Thursday, 31 May 2007

Must They Use Paths?

It's early days perhaps but.....

We always said the paths would suffer. But no, what will happen, said the 'experts', is the cattle will stride across the areas of bracken and bramble helping to prevent it from becoming impenetrable. Well we shall see but so far they have left their mark on every path. On this one they've gone to the side of the barrier SWT erected to stop people and horses from going on an eroded section while it recovered. And as they've done so they have made an ugly scar and then gone onto the area re-seeded a short while ago and scuffed it all up. They are heavy beasts and when they go over soft paths it shows.

Another thing. When my dog responds to a call of nature he dodges off to the side away from the path. These creatures show less sensitivity. But then I forgot. They are really here to show townies what the countryside is really like!

The animal that left this should refer to this earlier post.

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Dore to Door Summer Edition

Now out, the latest of Dore Village Society's usually excellently produced publication. This link is to the website but at the time of writing only previous editions are online.

The new edition has an article by Dawn Biram about last year's Icarus facilitation sessions on Blacka Moor. It is well-written, well-balanced and informative - certainly a corrective to the thoroughly unbalanced article in the previous edition from SWT. Recommended and only 20p from local shops.

It may be that Dawn's neutrality on the principle of cattle-grazing will have been modified soon when the results (already seen by some of us) become obvious to more people.

One very small niggle: surprised that nobody in the Dore to Door editorial team seems to know that it was Alderman Graves (not Greaves) who gave us Blacka Moor.

Pollution Alert

A case of desecration. With cavalier disregard for diversity Sheffield Wildlife Trust has decided that the special character of Blacka's once delightful informal paths will now be, well.... s*** upon well and truly.


(Two public servants talking ? - perhaps one from English Nature, the other from the National Park?)

Sloe and Steady

The sloes on the blackthorn are now bright green. I've always had a hankering to make sloe gin and never got round to it. Perhaps this year. Recipe can be found on this excellent site.

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Today's Confrontation

SWT’s plan to put grazing cows on this public open space attracted a lot of adverse comment. For many people the point was as simple as this: everywhere they walked especially on higher land was populated with sheep or cattle. Blacka was ungrazed and was different and preferable for that reason. People wanted to feel there was somewhere – just one place- free from farm animals, farm practices, fences and the usual clutter that accompanies grazing. Those who walk dogs had particular fears and those who just don’t like cattle were also nervous.

In their stubborn refusal to alter their plans SWT made numerous statements to explain why it was ‘necessary’ to do this and several reassurances about the safety of the grazing plan. A number of these have been shown to be plain wrong - misleading through either calculation or ignorance.

For example we were told that cattle would control bracken by eating the young bracken shoots. We contacted an academic who is Chair of the International Bracken Group who told us in some alarm that this would not be a good idea because bracken is poisonous and would cause tumours in cows. Some people who complained about the hazard of barbed wire for humans pets and wild animals were told it was sited where it could be clearly seen while those who objected to its visual pollution were told that it would soon be hidden by plant growth.

In fact SWT have excelled themselves in finding an answer to every point raised, worrying not that some of the answers contradicted others or simply whether they were true. They probably would not have bothered to this extent had the public not annoyingly discovered that Blacka was officially designated a public open space and public pleasure ground. It was never in the plans of SWT or the City Council that this discovery should become public knowledge. They had thought they could get away with the fait accompli declaration of a nature reserve.

In a letter to RAG members dated 12th February is a section headed 6 “Concerns about cattle on the moor”. In it is the following sentence about feeding the cattle
So, no supplementary feeding of cattle so they don’t approach people looking for food.

This morning’s walk: Well what’s this orange feed container for? And what are all these truculent beasts doing standing around it and looking at me? Could they be waiting for something?

And when we walked past them what were these other beasts doing suddenly coming towards us down the path at a trot, the lead one bellowing? And would many other people have stood their ground?

After staring each other out for a few seconds the lead animal shied away suddenly – I know several people who would have had kittens at this point - and went round behind me to be replaced by a deputy.

The people who expressed reservations about the use of cattle on Blacka would not have been at all happy. I, however, will probably not be believed.

The point of this story lies in the following questions:

  1. Does anyone seriously believe what SWT says about anything?
  2. Does this mean that the numbers of those who have been regular users of Blacka will go down thus making the place more attractive for SWT’s beloved grouse?
  3. What price recreation when farmification has become the priority?

