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Post Info TOPIC: PENNINGTON FLASH. Issues & Concerns


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PENNINGTON FLASH. Issues & Concerns


I went all through that last year Ian, even involved the Council, had an apology from the Fire officer. Then it happens again???? I have reported it to the three council people who have responsibility at the flash.

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David Shallcross



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colin davies wrote:

Leigh fire and rescue on maneouveres at Pennington Flash today, including the rescue of these two from in front of Ramsdales hide. Why do they have to do it on the nature reserve part of the flash?





Put a formal complaint into the Officer in Charge of Leigh Fire Station (it can be posted directly to the station) as it needs to be logged and obviously what was learned from the last time it happened has not been cascaded down to the other watches or indeed stations involved. They will take action to prevent this from happening but it must be logged officially. Unfortunately, the movement of personnel within the service is such that such local information may be lost simply due to new crews being involved each time and the necessity to train and shortages of sites to do so within the county make Pennington an ideal location.

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colin davies wrote:

Leigh fire and rescue on maneouveres at Pennington Flash today, including the rescue of these two from in front of Ramsdales hide. Why do they have to do it on the nature reserve part of the flash?


They did the same last year except they stood on the end of the spit :( but to be truthful wherever on the flash you did this training,some birds will be disturbed ,at least it is hopefully just one day .  



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Leigh fire and rescue on maneouveres at Pennington Flash today, including the rescue of these two from in front of Ramsdales hide. Why do they have to do it on the nature reserve part of the flash?



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Hi Volunteers, our next working party will be on Tuesday 15th November, 9-30 on the car park near to the toilet block. We will continue with the final part of the Birch and Willow removal from the Bickershaw ruck bank, above the lagoon. This piece of work is being done to hopefully encourage wild flower/plant growth.

As before it would be helpful if you could bring bow saws & loppers.



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Hi Volunteers, Monday 17th is the day 9-30 car park near center , I have parking passes. We will be removing birch saplings from an area near the lagoon on the ruck overlooking the flash. it's a good butterfly area but is being over grown with trees. Loppers and bow saws please, if you can bring your own it would help. Pengy's Hide work postponed.



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Thanks Craig for this message,this is so disappointing as only last week Joan Disley and I brought up the need for mowing of certain areas but at the correct time. I'll ring about it on Monday.

 

With Pennington i feel i'm banging my head against a brick wall, 

 

I posted John Tymon's post to the important people at the Council / Pennington and will do the same with this.

 

Please also report all incidences to the Golf Shop and they will log it.



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FAO Dave Shallcross

Whilst on the South Side today I noticed that most of the wildflower meadows have been left to become rank and overgrown, however one meadow that still looks like its mown to within an inch of its life, and now has a picnic bench stuck in the middle of it is the one where all the Bee Orchids used to be. Any chance you think the Council could A) move the bench and B) Mow it a bit more sympathetically? If I remember right, this meadow used to have approx. 100 Bee Orchids in it and it would be a shame to lose them - if they've not already been lost.

-- Edited by Craig Higson on Saturday 8th of October 2016 09:54:55 PM

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People are again fishing In ramsdales reedbed today totally emptying Ramsdales scrapes and the top end of Ramsdales at one point nearly 600 duck were in the Air with Nowhere to land :( without rangers to watch over the flash the place will just degenerate ,its a shame to see it like this :(

-- Edited by JOHN TYMON on Saturday 8th of October 2016 09:14:15 PM

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Good weather arrived for our first day as volunteers at Pennington Flash, the previous few days had been very wet and most of the paths and hides were under water. We werent able to do any work on the feeding station bird tables and perches, as the water had almost reached the table tops.

 

What we did do is: clean down the inside of the Bunting hide and wash and disinfect the seating and shelves with Jeyes Fluid, we carried out fence repairs and renewals to the Bunting Hide approach, and mended the gate latch.

We cut down overhanging tree branches and did some thinning out in the surrounding woodland. Some of the gang went on a litter pick around the site but concentrated their time around the lagoon on Ramsdales Ruck.

 

Many thanks to 19 of the group who could make it today, and to Mr Graham Workman Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles / Development Manager - Biodiversity,  for his advice on habitat maintenance and the provision of equipment.

 

Thanks also to Jeff park ranger for his cooperation today.

 

Thanks also to Michael Fishwick, Greenspace Development Officer. for supplying equipment and wire fencing.

 

Our next work day will be Saturday 3rd September

8am till 11 am

 

Bringing your own hand tools is always helpful but not essential.

 

 

 https://www.facebook.com/groups/LOSpenningtonflashvolunteers/

 

Up date sent to LEIGH O S members, Pennington Flash Volunteers and Council officials.

