf he was driving this morning.

Ipswich Magistrates Court in Elm Street.

A dishonest driver has admitted filling up with petrol on 14 occasions at garages across Suffolk and Essex but failing to pay for his fuel.

An 82-year-old woman who died after a collision in Little Wigborough near Colchester last month has been named as Jean Wilcox.

An 82-year-old woman who died after a collision in Little Wigborough near Colchester last month has been named as Jean Wilcox.

The scene after a raid at the Costcutter supermarket in Woolpit.

Crooks used a stolen JCB Digger to smash into a supermarket and steal a cash machine thought to have contained thousands of pounds in a ram raid in Suffolk.

Ipswich Magistrates Court in Elm Street.

A Mothercare shop worker had admitted stealing childcare and maternity items worth nearly £12,500 and selling a stolen pushchair to a police officer.

Ipswich Crown Court

A robber who broke into an Ipswich flat before threatening the occupant with a kitchen knife has been jailed.

Hare coursing (stock photo)

Four men and a teenage boy arrested in connection with hare coursing in Suffolk have been charged, police have said.

Wayne Leech and Mark Ripper with soap star Gemma Atkinson at the Slimming World Man of the Year awards

Two Suffolk men have shed a total of more than 21st in little over a year – and been named among the country’s top male slimmers for 2015.

Rural crime has been falling in Suffolk and across East Anglia.

New figures show a significant fall in the level of rural crime across the region – but there are significant differences between Suffolk and Essex.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages