Tuesday, September 03, 2002
Senior staff from English Nature were recently meeting a group of 8 Russian visitors from Nishny Novgorod near Moscow.
I asked a colleague who was to be attending the evening meal to keep a look out for good stories and sure enough he didn't let me down.
The Russions were visiting the UK to find out how they could better integrate environmental considerations into their domestic planning regime and wanted to learn from UK and EU practice.
They were all staying in a Bed & Breakfast in Fotheringay (a very small village not far from Peterborough) .
After dinner one night (around 23.30), one of the Group, who had a keen interest in moths and was dressed in army fatigues, i.e camouflage jacket and trousers, took out a light trap into a neighbouring field to see if he could capture anything interesting.
Unfortunately, one of the local residents saw him acting suspiciously and called the police as there had been a number of recent break-ins in the village.
The Police quickly surrounded the area and captured the suspicious camouflaged Russian spy with strange mechanical device (several moth traps have previously been responsible for UFO sitings but that, as they say, is another story).
They then had to wait while their Russian interpreter arrived at the scene to "ask a few routine questions". Luckily he was released without charge!
I am still waiting to see if this makes the Fotheringay newpaper or if the Russian caught any English moths.
Source: English Nature Colleague