If you don't want these updates just let me know and ill remove your name. Hello everyone, first of all thank you to all who attended the first meeting this morning, or sent their apologies.

We talked about what we will be doing as volunteers around the site, what we won't be doing & health & safety.

We have a plan of action, initially to carry out tasks around the Nature Reserve and hides most of them are in a shocking state and are totally unhygienic. (not a great welcome to Leigh for visitors) It was noticed that over the last few weeks all hide maintenance has stopped, the supply of seed to the Bunting hide also, we will explore why this has happened.

Martyn Jones offered to set up a dedicated Facebook page for the group, and by magic he's done it already L.O.S. Pennington Flash Volunteer Group We will commence work on Tuesday 23 rd August and will meet on the car park as close as we can to the visitors center.

By this time i hope to have arranged free parking passes with the council and obtained some P.P.E. for you to ware.

But always come equipped with weather proof clothing and boots etc. A reminder will be sent out the week before.

PS since of meeting our group now numbers 36. David Shallcross Chairman,



-- Edited by David Shallcross on Tuesday 23rd of August 2016 03:47:43 PM



-- Edited by David Shallcross on Tuesday 23rd of August 2016 03:48:06 PM



-- Edited by David Shallcross on Tuesday 23rd of August 2016 03:48:29 PM



-- Edited by David Shallcross on Tuesday 23rd of August 2016 03:49:11 PM

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Up date sent to LEIGH O S members, Pennington Flash Volunteers and Council officials.

If you don't want these updates just let me know and ill remove your name. Hello everyone, first of all thank you to all who attended the first meeting this morning, or sent their apologies.

We talked about what we will be doing as volunteers around the site, what we won't be doing & health & safety.

We have a plan of action, initially to carry out tasks around the Nature Reserve and hides most of them are in a shocking state and are totally unhygienic. (not a great welcome to Leigh for visitors) It was noticed that over the last few weeks all hide maintenance has stopped, the supply of seed to the Bunting hide also, we will explore why this has happened.

Martyn Jones offered to set up a dedicated Facebook page for the group, and by magic he's done it already L.O.S. Pennington Flash Volunteer Group We will commence work on Tuesday 23 rd August and will meet on the car park as close as we can to the visitors center.

By this time i hope to have arranged free parking passes with the council and obtained some P.P.E. for you to ware.

But always come equipped with weather proof clothing and boots etc. A reminder will be sent out the week before.

PS since of meeting our group now numbers 32. David Shallcross Chairman,



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David Shallcross



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Leigh Ornithological Society (formed 1971)   
 
 
Hello if you offered to do some maintenance at Pennington Flash, this is an update on were we are up to.
 
I had a third meeting with council officials yesterday and finally it was agreed we could make a start on some meaningful but simple tasks.
 
We will be concentrating our efforts initially on the actual designated Nature Reserve.
 
The first project being the Bunting hide clean up, the feeding station layout and strimming, re-wire the fences to prevent off lead dogs going through to the birds.
 
we will start in 3-4 weeks.   
 
 
Before that i'd like to have a short meeting to talk through what we can do together as a team, to list your individual skills,(if any) to take contact information in case of emergency, to hear your concerns about the Flash, and your ideas on ways to solve them. (can we meet this Saturday 23 July 10 am on the car park top end away from the visitors center)
 
It would be most helpful if you could write down  your name and emergency contact details, to hand in to me on the day. 
 
David Shallcross
Chairman, 

 



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Pennington Flash, the spit has been neglected this year as the weed control wasn't done and the Bunting Hide was like a tropical rain forest today, the vegetation is very high. I had a meeting this afternoon with 3 officers from Wigan Council, to discuss the sites future and how we as nature enthusiasts could help. It is now agreed to plan and go forward with an LOS volunteer group. This will still take a little time to set up for health and safety's sake alone. Some time ago i ask for people to let me know if they could give some time to this, to which i had an encouraging response, if you are still interested please let me know.



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Colin thanks for your reports, they are of use and have helped bring much needed notice to Council officials



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Sorry to continually be the harbinger of doom, but there were at least 3 people in the Teal hide early afternoon who were intimidating enough to make me decide to not go in. They were men in their mid-twenties, one sitting in the doorway, a second on a bench in the hide but looking through the door not the window and a third out of sight inside the hide. Music was blasting out of the hide and when I approached the one in the dooway said to the others "Here's a guy with binoculars". That was enough to make me decide to turn back. Obviously none of them had binoculars and they were clearly not birders. I didn't see any beer but it wouldn't have surprised me if they had some.

