Con­cern for whale as fire­works axed

Kent Messenger Maidstone - - NEWS FROM AROUND THE COUNTY -

A coun­cil is post­pon­ing its fire­works dis­play to keep a Bel­uga whale safe.

Dubbed Benny, the Arc­tic mam­mal ap­peared thou­sands of miles from home in the River Thames off Shorne Marshes, Gravesend, last month.

His ap­pear­ance has drawn in crowds from miles around and it looks as if Benny may be here for the long run.

His res­i­dence has led Grave­sham coun­cil, hav­ing con­sulted with the Port of Lon­don Au­thor­ity, to stall its dis­play on Fri­day, Novem­ber 2, un­til the 3.5 me­tre whale has left.

Fire­works were to be set off from a barge in the Thames.

The en­vi­ron­men­tal ad­vice on the ef­fects of fire­works on or over the river is that they would dis­turb Benny.

Coun­cil leader Cllr David Turner said: “While we are very dis­ap­pointed at hav­ing to post­pone the fire­works, we un­der­stand the need to keep Benny safe must take pri­or­ity. Every ef­fort will be made to resched­ule this hugely pop­u­lar event, but a de­ci­sion can­not be made now as no-one knows how long Benny will re­main in res­i­dence here.

“While we un­der­stand this is also dis­ap­point­ing to the thou­sands of res­i­dents and vis­i­tors who en­joy our fan­tas­tic fire­works dis­play every year, we have to en­sure our spe­cial vis­i­tor is kept safe and well.”

Grave­sham coun­cil has been ad­vised that dis­turb­ing the whale would be in breach of the Wildlife and Coun­try­side Act.

The coun­cil has urged peo­ple to think twice about hav­ing pri­vate dis­plays near the river in Gravesend, la­belling the mis­sion #Keep­Ben­nySafe

Grave­sham coun­cil has post­poned its an­nual fire­works dis­play al­most a month af­ter Benny the Bel­uga ap­peared

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.