Thursday, 2 February 2012

What Price Pruning ?

In spite of my email plea to the council, they were again out yesterday making a dogs dinner out of the shrubs and bushes that the small birds need. With the freezing temperatures the small birds need all the help they can get to survive the Winter. Although I emailed the man in charge of the clearances.

Dear Mr Fraser,

Further to my previous email regarding shrub clearance,
I understand you are the manager in charge of this department.

I note that your workmen have continued clearing the shrubs near the seating area at the harbour .
Several people have approached me, complaining about this being done to the detriment of the birds that they enjoy seeing there.

Could this not have waited another month or so, given the numerous small birds the shelter and habitat that they rely on ?

As a public service I am disappointed that you ignored my previous request and did not even respond to my email ?

If memory serves me right, I believe Nairn's Logo is "Nairn Naturally".

Promoting Nairn as a place to view the natural world can be lauded - actively destroying bird habitat at the wrong time of year is something I'm sure the council can avoid doing !

Could you please explain the reason for clearing this area right now rather than next month ?

Yours Sincerely

I only got one reply from Sandy Park as follows :

John Fraser and his men have to get on with general maintenance at this time of year I know you are passionate about the river but John has to get on with the work if the work is not done now the birds would soon be thinking of nest sites.

My Reply to this today was :

Dear Sandy,

Thanks for the response.
I can appreciate that park and ground maintenance has to be done sometime.

From local experience of this particular area, I know that many people sit at those benches and feed the sparrows and derive a great deal of pleasure from them. Hence the reason some have complained to me about their loss of habitat at this time.
The birds will not be nesting until March at the earliest, whereas Winter is still upon us and they need the cover now.

All I ask is a little bit of thought and consideration of the impact of cutting dense cover on the wildlife, and to do this particular task at a less harmful time for them.
The local wildlife is important to a great many locals, and they wish to see this preserved and enhanced wherever possible.
I am sure the council workmen have other things they could be doing instead.

Sincerely Joe.

Seriously, I am not nit picking over this issue , and find it ironic that I heard on the highland news this morning about lack of finances and manpower for filling in potholes etc ! YET they can manage to have 3 or 4 men decimating the shrubs and bushes over several days. I am no genius on local government management, but this is the sort of thing that gets the general population really annoyed and asking if things could be managed better ?

Meanwhile the cold weather is affecting all the wildlife along the river, and the poor sparrows that relied on those shrubs and bushes have had to move elsewhere now that the area is exposed to predators and the shelter is gone. Above some pics of the harbour Sparrow population and their bushes - no more cheerful chirping, now they have been removed by the heavy hand of local government !

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