We’re not experts, but it appears that the impact of tracked diggers used in excavation on an area of Upper Wilting Farm may have damaged the habitat of European Protected Species – great crested newts (gcn). Now, after the first frosts, we believe the newts would be on the cusp of moving to hibernation areas close by. The photos here feature a swathe of grassland, after the diggers had excavated trenches on/close to the route of the proposed Link Road. The area has been managed to enhance biodiversity and in ‘stewardship agreement’ of one kind or another – and involving subsidy – since 1988. It lies between a pond known to be home to gcn, and a semi-ancient woodland likely to be favourable to their hibernation. The field itself may also be a hibernation site.
After exemplary sustainable farming over many years, the tenant farmers have for some time lived with uncertainties over their future. In recent months there have been unsettling and almost daily, often unannounced invasions of agents for East Sussex County Council. The yellow jacketed individuals in one photo are doing a metal detector traverse of an area south of the farm. The owners of the farm are Hastings Borough Council.