Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Tackling the BEAR

I have made a formal request by email, and also on their website to BEAR Scotland to have the Bridge rails painted ASAP. Considering our Councillors have tried for 4 years to have the bridge rails painted, I would have thought they should have held them to their homepage opening statement on the BEAR website as follows : "BEAR Scotland Limited is an integrated service provider in the Scottish roads sector. We pride ourselves on providing a first rate service to our clients based on the whole-hearted commitment of our employees, our flexible approach, our breadth of experience and our operational capability. With offices and highly skilled people located throughout the country, we are best placed to adapt our business to anticipate and exceed the needs of our clients and build lasting partnerships."

My email request to BEAR this morning was as follows : Dear Sir,

I understand that you are the Nairn Contact for BEAR road maintenance etc.

I look after the welfare of the Nairn Swans and river wildlife on the lower river Nairn. Yesterday and in recent months we have nearly had two fatalities due to Swans hitting the A96 Bridge railings and crash landing on the road.

I think the reason for this is partly due to the low visibility of the rusty railings which merge into the background of surrounding trees and buildings.

I understand BEAR are responsible for the maintenance of the bridge and railings. I formerly request that you paint the railings in High visibility Silver or white Paint ASAP, something the Swans can easily see when trying to fly over the bridge.

Enclosed photos I took yesterday after the near fatal crash landing on the bridge A96 road.

Because of the high trees and buildings either side of the bridge, the swans have no alternative but to fly over the bridge, hence the reason for High Visibility railings.

The Nairn Swans are an integral part of the Nairn tourist attractions, and the local population would be very upset and irate if they were to be killed due to your lack of bridge maintenance !
I understand you have been asked several times over the last few years to have this maintenance carried out but have failed to do so.

I will have no hesitation in going to the local press and airing my views on my website if you ignore this formal request.

Yours Sincerely,

Joe Telfer (River Nairn Wildlife Carer)

Additionally I filled out their online report a problem page- in a similar vein as above, also pointing out that a Swan crashing onto the road could result in a serious vehicle accident too !

I await their response.


birder said...

Much as I'm sure everyone is sad to hear about the plight of the swans, they flew over the bridge railings and onto the road. The railings, painted or not are not a problem, had they flown into them I would have said differently. Thank goodness there wasn't a lorry going past at the time

The swans really need to be encouraged to inhabit the river nearer the sea, that might help the problem

jayteescot1 said...

You are obviously not a birder, and not aware of our river or exactly what happened. I saw what happened, one of the pair did hit a lorry, which was just to the left out of shot, it was a miracle it did not break a wing or worse. Two months ago another swan hit the railings and crashed onto the road.

The railings have to be cleared when flying into the wind from that direction, the birds have no alternative if the wind is blowing from a southerly direction.
Many visiting swans fly over the bridge in the course of the year. If they are chased by the resident swans between the two bridges they are limited as to the height they can achieve over a short distance. Any obstruction whether it be power lines or railings that blend into the background are dangerous, and need to be easily seen to be avoided ! The swans do inhabit the entire tidal area of the river btw.