Further Candidates for the Wicker Man

A somewhat unusual choice this time, it is not a person or group of people but instead the Great Crested Newt which must be condemned to the fiery pagan death of the Wicker Man. There may well be others more deserving but those damned newts have it coming at some point so why not as soon as possible? After all Wicker Men are a sustainable resource, no danger of the world hitting ‘Peak Wicker’.

What has the GCN, as I will henceforth abbreviate it to save my fingers, done to deserve this? get in the way mainly, I was reminded of it’s annoying habit only today by this story

Once the water level drops to approximately 1m above the dock bed, specialist contractors will go into the dock to safely remove and relocate any fish and aquatic life that might be present.

You may think specialist contractor is merely fancy words for ‘Bloke with bucket’ but oh no it’s a specialist field particularly as I happen to have been tipped off the problem on the site is, as so often, newts. Thus you are legally compelled to forsake your bucket and consult a Newt Translocator who, despite superficially resembling a man with a bucket, is completely different as he has a licence from the Environment Agency. And a bucket.

All of this may be acceptable if the GCN were a rare species, endangered the world over and just clinging onto a few rare habitats.  But they aren’t, that’s the problem. You can barely throw a brick without hitting one of the damn things  and it is a lucky engineer who hasn’t had to deal with severe newt related delays. Sure they are rare in continental Europe (they may well be a delicacy in France, almost everything else is), that’s why they made the EU habitats directive, but the more geographically aware will have noticed the UK is not the continent and thus isn’t in fact the same.

You could argue it is unfair to blame the newts for this, it is the politicians who passed the laws. And certainly I do, hence why the will be joining the GCN in the Wicker Man, but I feel the newt itself must shoulder a large part of the blame just for deliberately choosing building sites to live in. Or worse turn up during the survey then bugger off after all the money has been spent.

However until the Great Crested Newt can be encased in flaming wicker I recommend installing suitable fencing to keep them in or out as required. That or do what the perhaps less reputable contractors do and quietly dispose of the buggers and then tell no-one.


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