Glow-worms put lights out in pub

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The Independent Online
A LANDLORD has been told he cannot clear a blocked drain that causes his pub to flood because a nearby colony of glow-worms needs to breed.

Roger Hotchkiss has been forced to close his pub on occasions when torrents of rainwater have gushed into the bar. The problem is a nearby drain, but his council says machinery cannot be used to clear it because of a rare colony of glow-worms breeding on grass verges near the culvert.

Mr Hotchkiss, who has run the Brewery Inn in the Shropshire village of Coalport for 18 years, said officials at Telford and Wrekin council told him the site was environmentally protected. "I think it is quite funny. I don't want to see the glow-worms exterminated. They are quite magical, and at night in the summer the grass verges are lit up by the little creatures."

The council plans to clear a ditch to help drainage but cannot until the worms have bred. It is in talks with English Nature. Meanwhile, Mr Hotchkiss has sandbagged his pub and keeps a wary eye on the weather.