Pen & Ink – April 2012


Pen & Ink
Pen & Ink [email protected]

Dear Editor

I was amazed by the problems caused at East Guldeford by the Great Crested Newts. Is it true that there are no shortages of this species in this area, and is it right they can be found in almost any ditch on the Pett Marshes?
As lads in the 1950’s we used to collect the dragon newts from a well known local water course.
Almost every lad that lived on Tilling Green had a fish tank with rocks, weeds and a few inches of water and a collection of these magnificent creatures. My own collection of four escaped from the tank one night, my mother was not impressed. It was rumoured that they were good to eat. Filleted and well salted, they could be grilled and were a possible replacement for fish on a Friday evening. I never cooked any however as I never liked fish.

A couple of years ago I strolled the path beside the well known water course and wondered if the Dragon Newts were still about. Within a few minutes I located half a dozen, so all the ‘culling’ that had taken place in the days I was young and no doubt by generations of boys since, had not eliminated the handsome chaps.
There were more in the ditch to the west of Tilling Green. They were still there when the Valley Park project was being mooted. They also held up work for this development. So were all the thousands of pounds wasted while the road works were held up at East Guldeford completely necessary ?

RH Rye
Name and address with held by request.

Editor’s Note: Because of the massive declines in range and abundance in recent years, the Great Crested Newt is strictly protected by British and European law which makes it an offence to:

•kill, injure or capture them;
•disturb them in any way
•damage or destroy their habitat
•possess them or sell or trade them in any way.

“Rye’s Own” April 2012

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