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international news _ 11th July, 2006

CzechTek Threatened By Rare Birds

Text by Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)

Czech environmentalists launched a campaign this week to stop the annual free rave CzechTek from taking place in the military training ground Hradiste in Bohemia, claiming the proposed site is an important breeding ground for the elusive corncrake bird.

Petr Styblo from Czech Environmentalists Association claimed the army's decision to allow ravers to party on their land at the end of this month coincides with the corncrakes rearing their young and said authorities could be violating European Laws in allowing the rave.

"It will be the Czech Republic who will have to explain to the European Commission why it has behaved so harshly in the protection of bird areas and in the protection of the corncrake," he told the Czech News Agency, though the military reportedly responded that no protected species live on the site.

Meanwhile in England, ravers drew criticism from Forestry Commission officials this week after a forest fire broke out alongside an outdoor party in Weeting, Norfolk on Sunday afternoon. 70 firefighters were needed to tackle the 5 acre blaze and were reportedly hindered by the presence of 200 revellers and 80 cars close by.

"We had quite a severe fire in the forest and undergrowth and it was spreading to a crop of standing corn," local fire chief Phil Berry told Kings Lynn Today," We were also faced with a lot of members of the public and it took a long time to confirm that no one was in the affected area."

The affected area was a Site Of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Protection Area and popular with nightjars, the newspaper added.

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