 



-- Edited by colin davies on Wednesday 27th of April 2016 09:09:50 PM

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Two people in front of Horrock's hide on the Spit this evening. Some canoes had moved out a bit by the time I got my camera out and waited for them to emerge from behind the trees, but they were initially right up to the reeds.

Anglers frequently in Ramsdales, canoes right up to the reeds in the western end and people walking on the Spit, no part of the flash is free from disturbance. It's as often as every other evening now I see people somewhere they shouldn't be. Pennington Flash is no longer a nature reserve, it's a place where wildlife clings on despite the activities of people. Sad to see its demise.

 

 



-- Edited by colin davies on Friday 22nd of April 2016 09:33:03 PM

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Two canoes right up to the reeds in the western end this evening flushed everything. I don't know if they are allowed to go this far, but I've never seen them there before.



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i will be organising some volunteer work days in the near future, if you can give a few hours now and then please let me know. i'll add you to my list and contact you before hand.

Work will be nothing madly physical as i'm approaching 70 and intend to pitch in best i can.  

email me: leighos.chairman@gmail.com



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some points from a discussion i had with mr M Fishwick last Thursday.  PLEASE REPORT issues to Him:_

Hello David,

 Please find below the bullet points from last weeks meeting.

 

·         Supply LOS with litter pickers, high viz vests, gloves, bin bags and RA for ad hoc litter picks.

·         Supply LOS with stock netting, fencing pliers, gloves, safety glasses and RA for ongoing minor fence repairs.

·         Review bird feeding locations within the reserve with LOS preferring a phased reduction to one feeding location (Bunting Hide).

·         Return cages over feeders to deter squirrels.

·         Propose Bunting hide tidy up as Council Volunteer project in partnership with LOS.

·         Look at s106 (public open space) monies for habitat management.

·         Discuss Pennington Flash projects with Community Reparation.

·         Work on the screen has started.

·         Only use whole peanuts within the feeders.

 

Regarding litter, it was felt that the reserve as a whole was kept free of litter, the situation along Pennington Line was unknown

 

Illegal angling has reared its head again, no angling signage is still in place, I will pick this up with the EA and the angling club.

 

Regards

 

Michael

 

Michael Fishwick
Greenspace Development Officer
Resources Directorate

Wigan Council

Leisure and Property Division
Town Hall,

Wigan WN1 3DS
486908

www.wigan.gov.uk
www.twitter.com/wigancouncil
www.facebook.com/WiganCouncilOnline



-- Edited by David Shallcross on Monday 11th of April 2016 07:39:42 PM

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JOHN TYMON wrote:

Reports again today of people fishing from the islands in Ramsdale scrapes all afternoon -Its a crying shame what happening at Penny at the moment :(

 




Its why I don't go anywhere near as often John. Its heartbreaking watching the site turn into a complete mess.

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Reports again today of people fishing from the islands in Ramsdale scrapes all afternoon -Its a crying shame what happening at Penny at the moment :(

 



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Wigan have installed a steel height bar & gate just before the bridge

Hopefully that will keep the travellers out

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David Shallcross wrote:

Hi John i'm just back from two weeks away, i will send your comments to the people at Wigan who need to know. But please always report things of this nature to the golf shop people as a start, it needs to logged if nothing else.


Cheers Dave

It Was reported to the person onsite about the fishermen, im sure everyone knows about the Mink as they have been seen by everyone in the last few weeks ,so the onsite people will im sure have been told by the people who can get there every day - Bill ,Barry  etc who speak to them in the hides. I think theres quite a few Mink as they are being seen all over the place at almost the same times.

cheers John



-- Edited by JOHN TYMON on Sunday 27th of March 2016 04:40:13 PM

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Hi John i'm just back from two weeks away, i will send your comments to the people at Wigan who need to know. But please always report things of this nature to the golf shop people as a start, it needs to logged if nothing else.



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RE: PENNINGTON FLASH. Issues & Concerns


Bad news for the Ground nesting birds at Pennington ,A large adult Mink has been seen at the front of Horrocks Hide twice this week cry

 



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RE: PENNINGTON FLASH. Issues & Concerns


I know how you feel John, there same frustrations on Bickershaw Rucks but with off road vehicles not fishing

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RE: PENNINGTON FLASH. Issues & Concerns


Gordon Newman wrote:

Again 3 teenagers fishing in Ramsdales actuallly in the water @ 17.15. can the access path not be blocked?


They were wading into Ramsdales all weekend ,I did report it to the person on site from the council, as far as I can see ,there's very little else we can do, if the council don't have people to protect the nature reserve and the fishing club ,don't police where people fish apart from a few temporary signs that have been in 6 months, its becoming a losing battle . The Illegal fishermen know they shouldn't be there ,but they know ,no one will do anything ,so they carry on.



