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Jack Harrison
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 8:55 pm
Location: Nairn, Highland


Postby Jack Harrison » Mon May 08, 2017 7:42 pm

40 years ago Kingspark Wood west of Plaistow was THE butterfly wood in southern England. I passed by recently and the wood was fenced off and clearly whoever owns it has the intention of keeping people out at all costs.

Does anyone know who owns Kingspark Wood and why they are so bloody-minded?

The same sorry tale goes for Shaves Wood near Henfield. It used to have Pearl and Small PB Frits, Duke of Burgundy. But today, access is denied by a huge barrier and the wood would seem to be an overgrown un-managed jungle.

I can only presume that land owners (quite reasonably) are annoyed by the prospect of old cars being dumped and similar anti-social behaviour. But there has to be better ways of dealing with the problem that is caused by the few but impacts on the many. Wealthy – and fortunate – land owners should be obliged to allow access (as is the case in Scotland). Election issue? I somehow doubt it.


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Postby NickMorgan » Tue May 09, 2017 12:53 pm

I can understand why some landowners may want to keep people out, particularly if there has been antisocial behaviour going on. My job, here in Scotland, is to implement the access legislation and try to encourage positive ways of managing public access. Landowners will often lock gates to keep vehicles out, but we normally are successful in getting them to leave a gap at the side of the gate for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders.
There are occasions when I think the Scottish legislation is too soft. People have access rights, as long as they are responsible. If they don't behave responsibly then it becomes a police issue. However, how often to police respond when told some kids are misbehaving in some woodland? I am afraid it is very low down the priority list.

Cotswold Cockney
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Postby Cotswold Cockney » Thu May 25, 2017 9:54 am

Over the years have seen this happen many times. Within a few years of shut down enclosure, the habitat degrades in many ways and thus becomes far less suitable to supporting a wide range of wildlife.

Problem is, few land owners are Natural History enthusiasts. Not all of course, but, too many are. I once alerted a Cotswold Land Owner to the rare fauna on a long neglected remote part of the estate. Next year the area was ploughed senseless for the first time in decades.

Forty years ago, when he lived in Gloucestershire, I took Jack Harrison to one of my favourite Cotswold habitats. We arrived to find that it had been ploughed or possibly bulldozed bringing up many large slabs of Cotswold Stone. Jack, who trained Pilots on Hercules Aircraft, remarked he would be able to land one of the large planes on that stone covered ground.

A visit the following year showed masses of large Thistles growing in and around the slabs of Cotswold Stone. There were numerous Dark Green Fritillaries on those Thistle Flower heads.

Not all bad news, back in the 1970s, I updated Monkswood Records with a number of local species following a visit to a large remote grassland area now known as "Rough Banks". Recently, this has been purchased and is now a Nature Reserve.
Cotswold Cockney is the name
All aspects of Natural History is my game.

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