Monday, 28 May 2007

More Wild, Less Wild

These photos taken within a few minutes of each other. A case of 'Out with the old, in with the new'?

More Wild-Red Deer Browsing on Typical Blacka Vegetation

The second wet and dripping morning. So where would the cattle be on a morning like this? My guess was where I would go myself during a lengthy wet spell. Somewhere fairly sheltered - and best for that is under the wide canopy of the beeches on the bridleway of the Canons Path. Curiosity took me there and sure enough they had left unmistakable evidence nearby. Standing on the track the movement in a nearby clearing alerted me to the deer browsing among the young birch and rowan. Within minutes they had moved off to be replaced by five bovine intruders.

Less Wild- Two Minutes Later: the Heavy Brigade Moves In

It's the way things are done today that some will enthuse about how marvellous these highland cattle look and how great it is for Blacka Moor. They will be those who have a need to reinforce a judgement already made. And they would probably say the same about my view. "After all everything's subjective isn't it?" I can hear it now. But it's perverse to fail to back one's judgement when it's anyway based on genuine observation untainted by self interest professional or otherwise. Cattle are built for meat production, heavy, bulky and selected to be fit for that purpose. Deer are slim, to carry not too much weight and so better to escape natural predators. They get no supplementary feed and have to fend for themselves in the toughest weather. The result is an animal that is at one with its purpose and its surroundings. It just looks right!

I remember that, a few years back, we first saw the deer, a small party of them, coming on to Blacka the week before Christmas, across the open space now polluted with cattle fencing I spoke with the wildlife trust 'reserve manager' about it and said how right they looked in the landscape. The reaction was odd and it was a while before I understood why. They saw these genuinely wild animals as a threat to their management strategy. If wild nature could come along and do its own thing here, where did that leave their plans to do much the same thing with cattle?

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Overgrown and 'Under-Managed' and Just Marvellous

Sometimes there's nothing like being in lush overgrown vegetation where nature has been allowed to run wild!

Saturday, 26 May 2007

Farmland At Last

Now Blacka is officially farmland and occupied by 11 highland cattle a number I have no doubt will increase bit by bit. Managers everywhere will be rejoicing that another stage of a control order has come into effect. The beasts themselves have a certain ‘cuteness factor’. And the accompanying effects doubtless all have their enthusiastic supporters.

Brightly coloured feeding containers.

Farm vehicle tracks.

Not to forget attractively decorated paths!!

Friday, 25 May 2007


Among other qualities Culpeper claims Sanicle to be a good treatment for diarrhoea. This one is on the path up from the stepping stones to Lenny Hill. Better pictures on the web here.

The Canons' Path

This path, despite its width, still manages to be quite atmospheric on the right day. After a fairly level section on the route up from the Beauchief settlement on the way to the farmhouse this is where it starts to climb again for another half mile to the gates of the pasture. It really does feel quite arduous if you've walked all the way from Totley. I wonder if the white canons were on foot or horseback? The sign saying public footpath is misaligned and should be pointing left to an overgrown path along the stream. The main path is actually a bridleway.

Under the beeches on the White Canons Path

What? Another Lot?

Is this something else for me to worry about? Apparently another group of natural life observers are analysing things to exhaustion.

Step forward the phenologists. You can read about them on the Woodland Trust's website. But I may be worrying unnecessarily. As long as they don't want to manage things and are just content to observe. The trouble is it usually leads to someone else coming up with a scheme for intervention.


Things are definitely early this year but even so it's patchy and not uniform. Certain plants like bluebell have had an extended season. Others were over quickly. Today the cuckoos on Blacka were in good voice.

Small birds regularly mob cuckoos, but then they do sparrow hawks which can look similar. There's obviously something in their genes that reacts to certain body shape.

The bracken is well ahead on last year in some places but in others it's made little impact to date.

Thursday, 24 May 2007

What Happened to the Graves Covenant?

In 1933 when Blacka was handed over to Sheffield City Council in trust for the people of Sheffield, the terms of the gift were secured in a covenant which is legally binding.

It is in the nature of things that people forget or have limited recollections of such matters. But there have always been enough people around since 1933 to have an idea of what was in that covenant even if unsure of the detail.

