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let's hear it for smooth newts

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Tom Omlette View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom Omlette Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2014 at 11:19pm
its the awe and joy they brought me as a child that makes them special for me. didn't see a palmate for many years and i never really felt as though i was able to engage fully with the few GCN i have seen because of the protection...its always been a bit like watching them through glass or something.

tom

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will View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Apr 2014 at 8:55am
Tim, don't get me started on how a whole generation of potential newtologists has been put off looking for GCN using torchlight surveys or pond dipping due to clumsy 'one size fits all' protected species legislation; a real shame that many enthusiasts, including yourself, have been put off because of this.
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GemmaJF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Apr 2014 at 10:04am
I can agree with that Will. That first GCN I caught was prior to the WCA but it wasn't many years afterwards the legislation came about and I felt like a criminal for catching one a few years before!

Was having a conversation about this the other day with a friend, partly sparked off from our discussion on the public perception/knowledge of herps we had on here the other day. Conclusion was it is very difficult to get the public interested in the plight of herps if they do not even know what they are. Harder still if they are in someway restricted from access to them. It's pretty clear from this thread that as a group we mostly got interested from early experiences of contact with the animals.

Yet the message even school children are given is 'don't touch' to the point where I've even had kids come up to me during surveys and tell me what I'm doing is 'illegal'. 

I do carry the silly bit of paper now called a 'class licence' anyone can print from the net to reassure people and I make sure the kids get a good look at any animals I'm finding and handle them too if they are willing.

Having said this I've never really made much effort with smooth snakes, sand lizards or natterjacks, not being a licence holder. There were also very many years that passed with no newting, between catching the Loch Ness Monster and holding a GCN survey licence... 

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will View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Apr 2014 at 4:29pm
Agree with all of that, Gemma - I'm sure I've said it elsewhere, but a certain D. Attenborough cites watching GCN as a boy as the formative influence that kick-started his lifelong passion for wildlife...
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