Wednesday, 23 July 2014

That Time of Year

On Monday one of the ditches that sit between the reserve and the neighbouring farmland looked like this and along it's length was home to several pairs of still nesting Reed Warblers.

 On the same day the machinery working for the Lower Medway Internal Drainage Board turned and begun it's annual ditch cutting across a large amount of Harty marshes............

 .....the top photo now looks like this - goodbye Reed Warbler nests!

When I wrote to the LMIDB a few years ago and remonstrated with them over the amount of Reed Warbler nests that they must destroy as the meandered across the reed beds of Harty with their JCB,asking them to delay the cutting for just four weeks, they showed little sympathy. Their excuse for doing it at this time of the year was that because they had to access the ditch tops via the arable land,  that it had to be done immediately after the crops had been harvested and before the fields were re-sown.
I guess as it's that time of year, the next thing that we can look forward to is the Environment Agency destroying all forms of wildlife along the sea wall of the reserve by mowing the long vegetation back tight to the soil.


  1. Isn't this illegal, to knowingly destroy active birds' nests?? If you can provide evidence that they knew about this - for example, you have evidence that told them and they carried on anyway in a reckless way - you should contact the police and get them prosecuted, along with contacting the local press and generally kicking up a fuss - otherwise this'll happen repeatedly. These organisations need to show responsibility and can't just ride roughshod over "inconvenient" wildlife protection. Failing that, stand in front of the bastards so they can't proceed.

  2. Trying to halt a government body that is carrying out "essential" work, especially after last winter's flooding, can be very difficult as a lone agent. While I was very certain that the several pairs of Reed Warblers were still breeding there, to convince either the LMIDB or the police would need me to actually show them any nests, something that would involve me wading through dense reed beds and water trying to pinpoint any - sorry that's just not practical.
    I still feel, looking at the dryness of the ground and the unlikely event of any new seed germinating in the next few weeks, that the work could be delayed for a couple more weeks but the company also argue that this then means that the plant is late getting over to the mainland to do the same work there.

  3. Maybe now is the time for the KOS or NNR to come to the help of the "Lone Ranger" in order that this may be avoided again next year. A simple letter is all that is needed not a digitised version !!!

  4. If you could get film footage of the nests, or as Mike H suggests, if someone from another organization could do a nest survey, say the week before, this would all count as evidence. I don't think the only acceptable evidence is physically showing the police the nests.