This is a sadder story about badgers ruining a cricket ground. Here’s the first few paragraphs.
Badgers have stopped play at one of England’s oldest cricket clubs after they tore huge chunks out of the pitch.
The damage has forced Rickmansworth Cricket Club, in Hertfordshire, to postpone all of its games in April and May as staff try to repair the ground.
It is believed the badgers were attracted by bugs thriving in the damp pitch, with the club unable to treat the ground due to the cold weather.
Badgers are becoming a serious pest in many places, due to the fact that they are protected and have no natural predator. So consequently, there is getting to be a population, that doesn’t have the space and sufficient food. It’s the same with deer in some places, but at least they are good to eat.
We must get sensible about our wildlife. Foxes, badgers, grey squirrels and deer seem to get all the protection they need to prosper from well-meaning town dwellers, but that wonderful queen of the countryside; the brown hare, and the beautiful red squirrel, keep struggling.
Note Billingsgate Fish Market in the background. That was the setting for this BBC news item about a seal, who lives by the fish market.
I didn’t walk up, as there is a cable car.
The views are fairly spectacular, but be warned, that there is only tourist attractions at the top and I needed some tissues and some chocolate and couldn’t buy them.
As you can see, I saw the Barbary macaques, but many who went up later in the rain didn’t, as just like us, they probably don’t like rain. The macaques are true monkeys and not apes. Although unlike some species of monkeys they didn’t seem to be trying too hard to steal from and annoy visitors. I didn’t hear one human alarm call, whilst on the Rock.
Visiting the macagues is a very different wildlife experience, as you just walk around them, whilst both species observe the other. I even saw a couple in the town below.
It was quite a long walk on the top of the Rock, but as it was generally downhill, I managed it. However, because of the rain and my rhinitis, I was having difficulty with maintaining a good pace. Luckily, there were a few places to sit.
Eventually, I found a bus stop and got a bus back to the main bus terminal, from where I took a shuttle taxi back to Oriana.
As someone, who has planted more than a few trees in his time, I’ve had the odd runs-in with deer, who feel that the new shoots of saplings are tasty for breakfast, lunch and dinner. C also hit a deer in my car, which to say the least didn’t do it much good.
So although they are nice to see in the countryside, when the University of East Anglia says we have too many deer, as reported here, I tend to agree. The researcher, Dr. Dolman is quoted as follows.
We are not killing something and then incinerating the carcass – what we are talking about is harvesting a wild animal to supply wild free-ranging venison for or tables – for farm shops, for gastro pubs.
“What we are advocating isn’t removing deer from the countryside – what we are advocating is trying to get on top of the deer population explosion and try to control the problems that are being caused.
“And in a way, [venison] provides a sustainable food source where you know where it comes from, you know it is ethically sourced, you know it is safe to eat, and that puts food on people’s tables. As much as I love deer, to be a meat eater but then to object to the culling and harvesting of deer seems to be inconsistent.
That sounds all very sensible, but I suspect that the RSPCA and others will be against the large scale cull, that he suggests. The RSPCA’s view is in this part of the article.
In a statement, the RSPCA said it was “opposed in principle to the killing or taking of all wild animals unless there is strong science to support it, or evidence that alternatives are not appropriate.
“Even if a cull is supported by science, it is very important that it is carried out in a humane and controlled way.
“Any decision to carry out a cull must be taken on a case by case basis based on the specific issues which impact a specific area. We don’t believe this should be rolled out in a uniform way across the whole country. It is certainly not a case of one size fits all.
If we don’t cull the deer to reasonable levels, we will get a double destruction of the countryside. By the deer on the one hand and on the other by farmers and householders putting up more and more secure fences to keep the pests off their land.
With all the trouble over horsemeat, it does strike me, that we ought to develop our taste for venison and support those like Marks and Spencer, who are using it in high-quality ready meals.
After all, venison is supposed to be good for you and certainly doesn’t have the health problems that are being reported today for processed meat.
I suppose it’s one of those jobs, that is in that category of tough ones, that someone has to do.
You can actually see the pandas using this link.
This story from the Metro, shows how we should co-operate a bit more, where wildlife are concerned. Here’s the first few paragraphs.
When Brian Dodson set up a carp fishery from scratch he had no idea the business would be quickly ruined – by otters.
The 60-year-old discovered the carnivores had eaten his entire £250,000 stock after a river haven for the animals was built nearby.
He is now seeking £2.5million from the Environment Agency, which he claims failed to tell him about the scheme and prevented him building protective fencing.
Surely there should have been a middle way.
But then as the story says otters are carnivores and will get their food no matter what. There was a story a couple of years ago, where otters were taking koi carp out of a pond in a suburban garden in Birmingham. No-one knew that there were otters in the nearby canal.
I’m reminded of the tale I heard when I shared the driver’s cab in a High Speed Diesel Train from Edinburgh to Inverness.
The owner of an hotel close to the line, built a lake, which he stocked with fish for his guests. But just down the road was Loch Garten, where ospreys have made a home. And as ospreys are wont to do, they found the hotel lake and decided it was a good place for dinner.
The hotel owner cut back on his fishing, but apparently, he now promotes the lake as a place to watch ospreys feed.
Yesterday, Slummy Mummy in The Times had two interesting thoughts courtesy of her mother.
The first was an absolute gem.
Since it’s people in towns who like badgers, we should exchange them for urban foxes.
Now that’s an idea! But it might get rid of the last few urban hedgehogs. The second was a sensible aside on the subject of horsemeat.
You’ll be glad to know that everything is shop-bought,” she says, opening the fridge door with a flourish. It is full of Findus lasagnes.
“They were on offer. I got them before they were withdrawn
I bet she’s not the only one who took advantage.
I saw this story about a pig being used to train firefighters, in The Times, but it is also here in the Daily Mail.
I’m reminded of the time C and myself caught an escaped pony and Suffolk Police turned up as they had had reports of damage to flower beds being caused by the escapee. At the time, the police used Escort vans for local officers and we almost convinced him to put it in the back to take it to the station.
So perhaps, animal training is something that is now more common with the Fire and Police Services.
There is a report of another fox attack on a baby. Happily, it doesn’t seem to be too serious and not outside the capabilities of the NHS.
One of my friends is Korean and I asked him, if they get these sort of problems in Seoul. he said that they don’t and he felt, there was many wild animals in the city except for rats and mice. This is confirmed by this post from a blog.
But how many other cities in other countries have urban animals, that aren’t always cuddly?
This is a story about wildlife in Berlin.
So it’s not just a British problem!
I remember the famous gorilla,Guy, who came to the Zoo in the year of my birth, although he was probably born a few months before I was.
In those days his cage wasn’t as spacious as the modern gorilla enclosure, where about four gorillas live happily together.
These pictures show them inside, as it wasn’t very tropical today.
C used to tell a story about one her clients. He was an habitual criminal and every time he came out of jail, one of the first things he used to do was visit Guy in the London Zoo.
He’d tell the gorilla, that he was now out of jail, but he could see that Guy was still incarcerated.
Guy’s reply was not recorded.