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Crunchy Crescent and the Horrid Ground-weaver spider

ONLY a few more weeks of summer madness to endure before all the kids go back to school and we can get back into some sort of routine.

Hopefully, this ‘return to normality’ will stop the newspapers writing utter dross on a daily basis, ditto the complete tripe on the telly. I know millions of people watch The Great British Bake Off, but I for one have had enough Victoria Sponge shoved down my throat over summer that I am about to vomit on the shag pile.

A good few of the silly season stories doing the rounds have featured wildlife. One of the most bonkers was about a much-needed housing development being halted by the discovery that the deserted limestone quarry, where it was to be built, is a natural habitat for the Horrid Ground-weaver spider. Yes, that’s its real name!

Bring out the bunny huggers in force. More than 2,000 of them signed a petition claiming the project, which could provide 57 homes, could cause the extinction of the spider. The Planning Inspectorate upheld the local council’s decision to refuse permission for the work to go ahead so the frustrated developers have gone to look elsewhere.

But this is the most ridiculous bit – the bunny huggers are claiming victory but in actual fact the spider, which is said to live in cracks in the limestone, has only ever been spotted twice, and the last time was in 1995 and it hasn’t been seen since.

You’d think it couldn’t get any sillier than that, but of course it can, it being August. In the fair seaside town of Llandudno in North Wales the council recently upgraded the street lights at a local beauty spot, which is apparently popular with members of the local dogging community.

Presumably the lights were installed to deter people from engaging in alfresco sex with complete strangers, but the whole project has backfired and the high-intensity lights have had to be turned off. Why? Because they are interfering with the sex lives of glow worms. You couldn’t make it up.

A local discovered that all the male glow worms were congregating under the lamp posts and ignoring the females who were gathered nearby. Apparently when female glow worms fancy a bit of action they make their tails glow as a come on. With the lights on the males couldn’t spot the signs. I wonder how much money has been spent by the local council on this doomed project? It’s the taxpayers who will be footing the bill yet again no doubt.

Staying with silly stories, the owners of Cadbury’s, the American giant Kraft, have demanded that developers of a housing estate on the former Cadbury site in Keynsham, near Bristol must not name any streets after their confectionary. Kraft are protecting their brand and so there will be no Crunchie Crescents or Wispa Walks. What a shame. It would have been a be a fitting tribute to the history of the former Fry’s site.

Continuing with the silly season madness – millionaire property developer Kim Davies of Abergavenny saw no harm in removing tombstones from a derelict chapel and cementing them into the walls of his Grade II listed home, Llanwenarth House.

One of the 150-year old gravestones had the names of three brothers and a sister who had all died under the age of four. Planners were horrified when they saw the stone plaques had been used in a makeover of the house.

Mr Davies, who owned the derelict chapel at the time, also used some of the graves as flagstones for his patio. Planners only discovered the makeover after seeing the exterior of the property in a newspaper advert. Just how wrong can someone get it? Let’s get the kids back to school and back to semblance of normality.

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Kevan Blackadder

Written by Kevan Blackadder

Kevan Blackadder is a media consultant who runs Blackadder Media Limited. Kevan was previously editor of the Gloucestershire Echo and assistant editor of the Bristol Post. A Cumbrian who moved to the South West “for a couple of years” in the 1980s, he can’t quite believe he’s been there ever since.

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