The real issue is what happened to the Covenant in 1999 and afterwards. The council decided to give Blacka Moor to an outside agency. You would think that the Covenant would have been at the centre of the discussions around this. But instead of that the council decided to restrict access to the document. Members of public and even councillors were not allowed to see the covenant. It was shown to a small sub committee but members were told they couldn't share this with other citizens.

Alderman Graves

No apology for returning to the subject of the man who gave us Blacka Moor, but I think there are some things I've not said here before.

First he was a business man and obviously made himself a fortune. Mainly in mail order but he did have a cutlery workshop as well. What interests me is that he had a complete commitment to the area he lived in. Not some generalised ideal which could be exercised over areas of the world not fully understood like today's captains of industry who offset some of their tax by charitable donations. The thing about local philanthropy is that it is accountable to people you see and works at the same level as other relationships. I am an unreconstruted localist suspicious of noble deeds done for a generalised cause that can be put on a CV or added to ones Who's Who profile.
When J G Graves gave Blacka Moor to the people of Sheffield he actually knew many of those people. 3,000 of them worked for him.

Whatever your politics, conservative or socialist or some concoction in between, you must respect those who attempt to repay their obligations to those they know. I know there are people who will point to elements in the economy which supported Graves' mail order business which were exploitative in a large way. But I think that's not as much an issue as it would be today.

The Alien and the Native

Strange bedfellows but in some ways they work quite well together. The rhododendron is pretty well hated for being alien, for its invasiveness and its low score on the biodiversity front. Personally I rather dislike it aesthetically too.

While the Scots Pine is one of our grandest native trees which always seems to attract wildlife. The one in my garden has lots of interesting fungi below it in autumn including the edible Saffron Milk Cap.

What you can say about the two species together is that the pine attracts birds and the shrub provides them with quick emergency cover. I'm also pretty sure there are foxes in the thicket.
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Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Wisdom from Academia?

The Simon Queenborough who wrote a letter to the Telegraph seems to have some expertise in weed control. Very suitable I would think. It must grate on his nerves to see nature allowing things to grow where they have no right and have not filled in the relevant documentation.

I also notice that his words about carbon footprint are guardedly preceded with “I would also suggest…”. Not exactly inspiring confidence in his authority.

But then when you read what he says ….. well pretty astonishing stuff. For a start he acknowledges that cattle are creating more than 2½ times the greenhouse gases produced by humans. But then he goes on to say this is not significant because cows don’t live as long as we do.!!!!! What is he thinking of? Each time a cow gets slaughtered it’s replaced by another one is it not? There’s a continuous supply of the beasts for goodness sake.

Verily, these universities have a lot to answer for.

What's in a Name?

I'm sure Shakespeare had something to say about this. But if this delightful wild flower was called something other than Cow Parsley it would surely be more valued.
Queen of the Verges? Perhaps not. Needs more thought.

A Woolly Proposal

Now here's a thought. After my strictures about the way lambs and sheep are neglected once they're released onto the hills let's have some creative thinking around the issue.

Discussing our recent ideas about an on-site worker at Blacka why not a few attractive shepherdesses? Suitably attired in the English Pastoral tradition with a little bijou cottage near the site of the demolished farmhouse.

Now that's a theme park idea I could get used to!

Or the French Pastoral convention might be even better.

Boucher: Shepherd piping to Shepherdess.

Grumpy Old Man on Sheep

When I wrote before about the new lambs coming on i said they were only tainted by a small dab of blue dye, but I'm sorry to say some have large numbers on their backs. This is the opportunity for one of my grumpy-old-man moans. Does the farmer/grazier wear arrows on his uniform? And don't they also have ear tags as well? What next? I'm thinking of forming a new Society for Abolition of Football Shirt Numbers on Lambs and Sheep.

One farmer I worked for on a mixed dairy farm was most scornful about hill sheep farming. He reckoned that apart from time spent during lambing and a period at shearing it wasn't proper work at all. The sheep were shoved up on the hillside and left to get on with things with hardly any supervision. Going on the number of sickly looking sheep and dead ones as well he might have been on to something. Seeing so many sheep allowed to get out from Houndkirk Moor onto the verges on the highly dangerous Hathersage Road makes you wonder who's responsible if people are killed rather than just sheep and lambs - which usually happens.

