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This blog is all about the residents of Hassocks and Hurstpierpoint trying to Protect Ham Fields. Ham Fields is the ancient name of the green space which remains between Hassocks and Hurstpierpoint, the so called Strategic Gap, also referred to as land to the west of London Road, Hassocks.

Please feel free to e-mail us protecthamfields@gmail.com or use the Contact us form.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Amazing News from Ham Fields

Yesterday looked like it was going to be a pretty ordinary work day but when I got home there was some amazing news waiting!

During the day one of the girls who keeps horses on the fields had been moving some horse rugs and underneath the rugs she found some newts.  I would not know one newt from another to be honest but some photographs were taken and e-mailed to the Sussex Reptile and Amphibian Group for identification.  Then late last night we received confirmation that these were indeed northern crested newts (the infamous Great Crested Newt (Triturus cristatus)).

Of course such a discovery is a very important find as great crested newts are a protected species under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.  It is also a European Protected Species and as such it has additional protection in the UK under Regulation 39 of the Conservation (Natural Habitats etc.) Regulations 1994 (the Habitats Regulations), as amended by the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) (Amendment) Regulations 2007. It is an offence to:
  • Intentionally kill, injure or take a northern crested newt
  • Possess or control any live or dead specimen or anything derived from a northern crested newt
  • Intentionally or recklessly damage, destroy or obstruct access to any structure or place used for shelter or protection by a northern crested newt (in practice this means both its breeding sites, and its terrestrial habitat)
  • Intentionally or recklessly disturb a northern crested newt while it is occupying a structure or place which it uses for that purpose

If you hurt or damage them or their habitat it is a criminal act.

In itself this does not win our case for us but it is another really strong point for us.

May be it will help Chris Marlow realise what a wonderful piece of countryside he is the custodian of for future generations and that together we can restore it to greatness.

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