The Phantom Ditch Digger is back!
On March 13th, on a day of storm and wild winds, a couple of intrepid Friends dug substantial turfs and used them to the channel that has been draining the boggy patch. They put up a notice explaining our plans for the boggy patch and asking for cooperation. All was well for a while.
Last week a few of the turfs had been pulled out and by Saturday, the channel had been cleared again and all the turfs thrown into Lambrok Stream. The notice was untouched.
There had been a suggestion, out there in social-media-land, that water voles had either created the channel or were involved in clearing it. Experts, though had told us the channel was probably an old drain that had been opened up, and water voles can’t move large lumps of wet turf.
It’s difficult to think of this as just vandalism; the turfs were heavy and to move them the Digger would have needed to use a spade or a garden fork. He must have come equipped! It is also difficult to imagine what he thinks he is doing, particularly when he is doing it under a sign asking him not to.
We feel it is entering the realms of criminal damage and will discuss it with our Community Police Officer. In the meantime, if you see anybody digging anywhere near the boggy patch who is not wearing a high visibility jacket with Friends of Southwick Country Park written on their back, or in possession of a Wiltshire Council van, please ask them what they are doing and why on earth they are doing it..
Two more posts about the Phantom Digger: