READER LETTER: Nature Reserve - Help us to help nature

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May I through your newspaper pass on my personal and the Woodland Trust’s thanks to PC Ian Shaw and his team for their prompt action and commitment, to resolving an issue involving trials bikes and quad bikes within the reserve in recent weeks,thereby preventing what could have resulted in a dangerous incident.It was also good to hear that PC Shaw and his team are ready and willing to assist us with any other incidents we may have, again thank you.

May I also pass my and the trusts thanks on to the person/persons unknown who have in the last week taken it on themselves to clear a large quantity of dog mess within the reserve. We have of late been highliting the problem by spraying the faeces red to both show the extent of the issue, and give warning to others as to where the deposits are, especially parents of young children who are the most susceptible to infection from the “deposits”, so again thank you.

On another note, regular visitors to the reserve may have noticed we are asking dog owners to please not take their pets(dogs)into the section of wood on the east side of the 10 foot dyke between March and the end of September, this being the breeding season for much of the wildlife but in particular birds. The Owlet nature reserve has been a breeding site for many species,some of which are now approaching the endangered list,so to try and reduce the disturbance to nesting species and help increase the populations of once common species within the wood such as Wood Warblers,Spotted flycatcher,Woolark,Woodcock we ask people to please refrain from taking your dogs into the area of the reserve beyond the dyke. The area in question only equates to a one fifth of the reserve, and the vast majority of people that we have explained what and why we are doing it are quite happy about it.The area in question is still obviously open to people without dogs to walk around and enjoy,and the remaing four fifths of the wood is open as normal. The trust is trying to keep a balance between their obligations as looking after the Nature within the reserve and still allowing public access. Please keep in mind that this is probably the only Nature Reserve for miles where dogs are allowed in, most reserves operated by the Wildlife Trusts and the RSPB operate a no dogs policy.

So to close, please help us help nature,and again our thanks to PC Shaw and his team and the public minded person/s cleaning up the dog mess and to all those that help the wildlife.

Des Lloyd

Reserve Warden Owlet Plantation Nature Reserve.