Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Bugs & Beasties . . . .

. . . . . on Britain’s Waterways BW’s fifth annual wildlife survey revealed that despite a year of unusually wet weather, more than 3,000 sightings of wildlife were recorded by visitors to Britain’s canals, rivers, docks and reservoirs.

To say I am gobsmacked would be an understatement. There were 11,000,000 visitors to the canals last year (BW figures) and the best they could do was 3000 sightings of wildlife. That equates to only 1 in 3666 people saw any wildlife during their visit. One can only assume that picking ones nose is vastly more interesting than one's surrounding. BW seem to be spending a lot of money on visitors who not only don't pay to visit the waterways, but don't take any notice when they get there.

. . . . This year’s survey, supported by the British Dragonfly Society, focused on dragonflies and damselflies and more than 350 were spotted across the country, particularly in the North West. BW’s ecologists say that the presence of these much loved and colourful insects is a key indicator of good water quality and a healthy local ecosystem, as they need to lay their eggs in or near water.

This little gem relates to 1 in 31,428 visitors seeing a flying stick based bug. I have to wonder if BW are having an H&S moment here. Perhaps they are hiding all the bugs in case the visitors get bitten, while they are pulling the wings off sticks, and sue BW for not taking proper care to safeguard their 'pleasant walk' in the country!

Damn it chaps I can take a 2 hour cruise and see 300 flying sticks, and I have crap eyes!


MortimerBones said...

I didn't hear about the survey, I will make sure I fill it in next year - I want to get beetles and canada geese on to the list!

Halfie said...

Perhaps the key word in your first extract, Maffi, is "recorded". People cruise, cycle, walk, or otherwise visit the waterways; they enjoy their surroundings, including the wildlife; but fail to record any sightings. I don't recall being given a form to fill in the last time I was canalside. I do agree with you, though, that their figure of 3,000 sighting makes no sense. Perhaps BW means 3,000 different animals/birds/insects etc? Or perhaps this was a survey conducted on one day (or part of a day)?

MortimerBones said...

It would be really good if more people could have access to the surveys that are carried out, I for one would have loved to have done it - although having seen the survey, had I been asked I would have demanded a re-write of it! The waterways are FULL of wildlife. I am torn about the dragon/damsel fly thing though. It is our responsibility to look after our wildlife, but where is the limit? I dont know enough about dragon/damsel flies to know whether they will naturally move on, or whether they can be transplanted. However, I would have thought the best option would be to replicate the conditions elsewhere where they can be undisturbed.

Anonymous said...

Day, Date, and Time need a colour Change in comments: as you cant see it