Ranger News January 2011

Sunday 20th February 2011

January 2011

Blackdown Thursday January 6th

The festive season had certainly brought out the revellers we thought, as we cleared away the copious amounts of Christmas wrapping paper plus lemons and onions from the car park at the top of Burrington Combe!

Walking up towards Blackdown along the boundary wall to the left of the sign-post we found the path to be very eroded. This hasn’t been so evident before, but with more obvious use by horses and mountain bikes it is beginning to look well worn. This becomes very apparent as the path levels out at the top and more and more users have walked off the path and new tracks are being beaten through the gorse and heather.

We met two dog walkers with six dogs between them- they wished us good day but did not appear to be carrying one doggy-waste bag between them!

At the top of Beacon Batch there were further signs of revelling with broken glass to remove plus assorted plastic bottles. Signs of a fire were obvious to the right of the Trig Point in the top of one of the mounds.

We collected a hooded fleece which had been dropped en route to the top plus socks and gloves in various places. The owners will all be wondering “now where did I lose that ?…

Young Rangers Saturday January 8th

A very industrious scene met us when we arrived to man the ‘soup kitchen’ on an early January day.

The Young Rangers were putting the finishing touches to some very sturdy owl boxes under the tutelage of Lynn, Keith and Chris in the classroom while some were painting their completed boxes outside. The boxes looked very impressive and Lyn explained that they would be distributed among local landowners to be placed strategically to encourage owls who may have lost natural nesting sites.

We provided the sustenance for some very hungry youngsters in the form of two very tasty soups and crusty bread provided by the farm shop at Priddy then clearing up as they prepared for an evening of astronomy.

Hopefully they managed an hour or so of star-gazing from the observatory after this although the sky was rather cloudy. No doubt we shall hear all about it at a later date.

Blackdown Wednesday January 12th

We had to postpone this site visit as the weather was very inclement with driving rain and high winds. We do feel however, that we did give the area a thorough clean less than a week ago!

Burrington Wednesday January 26th.

Well, today’s site visit seemed to be all about picking up discarded dog litter bags….or not. We collected numerous bags of all shapes and sizes containing dog poo and tripped over, slithered in and tried to avoid equally as many piles of dog waste all over this section of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty called Burrington Ham.

Why, we asked ourselves, do the dog-walkers take the trouble to pick up the waste and place it in a polythene (non-biodegradeable) bags, tying neat little knots or bows in the top and then throwing it into the brambles or hedge or actually leaving it on the wayside.

Why do others completely ignore the request to “take your dog litter home with you” and leave it in the public way with disregard for those walking after them?

If, of course, we could answer these questions ourselves we would have won the top prize in some popular quiz show.
I can only reiterate our eternal plea to the dog walking public:-
PLEASE CLEAR UP AFTER YOUR PET so we can all enjoy Mendip at its best.