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Attention all Environmentalists - the Newts are Coming!

March 21, 2008 11:09 AM
One of the four species of great crested newt

One of the four species of great crested newt

The borough council is to hold a Public Meeting on Monday 14th April (starting at 7.30 pm at the Town Hall) to try and solve many of the issues surrounding the Stones Road area of Epsom. The green space at the end of Stones Road contains allotments and a pond which is classified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) because it contains great crested newts.

The idea of involving the local community in a "Stones Road Community Project" has come from Lib Dem councillors representing Town ward.

There are peripheral issues associated with the green space, i.e. security, graffiti, the state of the railway bridge/tunnel, the travellers' site, allotments, etc. There are various landowners involved : Epsom & Ewell Borough Council (EEBC), Surrey County Council (SCC) and Thames Water. Most importantly, local authorities have a statutory obligation toward the maintenance of a SSSI and grants are sometimes available from environmental and voluntary organisations. EEBC and SCC are working towards having a management plan for the SSSI and the surrounding area.

This Public Meeting is the chance for everyone living nearby to have their say.

Residents interested in the future of the SSSI are also welcome to attend.

In attendance will be local councillors, borough and county officers and the Police. Some work on the SSSI has already been carried out by volunteers and the intention is to have a management plan for the site which will ensure habitat for the great crested newts in the future and improve the amenity value of the local area.