East Wickham Conservation Volunteers, meeting on 15th July 2014, minuted that they were ‘….. very disappointed that habitat has been destroyed at the Highbanks entrance (to East Wickham Open Space). A few weeks ago it was completely cut down on the wrong side of the telegraph poles put there to prevent such a thing happening again as it had many times in the past. This was a thriving habitat for nesting whitethroats, peacock butterflies and myriad other wildlife besides.’
They report that ‘There has been no apology or reason given for this; we are at a loss to know how to prevent it happening again.’
Unfortunately this sort of incompetence, even where discussions have been had with the Council, and cutting lines agreed – or even marked – is an all too common occurrence. The same sort of thing happened on the Council part of Barnehurst Golf course last year, but the matter was raised with Parks, Nature Conservation & Community Officer, Mark Taylor, and the error hasn’t been repeated (so far) this year. We need teams of people versed in the finer points of nature conservation and horticulture who know what they’re looking at, and who don’t just wade in indiscriminately with various cutting devices as soon as they see something more than 3″ tall. But the Council aren’t prepared to pay for that quality, and even if they thought there was political support for doing so from the Bexley populace, the Government’s caps would get in the way anyhow. The solution is probably ‘managing’ a lot less vegetation, and doing a far better job where it actually needs to be done.
The EWOS team reports that there appears to have been little trouble with motorbikes recently. Two damaged seats have been replaced and a plaque fixed to the Green Chain Seat.
A butterfly survey and litter picking event was scheduled for 20th July, but BexleyWildlife.org only heard about it afterwards …….