Pastoral Blues

I cannot remember such a show of blueness on the open pasture land before. The picture can't do it justice. Of my wild flower books Phillips says bluebell is only in woods and shady places, but Francis Rose does mention grasslands and also sea cliffs.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Telegraph Letter

From one Dr Simon Queenborough. (not to my knowledge ever been involved in Blacka consultations)

NEIL Fitzmaurice may worry about the key ingredient for his Cosmic Explosion Bilberry Pie disappearing from Blacka Moor (May 11) but a more thorough under­standing of the ecology and management of the British countryside would lead him to support the use of Highland cattle by Sheffield Wildlife Trust in their attempts to prevent the spread of bracken from out-com­peting the plant he claims to-love so much.
There are a number of inconsistencies in his arguments against the cattle. Firstly his justifiably obvious passion for nature and wildlife lead him to confuse management with manicure.
Unfortunately, there are now very few parts of the globe'that are unaffected by human activities and the British countryside is among some of the most intensively man­aged land in the world.
The heathland that provides the acidic nutrient-poor habitat for bilberry is entirely anthropogenic in origin and its continued persistence depends on effective manage­ment by humans.
However, this management does not mean that it has to become a theme park. If King Nature was allowed to continue in its usual course of events, bracken and trees would take over and Blacka Moor would eventually become unbridled woodland. However, bil­berry would then be unable to survive in such an environment.
Cattle provide one of the most effective tools for simulating the grazing that was pre­viously 'naturally' undertaken by rabbits, deer and suchlike that is necessary to main­tain bracken and other aggressive plants at low levels and ensure that the site is suitable for the species for which it was granted SSSI status.
Adequate control and removal of the cut vegetation by a single on-site worker would likely be far less cost-effective.
I would also suggest that the total carbon footprint of 10 or so cattle is unlikely to exceed that of even a single person living in the UK. The average carbon footprint for a UK citizen is I 1,000kg of CO' per year, compared to 2,500kg of CO' equivalent (cattle actually produce methane rather than CO') per year for beef cattle.
However, humans live considerably longer than cattle and so over the course of their life contribute far more to the green­house effect that cattle, with the added neg­ative that it is currently illegal to eat them, once they come to the end of it.

I would encourage Mr Fitzmaurice to put his energies into supporting SWT in the sci­entific conservation measures being imple­mented at Blacka Moor and other reserves so that he, and all the other residents of South Yorkshire who enjoy the moor so much, may continue to have their spirits refreshed by these wild places and their stomachs filled with bilberry pie.

Apart from the condescending tone, much here to get one's teeth into:

No More “King Nature” … We Are The Masters Now

They hate to be thought of as landscape gardeners but essentially this is what these conservationists/ecologists/landscape managers are …….. encouraging the species they like, eradicating unfashionable plants and trees with one form or another of weed control……….sometimes with poison, sometimes with surgery and sometimes with direct enforcement using cattle or sheep as proxies supplemented with access control measures like barbed wire.

And as for nature that is now all old hat. The story is that nothing is ’natural’ any more because thousands of years of human intervention has so changed the erstwhile natural balance that if indeed it ever existed it can never be replaced. The advantage of all this to the conservationist/landscape manager is easy to see. Man, they say, will always be necessary to control nature because man’s actions in the past have so distorted things that only man himself can be relied upon to put them right or to act as some kind of arbiter of 'good' and 'bad' nature. So not nature, not God (my God, no!) but it’s a case of “we are the masters now”. The sneering reference to “King Nature” - Orwell would have fastened on that. Once man has been put firmly in charge this is a job opportunity for life. And those in higher education who train the managers can feel secure that they have a role educating suitably qualified candidates who will be sent into the world to seek out all unmanaged plots of land to be restored to the fold. This is essentially what has happened here. The overwheening arrogance of all this is only surpassed by their astonishing faith that anyone will trust humans to manage what they've made such a hash of in the past.

Bob - who are you?

"Herb Robert is held in great estimation by farmers who use it in diseases
of their cattle. ......... commended not only against the stone but to stay
blood........ effectual in old ulcers in the privy parts,
or elsewhere..."


I love the names of wild flowers. But who was Robert?

.............................And while we're at it who was Herb??

All That's Left of a Sheep

A few years ago we saw a sheep near Lenny Hill a long way from the grazing enclosure. Perhaps this is all that's left of it.


How did this Horse Chestnut tree get up here? There are no others nearby. As it's alongside a path I can only assume that a a family party came along including a 10 yr old boy with conkers in his pocket. Unless it was an autumn outing for the local cub pack?

