18 February 2011

Wanstead Park public consultation

The good people at the City Corp, in an effort to get their hands on some lottery money are asking the public for their views on what should be done with dog exercise and fly tipping area we fondly know as the patch. The consultation does not quite cover all the flats, just that west of Lake House Road known as Bush Wood Flats. [http://www.wansteadpark.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=129:draft-conservation-statement-published-public-consultation-begins&catid=42:restoration-of-wanstead-park&Itemid=118] I leave the sensible arguments to the sane, but through my experience of the users of the park I think we should go the whole hog and make into east London's biggest dog toilet and tip. Then we could have gull masterclasses without having to go to Rainham. Sod the Skylark; they're a nuisance as some people believe dog's should be put on a lead during the nesting season. They're dogs! Enough said, apparently. As for the tipping: there have been 2 scooters and today a car in the very area covered by the report. Where else are cowboy builders and DIY enthusiasts going to dump unwanted materials; its not as if the council picks these things up if you ask them. As for the feeding the ducks, isn't it enough that people are willing to drag large buckets of rice, sacks of bread and other kitchen refuse without having to take away the containers. Wake up! And besides if it were used as a tip, wouldn't this negate the need to clear virtually all the scrub to stop the cottagers?

Obviously I would like to see the whole of the flats made into a National Nature Reserve on account of it being rare acid grassland: no footie, no model planes, no dogs, no joggers, no barbecues and a few more scrapes please. You could start with Cat and Dog, nicely full at the moment and even hosting its own pair of ducks. The Snipe was there too, and even the Heron has had a sniff round in the past.

Today a flock of Siskin flew south, just one of the 50 species noted in just a couple of hours. In the SSSI there seemed to be Reed Bunting everywhere, and Meadow Pipits - 20 flew off the fairground at one point - best count I've had since the autumn.

On Alex a crash of gulls were trying Indian cuisine, which looked as if it were making them go slightly mad, as they started diving into the water to rid themselves of the taste. Had a quick look through the host of roosting gull for our Med, but they wouldn't settle as a Sparrowhawk was cruising the area. Ominously a fleeting glimpse of a large common gull-a-like could mean that bird might have come back. Got a fairly good look at the wings, enough to draw a terribly sketch. So its back out early doors tomorrow to see if can catch the bugger before the footy starts. Then maybe Rainham for some more gull fun!

Above the Egyptian Geese from Alex, not the same ones as on Heronry

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