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BBC Radio 4 "Nature" programme

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Chris Monk View Drop Down
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    Posted: 14 Jun 2005 at 5:42pm

Next Monday night's Nature programme on BBC Radio 4 at 9pm is on "A raw deal for reptiles - why are Britain's Reptiles getting such a raw deal when it comes to conservation" (It is also repeated the next morning (Tuesday 21st June) at 11am.

Perhaps their researchers have been studying the posts on this Forum detailing some of the disasterous "management" by conservation staff of important reptile habitat areas on supposedly protected sites !

 

Chris

Derbyshire Amphibian & Reptile Group

www.derbyshirearg.co.uk

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jun 2005 at 10:20am

For anyone who missed the programme last night (I caught it this morning driving down the A12 to collect a corn snake that turned up in a garden in Kent) you can listen to it on you computer by using the following link:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/science/nature.shtml

I have to say a big well done to all involved, who put across the issues regarding herp conservation very well.. I just hope some of those responsible for nature conservation in Essex were listening, particularly regarding adder declines and 'heathland restoration schemes'

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote spaniel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jun 2005 at 3:33pm

I had the radio on last night on the way home from college after an exam. Some of you will have read that I am doing a HNC Wildlife and Countryside as I asked for some advice on a project for college.

I found the programme of interest as Dorset was in the spot light as well as the midlands. I was born in dorset and moved to the midlands about 9 years ago.

I think the programme highlighted a major issue that I have come across but under other words. The term "heathland restoration" is common near to where I live but is a lotto funded programme.

Great some will say but the thing I have noticed it is done under the classification of improvement to substain AONB.  The issue is make it look pretty and bugger anything that lives, nests, or migrates there, because the AONB  is a major visual aspect is the most important.

I find it hard to believe in this current state of troubles with all widlife that is no real planning or thought as to the damage being done.

But these people who say yes or no hold greater qualifications than me and through experience they won't give me a job!

Perhaps I'm just bitter?

 

I don't think so!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jun 2005 at 5:36pm

"Perhaps I'm just bitter?"

No, you sound frustrated that some elements refuse to the see the truth..

Heathland Restoration = Reptile Obliteration

Cost dictates that heavy plant is used during such schemes and the animals simply don't stand a chance.

It's all well and good to say that in the long term reptiles will benefit from open sunny areas but of little use when habitats are fragmented and there is a zero chance of recolonisation after the animals present before the restoration have been driven to extinction.

Still, I have it on good authority that adder can look after themselves after their habitat is destroyed and the snakes have been buried or crushed by heavy plant machinery..

(I hope I don't sound bitter )



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-LAF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote -LAF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jun 2005 at 5:44pm
What? You mean you don't all love monocultures?
Lee Fairclough
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jun 2005 at 7:25pm

Gemma,

Thanks for posting the link to the BBC prog - very good I thought.

When I lived in the Lake District many years ago a lot of country folk felt the only good snake was a dead one and would swerve in their cars to run them over. One man used to then reverse the car just to make sure he'd killed the snake!

Now living in Devon I am saddened by my neighbours - country people - who will happily stand and watch a cat kill a slow worm without intervening. Not one neighbour is interested in them and any talk of snakes or lizards produces a shudder of distaste.

Apart from habitat issues somehow reptiles need better press. Most children when shown snakes and lizards are interested and keen to see more. However I realise it is difficult to enthuse youngsters in group situations as the noise/vibration factor can lead to blank days. Birds, butterflies and some mammals are more visible and thus appealing. What can be done to encourage  the interest of people in our reptiles?

It is good to hear a programme like this and hopefully the mounting criticism of some heathland management projects, over tidying mania etc. will not fall on deaf ears.

Suz
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote calumma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jun 2005 at 4:23am
I hope some people in Kent listened to the programme and are reading this...

***cough*** chalk grassland 'restoration' ***cough***
Lee Brady

Kent Herpetofauna Recorder | Independent Ecological Consultant



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote herpetologic2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jun 2005 at 10:15am

 

Man I am laughing my a**e off all

How about ***cough***coastal realignment marsh restoration****cough***

well who can you complain to when there is a need for a DEFRA license when it is DEFRA and EN that are doing the works ---you are helpless as gcn ponds are swamped by saltwater, reptiles swimming for their lives around the seawalls and of course the cracker a water vole apparently being eaten by a Heron while it was escaping the flood good eh? well it was in front of a BBC camera crew he he

apparently

JC 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Robert V Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jun 2005 at 6:39pm

Thanks for the posting gemma, I'll give it a listen. All of the above messages had me nodding in agreement and a bit saddened. Incidentally, it's not necessarily heavy plant that can do the damage. In EF they use long horn cattle. Not one or two, but nine or ten!!

As some of you might have gathered, I'd been looking in EF for nearly 30 years but only twelve where I've been recording. At one point I saw over thirty Adders and twenty five Grass Snakes in one day! Since the bovine bulldozers moved in (previous comment as long as it looks tidy, sod the snakes!) the populations have been fragmented and in some places lost altogether...So called Heathland restoration. Now, the group of 25 grassies is down to 2!! How can i prove it? I can't. But that doesnt stop me knowing it. And further to the 'bad press' comment. Practically everything put in detrimental terms is referred to as "snakelike". What we need is someone like steve irwin both getting in the face of EN and talking up the cause for reptiles. Mmmm, now what's his email address again? R  

RobV
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chris Monk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jun 2005 at 6:55pm

Rob

Earlier this year I looked at a site in the Peak District for the "Making the Adder Count" survey, where various people used to see adders but only occasional ones recently.  It had Highland cattle bulldozers on it with the heather slopes badly trampled in places and the largest best looking bracken bed laid flat where the bovines rested. Apart from any adders they may have flattened, in April these "placid" animals also had a go at a walker who was badly injured and taken to hospital by ambulance.

Chris

Derbyshire Amphibian & Reptile Group

www.derbyshirearg.co.uk

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