Friday, 31 October 2008
My simple phrase to describe these deer is 'right for the landscape'. Richard Jefferies uses the splendid word autochthon from the Greek, roughly translated as 'springing from the soil'.
Thursday, 30 October 2008
Wednesday, 29 October 2008
We pointed out the clear grassy ground under these birches, one of the few places free from bracken. Now they've cut the birch and two to three years hence it'll be covered with bracken. The problem is that when you point all this out to them it's hard to adopt a suitable tone. You feel you're being rotten to children and taking away their toys, or like criticising a class of thirteen year olds who've been allowed to choose a project of their own on a quiet Friday afternoon. Responsibility doesn't seem to be part of their world.
Tuesday, 28 October 2008
Whenever I've found hinds on Blacka there have been two with one that much larger than the other, almost leading to the thought that the one is the offspring of the other, but apparently the same two were seen in the summer. The vegetation of the Lee Valley where they spend much time makes it hard to explore in July and August so once more we've had no chance of looking for calves. Annoying though this is for potential explorers and photographers there's no doubt that these secret places help to give Blacka its special character.
Monday, 27 October 2008
Saturday, 25 October 2008
Friday, 24 October 2008
The pastures have never seemed so full of fungi doubtless due to the wet summer now behind us and just before a promised cold snap. At times it is hard to avoid walking on them.
As usual up here it's the waxcaps that catch the attention with Meadow Waxcap being the most interesting in shape and variation even though one of the more common of them.
But there are many others not so easy for the novice to identify with certainty.
Coming down to explore the wilder parts not visited since early summer, a group of deer were enjoying the sun while sheltered from the brisk wind and partly hidden by trees. Two were hinds including this one shyly watching us, while the dominant stag, never far away, was lying unconcerned only his antlers betraying his presence.
Later, on our way back the sun had risen and it was possible to see him better now clearly heading for home.
Thursday, 23 October 2008
Today's comparative gloom did manage to lift briefly as the clouds parted to allow a few seconds of brightness.
Wednesday, 22 October 2008
The PDNPA has decided to offer a partnership role to an organisation who will manage the estate on behalf of the national park. This kind of thing is not very different to what has happened in Sheffield where the council gave large parts of its countryside assets to Sheffield Wildlife Trust on a lease. In the case of the Eastern Moors estate the PDNPA has put the management out to tender. Two consortiums are bidding. One is the RSPB with the National Trust and the other is SWT along with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust. Nobody who knows anything about SWT on Blacka can have any wish for them to be involved in any further stretches of our countryside in this way. They are simply not competent.
Having found out about this process quite late in the day, the first thing that concerns us is the vision that the potential manager will be expected to implement. This vision can be seen here. There are some things in this statement I might approve of but where is the accountability at this stage? Was there wide consultation in defining this vision? Perhaps there was, but if so why were we not aware of it and able to participate in its formulation? And reading the text it's obvious that the issue of consultation has again been fudged. The part of the document that deals with consultation makes no sense whatsoever, viz:
The brackets just confuse the issue. Who is being consulted? Are the public who know and use these areas involved? What else is being consulted on? How did this get into print when it's logically absurd?"Continued consultation both in house (and with statutory bodies such as EH when appropriate) regarding management works (such as burning, flailing, heather cutting and scrape creation)."
Tuesday, 21 October 2008
The only serious eyesore in the area is the powerline thoughtlessly routed through here many years ago.