The Return of the Phantom Digger

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:

5 thoughts on “The Return of the Phantom Digger

  1. I watched a man with his brown and white spaniel drag the drain with his long ball thrower.

  2. Take his photograph next time you see him! It’s the same as the vandals who were stripping the bark off the trees last year.

  3. Interesting isn’t it. Can this person not read English? If he (or she) has a point to make and feels he/she has a good argument, then this website is a good place to start a discussion, rather than a silly guerrilla campaign that wastes time and energy and could involve the police..

    1. Thank you, David, for introducing common sense into the issue. We DO need to talk to this person/these people; perhaps if they are interested in how the park is maintained, they would like to join our volunteers.

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