Monday, 21 May 2007

Letting Them Know

No reference here to this being a public open space where people come 'as of right'. Nor of its gift to the city from Alderman Graves. The very word 'welcome' implies that somebody 'up there' is kindly ushering you in and setting you an example of how to behave yourself.

Certainly the odd character might try to drive a motor bike through here, but that type would bother about notices anyway.

Notice that the wildlife trust gets in its own corporate insignia. 'Nature Reserve' is more contentious. At odd times in the last four years I have checked with English Nature and Blacka is not on their list of nature reserves. I wonder whether it could be if recreation is deemed to take precedence over conservation? Because that's what the Charity Commission says.

Short Lived

This sycamore starts each spring with good intentions looking rather grand in its own space. After only a few weeks it succumbs to a rust like infection of the foliage

A Find

I've been vaguely looking for deer antlers for more than a year, not very optimistically. Bertie found this one today and was understandably pleased with himself. Several treats were necessary to persuade him to part with it. The thickness of the shrubs is such that only someone with a snout so close to the ground has much chance of finding one.

He then found several rabbit holes and his day was complete. All before 7.45 am.

Looking at the thing what is most striking is the absence of symmetry. It twists and it's gnarled like the bark of an oak but there's nothing balanced and 'civilised' about it. Disturbing but gratifying in equal measures.

Sunday, 20 May 2007

A Tree of Character

Those who have a hawthorn hedge will know that you can have a difficult relationship with it but that ultimately it can be very rewarding. In this sense it resembles a dominant labrador. Everywhere at the moment single hawthorns are in glorious bloom livening the countryside with splashes of white that prevent the greenness becoming cloying.
My hawthorn hedge was once 15 feet tall. I got it down closer to size slowly year on year until it is now more or less manageable. You know that you're winning when you can go out to trim it in May and find that the flowers are inside the hedge below the line of the cut. Even so like most thorny trees it needs treating with respect.
Some people may not be aware that surprisingly it can also be a great climbing tree. An old specimen like this one will have its thorns mostly well to the outside and the natural twisting growth throws out branches at suitable angles.

Saturday, 19 May 2007

Two Oaks

This I feel sure is English Oak. there are many oaks in the world with slight differences in foliage and other features. But they are not so easy to differentiate.

This seems to be something more exotic.
Turkish Oak perhaps?

Better Than PlayStation 3 (or 4)

Oaks like this one on Lenny Hill are infinitely more fun than any over regulated adventure playground never mind computer games.

Part of the joy of climbing trees is in knowing that it was not put there for you to climb but you’re going to go ahead and do it anyway.

Lenny Hill Oaks

When cattle are brought in to do a job of work on Blacka part of their role will be to eat young trees to prevent them becoming older trees. Usually the tree mentioned as being the target is birch. Many people may not be aware that there is a quantity of young oak and other species which will also probably be eaten.
This is a pity in my view. I still think there is an inevitability about this site eventually progressing to woodland in the long term and that this can be managed with a light touch most effectively by an on-site worker. The deer that have come onto the site in recent years already browse saplings and it's hard to believe that the bovine brigade are the ideal characters to fine tune this process.
There are many saplings like this on Blacka and large numbers on Lenny Hill.

Friday, 18 May 2007

An Unmanaged Hedgerow

Not on Blacka this time , but continuing the theme of managed against unmanaged. I find those things which have gone wild so much more interesting than those which are over managed.

I get the feeling that some people would shake their heads at this overgrown stretch of hedge regretting the lack of a firm hand. But what a glorious sight - all this may blossom reaching up amid holly and cow parsley.

One way of managing hedges these days is go along with the tractor and mash off the top stalks to the level you want it. Another of course is just to dig the whole lot out and use the reclaimed land for crops.

The Most Dangerous Bus Stop?

The stretch of wall, on the opposite side of Hathersage Road from Piper House, regularly finds itself pushed ten feet down into the woods by a motorist misjudging the bend. In the middle of this picture there should be a bus stop. You can still see several of them if you look down through the gap in various stages of destruction surmounted by metal barriers each of which eventually finds itself on top of the others.

I've often considered that I ought to travel up to Blacka by bus. It would be a responsible thing to do. But as this is the bus stop I would use, somehow I don't feel easy about it. Each time I've looked over the the gap I've half expected to see several individuals in a bus queue frozen in time lying in the mud ten feet below.

