Says Adrienne Yentis
A friend of mine recently was riding on the heath
and she came across a group of cattle strung out across the bridlepath with no way through – the only way off was to turn round. Fortunately her horse
remained calm throughout. But you can imagine how a nervous horse might react ........... read more
Martin Down National Nature Reserve:
Maureen Comber writes to Robert Lloyd, Natural England
- Why is it in the national interest that this land should be managed as a Nature Reserve?
- How long has it been designated as such? - Why is it that the public generally were not consulted in that regard?
Says Maureen Comber
Thank you for sending me notice of the management consultation for Martin Down common land.
The short history with its details of existing wildlife makes me think that the area has been 'managed' quite well before now, but it raises the following questions:
As a farmer I sometimes let my grazing to sheep farmers. They are able to very quickly enclose them with modern portable fencing and move them when required. It appears to be a quick and easy process. It seems to me that cutting and burning with sheep grazing has provided a very sustainable environment until now and nothing more is required. Commons are self sustaining environments needing very little in the way of management other than the removal of gorse, bracken and bramble when required. Livestock other than sheep are likely to damage the sward for the orchids, gentians and worts etc.
Most importantly fencing totally destroys the open characteristic landscape value of the site and places restriction on public rights of access.
Comments Steve Yandall
The issue of access is a very sensitive one as my experience has been that public access has dropped when management has been perceived to be intimidating. It has also been my experience that anecdote has been used to refute such facts.
Says Steve Yandall
As an 'outsider' I am not equipped to supply anything other than an overview but;
It might be worth asking the trust if they consider their efforts worthwhile if,in tandem,they do not challenge the cause?Over population creates need that' justifies' further natural degradation that could,possibly,see this area built on,broken in for industrial agriculture or left to succession because funding dries up?
We see,almost daily,decisions by ministers that deny sustainability but NGO's/LA's etc are notable by their absence from the debate BUT appear happy to be employed 'picking up the pieces'! The result is that succinct individuals that do speak out are demonised as anti,anti,anti by those that love nursing without tackling the disease.
Says Linda Wright
We moved to a Shropshire location a year ago having surveyed the local OS map and noted the significant number of bridleways around the property. Sadly the map appears a total fiction. Scarce any of the bridleways are usable ........... read more