Local government officials in Britain recently spent £60,000($120,000) to move four newts from a building site on a school’s grounds.
Image by Christian Fischer
Four Great Crested Newts, an endangered species, were found on the grounds of Fallibroome High School in the city of Macclesfield. Under EU and UK laws the newts had to be given a new habitat in order for work on the school’s buildings to proceed.
The expense enraged both local taxpayers and government officials. Councillor Barrie Hardern announced plans to challenge the legislation protecting the newts in the area, saying the animals were not particularly rare in that part of England.
Hardern said: “Around £15,000 per newt seems a ludicrous sum of money to me. They are a legally protected species under EU regulations because there are parts of Europe where they are quite rare. However in Cheshire we have in the order of 16,000 ponds and newts are widespread and locally abundant.”
He added: “The EU regulations together with UK legislation carry substantial fines if we do not protect the newts as part of planning applications. I am very concerned about tax payers’ money being used in this way in what appears to be a ridiculous situation. Is this not the time when legislation should be challenged?”
The Great Crested Newt is the largest newt species in Britain. It can be found in much of Europe, from France all the way to the Black Sea, although it is rare in many areas of Europe. Great Crested Newt numbers have dropped since the 1940s, largely due to habitat loss as land is developed. The endangered species is protected by both EU and UK legislation.
Info from Daily Mail