Newts Delay Construction of Church of Sheeran

By Gary Cutlack on at

Musical magnolia man Ed Sheeran has been forced to pause development of a little chapel he was planning to build on his estate in Suffolk, thanks to concerns that his expansive ill-gotten grounds may contain colonies of great crested newts.

These are a protected species in the UK, with a maximum penalty of six months in prison for purposefully disturbing their nesting sites. You need a licence from Natural England if you're even thinking about doing anything near them, probably including playing an acoustic guitar and/or tapping a rhythm on your thigh. So Ed's plan to disrupt the ground by building a non-denominational chapel out there has been put on hold while newt investigators head to the scene to carry out a crest count.

Sheeran's planning consultant says the chapel is needed for "private non-denominational contemplation" for up to 24 people, adding that the singer and his people are not currently aware of any of the protected newts on his land. [Sky News]