Sunday, 17 April 2011

People Pollution..........on mass

I met up with Guy at 08.00 for wander round the old parish. Freeman’s Wood was a noise with bird song, Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Com/Less Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Song Thrush (quite a few about today) Blackbird, Robin, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Dunnock and Wren. The pools saw 2 LRP, 2 Gadwall flew in, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Coot etc a male Kestrel doing the rounds. The sound of warblers was heard all along the track. A Linnet and a couple of Skylarks flew over, and one or two Meadow Pipits. 
On the marsh were 1 Wheatear, numerous Shelduck, Oystercatcher and Curlew. The Flood saw 2 LRP a couple of Shelduck. Little Egrets seem to have vanished. A Buzzard was on a fence post, seen here a few times now. Ravens and Peregrines in the pylons and 2 Red-breasted Mergansers flew down river.
Although it was a beautiful day and I enjoyed the birding it has to be said that the weekends are a busy noisy affair at Aldcliffe. I was longing for the days when no one came here bar a few poachers! I remember the track being totally overgrown with just a narrow path to follow. Mile Lane was a humped backed water filled pothole riddled affair totally bike-less. Now its lycra clad cycling clubs zooming along barging their way through, and the familiar noisy groups of Sunday cyclists and walkers with dogs all complaining about each other!  Today there was even 4 hovercraft on the river, as well as the usual abominable jet skis on mass.Then the van arrives with the motorbikes and they invade the woods making a right racket, by lunchtime the area was like a noisy tacky fairground and I was glad to get home for some peace and quiet! 

The noise of the hovercraft was similar to a jet engine. One got stuck on the opposite bank and needed full power to get off. Even from a kilometre away the noise was deafening. We have lost the tern colony and all the ground nesting passerines. The only waders breeding in the area are the LRP's and the lapwings and oystercatchers which ususally lose a clutch or two by the tractors preparing the fields. Then these Clarkson type libertarians turn up who don't give a damn about the consequences of their actions. What amazes me is they can still afford the cost of fuel for non-necessary journeys in a country where millions are living in fuel poverty. We're all in this together?


As a footnote, people have been trying to "fix" this situation, but so far have had zero impact. As it stands the Lune is not even classed as a major river, jet skis and the like can go where they want, when they want and at whatever speed they want. The Duchy of Lancaster owns the river up to the high water mark, have tried contacting them! Have tried contacting E.A. etc, written to MP's, local councillors all got nowhere. I am in contact with John Freeman who has been campaigning for years about this issue see On 3rd April 11, and not for the first time, Jet Skis went up the weir at Skerton and onto the fresh water part of the river! The weir itself is in a bad state of repair in parts! Maybe it needs a large collective response to this problem, get a petition going etc. I have met many people who walk around Skerton Weir and all complain about the nuisance and express real concern about the heronry. The other big issue of course is that as other places impose speed restrictions, Windermere etc, it means more skis arriving on the Lune to take advantage of the free-for-all, this situation can only get worse.
There is a compromise, I have been doing the WeBS count from Snatchems to Skerton Weir for the past two years, and the stretch of river from the pub up to Millennium Bridge is devoid of birds at high tide. From the Greyhound Bridge to the weir is busy with birds, likewise the river south of the pub is teeming with birds. It could all be rectified if the jet skis stayed within the limits of the pub to the Millennium Bridge, which is plenty of river for them to play on, and they can still show off to the public! Simple.


Pete Woodruff said...

Some good sightings, with a bit of a 'sad' tale attached, human beings....time for a cull.

My word verification was 'FARTANG', sounds like it fits in nicely with some of the humans you encountered....they were all FARTANGS!

Keep up the good work Steve.

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Agree with a cull on humans...not birders though had the firebugs yet?


PS my verifcation word was GUERA - nearly a 'freedom fighter cum terrorist...bring on the chavs lemme at em!!!

Pete Woodruff said...

Some good 'words' here from you Guy, nothing to do with being a spoil sport or anti social, this kind of 'water-sport' has to be driven off to somewhere three miles out to sea.

JWBateman said...

This has been going on for years I remember PJM & myself meeting Local Council/Duchy/Jet Skiers & other interested parties & coming up against the samr brick wall,even the designation SSII meant nothing Nothing changes.JWB.

Steve Wallis said...

Had a response from the Duchy of Lancaster who are going to look into the matter.

Pete Woodruff said...

I think lots of people should have thanked you for this approach to the Duchy Steve including me....Thanks Steve.