Saturday, 16 July 2011

Overzealous clearing of the track adjacent to our house

Its happened again, a group from community services have returned and started 'clearing!' the track. Last year they came and cleared it on 20th June cutting down bramble in full flower - covered in bees, butterflies etc, wild flowers such as mallow and sting less nettle  and any overhanging branches. When I mentioned the wildlife in the track they said they had checked for wildlife before they started!!!

This time they were directed to our house by the neighbourhood watch contact for the road, after we moaned last year about the problem - but then we had been out all day and it was all done before we got home. They wanted to speak to me and ask what they shouldn't touch down our end of the track - but I was away running a wildlife course in Shoreham. I spoke to my wife at lunch time by telephone and she passed on my message.

While we were able to protect the bramble and wild flowers at our  end of the track ...

...they seem to have decimated whole areas with no apparent plan.

This tree has been cut down and the foliage on the bank has also been removed - a favourite hunting area for the foxes and also used by blackbirds and sparrows.

As with last year the track is full of wildlife, bees, butterflies, hoverflies ladybirds, beetles, crickets, lacewings etc as well as birds, the foxes of course and also pipistrelle bats that use the track as part of their foraging route.

At least we have been able to reduce the 'damage' done this year although this was also due just as much to the rain - hopefully they won't be back this year.

When challenged last year they said they were doing a good service for the community - but they don't seem to have checked beforehand. Also, as they chopped down the foliage, empty bottles, cans and other litter were revealed. These were not removed last year or this year, so I am not sure which part of clearing the track for the benefit of the residents that comes under!

Towns and villages provide a patchwork of habitats for wildlife inlcuding parks and our gardens and tracks like this one are surely vital parts of this patch work and should be managed more sensitively.

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