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RE: PENNINGTON FLASH. Issues & Concerns


Again 3 teenagers fishing in Ramsdales actuallly in the water @ 17.15. can the access path not be blocked?

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Someone fishing on the islands off ramsdales scrape moved all  the birds from ramsdales and scrape area. reported later to a Wigan metro employee



-- Edited by JOHN TYMON on Saturday 12th of March 2016 07:07:02 PM

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Good to see them gone,

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Travellers have now left great clean up job by wigan council well done back to normal. :)



-- Edited by JOHN TYMON on Monday 7th of March 2016 01:24:39 PM

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Car park 3 quarters full of caravans again yhe travellers are back

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As mentioned before - I sent an email to my local councillors and MP about the state of country parks in Wigan. To be fair my Councillor has come up against a bit of a wall, but my MP did forward my letter to Wigan Leisure Culture Trust (or whatever it is called now). The first reply I found a little weak, and so responded back. The second reply was better but still, in my opinion left a few questions unanswered. The guy from WLCT (not Graham Workman - think it was his boss) did say he was happy for me to share his response here, but unfortunately I seem to have binned it with some other mail - if I manage to find it I'll see if Ian can come up with a way to share it. However in essence he said that there were plans to do 'stuff' to improve the state of the parks, however cuts have made it very difficult.

Personally I'd encourage everyone to write to their Councillors and MP's, as the only way to make the the situation better is to get the council to change how much cash they are willing to spend.

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There have been Few issues at Pennington the last few days .3 people 20 - 25 year olds so not kids, building some sort of camp or screen with reeds in ramsdales reed bed today my guess for night fishing also some of the temp no fishing signs ripped down, and in ramsdale hide the wheelchair part was vandalised yesterday and ripped out of the wall. I propped it back up , but no one about to report to my guess the same people building the camp using it for shelter have vandelised it.Be careful if your in that area late at night at the moment. >

-- Edited by JOHN TYMON on Sunday 21st of February 2016 03:30:40 PM

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David Shallcross wrote:

Good point John, the hide is mainly close because of the charts and info on the walls that have been vandalised in the past.

I will mention it at PFUG meeting in early February

P.S. I think there is a clause in the contract between the council and the the providers, that it be used for educational purposes only ????? will check it out



-- Edited by David Shallcross on Sunday 31st of January 2016 09:23:56 AM



Cheers Dave It was open for the first 10 years, so not sure what made the change come about, and I know vandals can wreck things ,but as a whole ,it seems a waste to have such a good Hide not being used, as I haven't seen it used why ive been there for a few years now . :)

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Good point John, the hide is mainly close because of the charts and info on the walls that have been vandalised in the past.

I will mention it at PFUG meeting in early February

P.S. I think there is a clause in the contract between the council and the the providers, that it be used for educational purposes only ????? will check it out



-- Edited by David Shallcross on Sunday 31st of January 2016 09:23:56 AM

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It would be good if both parts of teal Hide could again be opened every day like it used to be ,It seems a shame to have such a large hide always closed ,to be used just a few times a year by school parties. Yesterday there were plenty looking for the Bittern at the teal Hide ,but unfortunately no seats and there were quite a few older people standing at the back trying to view when next door there's a 18 foot empty hide with plenty seats available.confuse

-- Edited by JOHN TYMON on Sunday 31st of January 2016 09:09:22 AM

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Travellers again this pm, though not as many as previously. Half the CP is unusable, plenty of rubbish, wouldn't feel safe parking there if it weren't busy

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A recent donation of bird food and feeders was gratefully received from Paul Brady, this will help with the huge cost of food used throught the year. Thank you Paul and the RSPB 



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David Shallcross wrote:

day two done thanks Joan Disley and Eric Munro, they struggled to get near the Bunting hide tables....water over the welly tops.

Ok Bird feeding done at Pennington, now it's Christmas Ho Ho Ho

some of us will be out Christmas morning delivering the birds presents at Pennington, thanks and happy Christmas to everyone who offered their help with this.smile


 



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some of us will be out Christmas morning delivering the birds presents at Pennington, thanks and happy Christmas to everyone who offered their help with this.smile



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David Shallcross wrote:

A very ingenious device Paul, thanks for highlighting it. And Pennington can always use free bird seed, the bill at the moment is over £100 a month


 I'll see what I can do but cant promise anything ....



