Christian Malford allotments work stops over newts

This Is Wiltshire: Great Crested Newt Great Crested Newt

Plans for allotments in Christian Malford have suffered a setback with fears a great crested newt colony may be disturbed on the site.

Almost 20 people are on a waiting list for what would be the first allotment garden in the village, on a field north of Church Road.

Parish council chairman David Mortimer said a small borehole was sunk and water was discovered.

But work was halted after someone called police on August 1, to say it was the habitat of great crested newts, which are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981.

Mr Mortimer said they had checked for newts before work started but found none.

“Now we’re holding back for further discussions, to see if any further work requires a licence,” he said.

Police are working with the parish council and Natural England to establish whether the newts are on the site, but none have yet been identified.

The officer dealing with the case is PC Les Fletcher, who can be contacted on 101.

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