A couple whose £1m home was wrecked in last summer’s floods have been prevented from moving back in because newts could be living in the grounds. Daily Telegraph

John Histed, 71, and his wife Margie, 67, have been living in a caravan since their 18th century farmhouse flooded last July. They had almost finished £250,000 of repairs when a blocked drainage ditch near their garden caused the property to flood again.

However, the Environment Agency has barred them from unblocking the ditch to prevent further flooding because it suspects that great crested newts are living there.

Officials have ordered a three-month survey to look for the protected species.