There are presumably reasons why the highways authority does not take action that seems obvious to the rest of us on this dangerous bend but I've not heard them yet.

Thursday, 17 May 2007

Conservation Through The Looking Glass

'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone,' it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.'
'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.'
'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master - that's all.'

(from Alice Through The Looking Glass)

Absolutes should be avoided. ‘Wild’ and ‘Artificial’ when applied to landscape are best qualified with ‘more’ or ‘less’.

Once Blacka’s largest section was an artificial grouse moor with heather burning and sheep to keep it under control. Over the 70 years since it was given to the people of Sheffield it has become more natural and more wild a change much welcomed by those who choose to visit it.

Sheffield Wildlife Trust’s website is A key outcome of their recent consultation with local people was that Blacka should be a ‘wild landscape with minimal intervention’

So what does this wildlife trust and its backer Natural England decide to do? They decide to enclose it with fencing and other eyesores, to poison scores of mature trees and leave them dead or half-dead yet still standing (as a lesson to other natural phenomena that they must behave or meet a similar fate?), and they institute a farming regime to bring the whole site to heel.


I think we are into postmodernism here where words are deemed to mean their opposites. Humpty Dumpty was probably the original postmodernist.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

The Pleasure of Paths (5)

'The White Canons Path'

In this case the pleasure is less with what's under foot more with the associations and the surroundings. Being the main route through the Blacka site this bridleway gets plenty of use and at times is wide and stony. This is what I call the White Canons' Path because it was the route used by the monks between their farmland at Strawberry Lea and their community home at Beauchief Abbey about three and a half miles away. It would be interesting to know how much, if any, of the route looked like this during the 300 years that the abbey was established from the end of the twelfth century until the dissolution. This could have been the major route in the area but it's hard to believe traffic would have been a problem. Today you can still find peace here amid the greenery, the blossom and the birdsong.

The tower of Beauchief Abbey today

Monday, 14 May 2007

For the Romantics

After heavy rain the stream here is a wild and exciting place to be. Those who travel to spectacular venues in far corners of the world may think it tame stuff. But I'm sure Coleridge and Wordsworth would have found Blacka Dyke this morning to be inspirational.

Did You Drop Something?

Over the last four years litter has increased manyfold. The greatest quantity as you would expect is below the wall that borders the main road. Nobody takes responsibility for collecting this, certainly not the landowners. Seeing as this is not a pleasant place to walk, just yards from the traffic, not many people feel the need to complain or may not even be aware of it.

Plastic bags blowing onto the site after gales endearingly attach themselves to trees, and there's an occasional balloon released from some distant event.

More troubling than this is the increase in drinks containers cast aside considerately by cyclists. I have known cyclists who indignantly deny that this is the responsibility of others who share their mode of propulsion. But its hard to go against direct observation. It seems to go with the activity. I've always thought that the persons who move most slowly are the ones who most respect their surroundings. They live longer with what's around them. It's a truism of modern life that the quicker you're gone the less you're bothered with what you've left behind.

It all seems to bear out what Dalrymple writes this weekend:
The environment is what we all live in, of course, but to judge by their behaviour the British don't think much of it. They can't see an open space, or a landscape, without throwing a plastic bottle or a tin can at it.

Sunday, 13 May 2007

A Perfect Marriage

The fauna and the vegetation are an ideal match. New fresh young trees and lush green undergrowth are just the thing to attract the wildlife that thrives in this setting. Simply looking at it confirms this. No amount of farm and grouse moor management in the past would have produced the excitement of this spring. Another sudden encounter this morning with wild deer and overwhelming explosions of birdsong.

We know this would not have happened like this if the managers had been in control for the last 50 years. And yes we know it's changing and we like change that is natural change, restoring something that was removed when unbalanced management exploited the vegetation for one specialised purpose. And I can put up with bramble and bracken and other minor irritations rather than the huge intrusion of barbed wire and barriers and clipboard-toting managers.

Saturday, 12 May 2007

Weekend Activity

Accustomed to the gentler pace of Monday to Friday, these wild and wonderful animals were disturbed by a Saturday morning jogger.

Running uphill on a stony track seems an extreme
way of starting your weekend. But, once you've done it, presumably all's downhill until Monday morning.