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A very ingenious device Paul, thanks for highlighting it. And Pennington can always use free bird seed, the bill at the moment is over £100 a month



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At Burton Mere we used these http://shopping.rspb.org.uk/birds-wildlife/bird-feeders/squirrel-buster-mini-seed-feeder.html

There are well built and lasted for a number of years, the squirrels tried but could not get large amounts of seed out, combined with a baffle and a location out of jumping reach it worked very well at reducing the amount of squirrels at the feeding station AND the amount of food they were getting from them.

I may be able to get you them at a reduced price too and maybe even some free bird seed .......



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Interesting discussion! I can quite see that culling has huge practical problems - and I sympathise with Ian's point of view that we were the ones who created the problem.


Replacing the cages over the tables has to be the simplest option. As far as photography is concerned it's far more rewarding to grab opportunities to photograph birds when they alight on branches and tree trunks on the way to and from the tables, looking much more natural.


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A great contribution to this topic by all, thanks.

I'm sure a humane principle to the problem is what we all want, and I will put the idea of specialist type feeders and baffles to the next PFUG meeting.

Although i suspect it will be turned down on the  "funding problem" line.  But the problem may disappear on its own, as the provision of food by the council could be withdrawn at some point, leaving only the L.O.S. contribution, which will cover about a month.

i'm sure other contribution would be well received.



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Ideally, I'd like to see the squirrels dispatched. However, there are just too many problems with this:

- PF as a whole probably hosts hundreds, and removing say 20 from the feeding area would just create a vacuum for the others to fill. Removing them from the whole site is just not practical. The other site I mentioned is fairly isolated & gated, so a culling programme on the day it's closed can be effective

- the law is strict about capturing squirrels. Once captured, they must be dispatched soon, and ONLY by a blow to the head or by shooting in the trap, or done by a vet. Drowning them is illegal. Re-releasing them is illegal (as pointed out earlier)

- shooting them is plausible, but gun laws & public places do not mix well, even if you have the appropriate licences. There's always a chance the police & therefore an ARU team might get interested (as an aside, a certain Yorkshire ringer I know reported some guys to the police - they were shooting Canada's, and didn't expect a helicopter ARU to intervene. Extra laundry needed, I suspect)

- kiddies love them, but could see them elsewhere. Ok, but if the press got wind of a culling programme ...

- poisoning doesn't seem to be practical any more, and handling poisons & dealing with poisoned animals is not easy. And what about scavengers such as foxes ...

More info here:
http://www.rsne.org.uk/squirrels-and-law
http://basc.org.uk/game-and-gamekeeping/advice-and-fact-sheets/basc-grey-squirrel-control

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sid ashton wrote:
Ian McKerchar wrote:

............With a little effort and some ingenuity surely more squirrel proof solutions for mitigating a loss of seed could be found rather than attempting to eradicate the 'problem'; a 'problem' which will certainly continue regardless as other squirrels move in to take over the vacant territories anyway. Shouldn't we at least try a longer term alternative first?...........


 With a little bit of ingenuity I am sure that an RSPB tilting squirrel baffle could be adapted to fit on the poles that hold the bird tables, thus hopefully preventing the squirrels actually getting to the food from below.


I totally agree Sid, we have a squirrel baffle on our feeders at work, it's a perspex round one that doubles as a seed tray above. Despite having loads of incredibly persistent Squirrels not a single one has ever got up the pole to the feeders due to this baffle smile This sort can fit on most poles without much difficulty, we recently transferred it from our old feeder to our new one & the set up is of a different make, the common thing is they are both single poles with hooks at the top which the feeders hang off. A bit of gaffer tape andthe fitting was adapted so that the baffle still fits and works smile



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Ian McKerchar wrote:

............With a little effort and some ingenuity surely more squirrel proof solutions for mitigating a loss of seed could be found rather than attempting to eradicate the 'problem'; a 'problem' which will certainly continue regardless as other squirrels move in to take over the vacant territories anyway. Shouldn't we at least try a longer term alternative first?...........


 With a little bit of ingenuity I am sure that an RSPB tilting squirrel baffle could be adapted to fit on the poles that hold the bird tables, thus hopefully preventing the squirrels actually getting to the food from below.



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I'm with Ian on this one.
Controlling vermin through lethal methods isn't always effective.
The eradication of rats on St Agnes and Gugh (Scilly) has worked because they've been able to kill EVERY rat.
A neighbour once illegally trapped squirrels who kept eating his bird food and trashing the small feeding station in his garden.
Even worse he illegally released them.
However, within days his feeders had been destroyed again
Shooting the squirrels around the feeders won't work because other squirrels will move into the vacant territory.
In my humble opinion, squirrel-proofing the feeders is the only way to prevent food going to the wrong recipients.

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