Ranger News September 2011

Tuesday 11th October 2011

Ranger Report September/October 2011

Monday September 5th – Burrington

The poor summer weather continues and the car park is awash! There were some climbers and cavers preparing to enjoy their day despite the weather.
We found the usual amount of small litter-bits torn off chocolate bars and drinking straw wrappers, as well as cartons along the verge, suggesting that they have been tossed from car windows.
One of the signs erected by the company controlling cotoneaster had been pulled up, however the rest were still in place. We found an enormous woolly caterpillar, possibly a tiger moth. Moths seem to be thriving this year. I have found several elephant hawk moth caterpillars in my garden.

Sunday September 25th – Blackdown

This site visit should have been yesterday which is probably why we encountered other rangers! However, we still found plenty of litter-fast food cartons, wrappers and paper napkins having been scattered far and wide over the parking area at the top of Burrington Combe.
The rain was heavy and became even heavier as we got out of the car. A dog walker was returning to her car and as we had collected our sack and litter picker she put her two dogs into the back of the vehicle. She then opened the boot, collected a big bag and proceeded to gather up some of the rubbish! This was so unexpected. We thanked her for her efforts and she thanked us in return once we explained our role as volunteer rangers. She explained that she always collects litter wherever she goes-how gratifying and public spirited, it made our day!
There were many cyclists riding up and down the Combe taking part in their Club hill climb. Some had opted out and were standing shivering under trees. They were all absolutely drenched and some were plodding gamely on when we left.
We decided that as the visibility was very poor on Black Down that it would be best to call it a day.

Monday October 3rd – Deer Leap

I can’t remember the last time we were at this site without warm clothing or waterproofs! Today we were able to join the walkers and others enjoying the sunshine as we went about our task. Not too much litter-forks, broken glass and bottles, the obvious pieces. A lady indignantly remarked that we shouldn’t have to be litter-picking if people were more responsible. Her companion had a straw hat full of enormous field mushrooms that she had gathered on their walk. We did feel that the sign warning the public of car theft was rather obtrusive particularly as it had been wrapped around a young tree.
What an incredible speck of weather-long may the Indian summer last!

Monday October 3rd -Blackmoor

Several groups of children were busy on the reserve this morning or venturing from Charterhouse by the look of them.
We picked up some fragments of paper from the car park and then walked around the wood. The beech trees had certainly shed a harvest of nuts everywhere-plenty of food for wildlife for the winter. Dragonflies were bathing in the sunshine beside the pool where reeds and lilies were quite exposed. We checked all the potential barbecue sites-they didn’t appear to have been used recently.
A walker with maps and compass had lost his bearings and asked us to point out the route to Nordrach. He asked if we had seen any snakes around the site. He also told us that there were a group of “twitchers” on Black Down as there had been sightings of a Pallid Harrier from Eastern Europe.