No one asked me to do it; it's something I chose to do.
It attracts lots of birds.
It has also attracted some attention.
I guess if you are an organisation, it must be difficult trying to keep an acceptable balance, when a popular parkland area is used by members of the public, and is also home to the wildlife that lives there.
The wildlife has more than likely been pushed from its previous homes, when that was destroyed to make way for the 'people homes'.
Wildlife that is fast losing it's place in a society that seems hell bent on the destruction and scaring of this planet.
So the balance is made for us, to live side by side.
A sterile countryside, with neatly trimmed bushes and shrubs, Swans gracefully cruising on the lake, and fluffy bunnies scampering beside a fine gravel path.
Caldecotte Lake is quite a popular 'parkland', run by the Parks Trusts, of Milton Keynes. They do a difficult job. Who are they?
'The Parks Trust is the independent charity that owns and cares for many of Milton Keynes parks and green spaces. This adds up to 4,500 acres of river valleys, woodlands, lakesides, parks and landscaped areas alongside the main roads – about 20 percent of the new city area.'
A quote from their web site.
Back to the feeders.
After returning at the weekend, from a few days away in Wales, I found a notice on the tree, by the feeders, from the Parks Trust.
A phone call to Dawn, and a meeting was arranged to discuss them.
The feeders have attracted some unwanted vermin, not just the kind that do this,
but the furry kind, with four legs.
Rats that live in the park, and probably go unnoticed by most people that visit. Unnoticed like most of the wildlife that tries to live here.
Now Dawn was a very sensible young woman. I must make this clear; she had a difficult job here...............meet the loony who is putting up bird feeders in a public area, and which has caused concern, and complaints, from members of the public that use this park.
So, how do we solve the problem, and keep everyone happy; including the birds, that are about to face another winter, and a possible food shortage?
The rats have a few tunnels by the footbridge, and have lived there for some time.
We inspected the area of the feeders, and found a few rat holes nearby. The rats have a ready made food source, inadvertently supplied by me, unfortunately, so they've set up home closer. Sensible, when you think about it.
Dawn suggested that by removing the fat balls; and their biggest high energy food source, hopefully they would move on.
"What about the seed feeders?" I asked.
"They can stay for now. We'll monitor the situation."
"Shall I take the fat balls down now?"
"No, let the birds finish them, but don't replace them."
That seemed pretty fair to me. Everything stays the same......for now.
Well, not quite everything.
The picnic table.
I've been putting seed on the picnic table by the car park; the one the other visitors to the park burnt a hole in with a BBQ.It really should be for people to sit down, enjoy a rest, and maybe have a sandwich.
Or carve bits out of it, to while away the time.
I agreed not to use it as a giant bird table.
So a productive meeting, and good to meet someone from the organisation that does its best to maintain the park for everyone.
I'd like to say a big thank you to Dawn, for being understanding, helpful, and not a monster.
One final thought though; I do hope the members of the public that were horrified to see a few rats living in the country, and not near their lovely homes, never have to witness a male swan, fighting another, over territory..........or watch a couple of Great Crested Grebes, trying to drown each other, for the same reason................or a Heron, taking a duckling for lunch............or, well, you get the idea.
Nature isn't always how some of us would like to believe it is.
It would be terrible to have to live in a Disney world, and not the real one.
Normal post tomorrow, hopefully.
Enjoy the rest of your day, and the nature around you. The way the world is going, it might not be there to enjoy one day.