The Turnpike Field was brought for the village last year at considerable expense and is in the process of having two or three natural ponds created within it.
The plan was always to populate the ponds with some indigenous aquatic creatures – natterjack toads for example, and perhaps great crested newts.
Now it is well-known that undesirable planning applications for housing estates on greenfield sites can be stopped dead by the discovery of, say, great crested newts on the site to be built over.
So the Parish Council has come up with a cunning plan to "rent out" a small colony of these animals to protest groups who are trying to prevent developments on greenfield sites. This ought to be a highly profitable revenue-earning exercise, and it is expected that in a year or two it could lead to a significant reduction in the Parish Precept. In fact, of course, even higher profits can be earned by accepting bribes from building companies trying to prevent this from happening.
Clearly for the ruse to work, the newts have to be trained to remain in the area they are placed, and to emerge making newt-like noises whenever anybody clutching a notebook or camera appears, and to be identifiable for collection at the end of the loan period (by which time they may well have produced new generations of newts).
So the PC has recruited AWEG's assistance in the newt training, and first results are encouraging – it turns out that the newts are inveterate scene-stealers who like nothing better than to preen themselves in front of cameras.
If you look closely at the picture of one of the great crested newts in question, you can see the "APC" tattoo on its back so that it can be identified and retrieved once its job is done.