Precious Space

Here in Surrey, we live in one of the most populated areas of the UK and rarely do I go out for a walk in my local area and not meet other humans. Call me unsociable but I sometimes like to be on my own in the countryside away from other people, so I can get the chance of actually seeing some wildlife. None the less I still regularly go out despite the pressure of the local population.

With regular visits to an area your knowledge of the local wildlife will increase and with this knowledge you may know where to find certain species. With my local knowledge I found myself the other week standing on the footpath by the river overlooking the scruffy wet corner of the field. I had often stood at this place and had seen a number of interesting things over the years, from feeding Roe Deer to singing Reed Buntings. Dusk was approaching so I had stopped to see if any deer had ventured out in the field. There didn’t appear to be any present and I was just about to leave when there was a loud scream from the other side of the field and I saw someone shouting at and following his large dog that was currently charging towards the overgrown corner near where I was standing. In a Nano second 3 Roe Deer erupted from some long grass and ran through some wet areas and flushed 4 Snipe and continues to run towards the other end of the field. The dog owner had managed to recover his wildly excited dog. This is a typical example of the pressure upon our wildlife here in busy Surrey.

This incidence not only scared the deer and Snipe but Pheasants and Mallards were also flushed and I’m sorry to say that I have witnessed this type of thing on a number of occasions at the same location.

Mallards by Steve Duffy

I call on all dog owners to make sure that their dogs are well controlled when they are out and about in the countryside. At this time of the year it can mean life to many species if they have to waste value able energy resources by disturbances from marauding dogs. I am not an anti-dog person and I have lived and worked with dogs but L know they were well trained animals and were not allowed to disturb the wildlife. I hope more dog owners can learn to share the space with respect for our wildlife.

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