Letter: Lament for nightingales and newts

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The Independent Online
Sir: Whilst I applaud the contribution of Eurotunnel and their efforts to conserve wildlife ("Chunnel helps Garden of England blossom again", 26 August) in the vicinity of the Downs, I must point out another side of the story.

Twenty years ago I could regularly locate up to half a dozen singing nightingales in the woods and coppices to the west of the Chunnel workings. Earlier this summer, a depressing search revealed none - the most noticable change was not the habitat itself, but the constant drone of motorway traffic approaching the tunnel and the eerie glow of artificial lighting which was evident to a distance of two miles.

In the late 1960s the Great Crested Newt was plentiful in some of the small ponds in the same area; this is another species which may now be absent.

Three cheers for the help that the adonis blue butterfly and slipper orchid have received, but Eurotunnel must be reminded that the real costs of their impact on the environment are incalculable for some species.

CLIVE NUTTMAN

Kingsbarns, Fife

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