Monday, 25 May 2015

No way! This is not acceptable.

A trashed pathway - more needs to be done than one or two signs being put up.  
Off road vehicles that use public rights of way that are not open to them, has been an issue for as long as I can remember, but in some places this abuse is reaching such a level, that rather ironically, you ideally need a combination amphibious / 4 wheel drive craft to negotiate some of these paths!

I was up and out early again this morning, as it is the time of year when surveys of all sorts kick in and dry sunny mornings just can’t be allowed to pass, while one dozes away in bed. Absolutely not a problem however, as I adore this time of year, especially the first 3 hours of daylight which are so magical.

My bird survey took me through some wonderful ancient semi-natural woodland, bluebells just beginning to go over, roe deer barking alarm calls as I quietly walked along the narrow path, whispering the great array of species seen and heard into my Dictaphone, to be written up at a later stage.

Eventually my little path joined a larger track-way, which I have to say resembled some of the tank roadways that I have seen criss-crossing the Salisbury plain army ranges. It was in such a state that I struggled to make my way along it and was grateful that I had decided to wear wellies rather than walking boots. It will take a lot of effort to get it back into a passable state.

I know that this path is a public right of way, but is certainly not a BOAT – “Byway open to all traffic” (could have done with a boat though to navigate the deeper water!) so why was it in such a state?

The answer lay in the form of a sign, displayed on a post as the track eventually joined the tarmac lane – it had been trashed by numerous motorbikes and various jeeps that seem to spend Sundays charging around the countryside. The police are obviously trying to address the problem, however they will need to do more than just put up a few signs, as I have often stopped young lads on motorbikes and older men in jazzed up Range Rovers, who should know better, and they are really not the slightest bit bothered if they are allowed or not. 

Impound a few vehicles and make them walk home – that might change their minds. I know I’m becoming thoroughly cantankerous in my old age – but can I really not find anywhere to walk in the countryside without hearing the vroom, vroom of a vehicle racing up behind me, resulting in pathways trashed beyond recognition?  

It could not be any clearer could it?

It is a start, but the police need to follow up these words with action!  


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