Boxing Day 2014

27 Dec

Today Lynda and I went for a walk around Knettishall Heath Nature Reserve, as site owned and managed by Suffolk Wildlife Trust. It was Boxing Day and there were a lot of people blowing off the Christmas Day cobwebs and no doubt walking off a few mince pies.

We have linked the Woodland, Heath and River walks together together to make one large circular walk of probably 2.5 miles.  The trust have owned this site for 5 years and now have it listed as a nature reserve as opposed to its former status of Country Park. it is 175 hectares in size and has a few remnants of typical Breckland habitat.

The woodland walk started off very quiet on the bird front, no doubt due to the noise of barking dogs and people shouting and whistling dogs. We did manage to hit upon a small flock of Chaffinch and mixed tits; Blue, Great, Coal and Marsh, also a few Blackbird. Sadly that was it for the entire walk we just encountered more dogs and most of them were off the leash bounding about.

The trust arrange/allow special days for a group calling themselves Hounds of the Heath it has a membership of close to 200, this is very alarming. My assessment of the site on this day is that in 5 years of ownership and management by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust it has gone to the dogs in every sense of the word.

In total we saw around 60 dogs and I do not think 10 were on leads. As a New Years grouse I have emailed the trust to inform  them of my feelings and the fact that I have cancelled my subscription. I have also tweeted and Face booked some comments.  I am appalled by what I witnessed today the trust have ruined a decent site.

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