Pictures from Simon Knight of the new wetland pond in Lambrok Meadow and the two new backwater scrapes. They are slowly filling in this rain. As the weather warms, keep an eye out for the pioneer plants that will move in and provide cover for the our wetland creatures.

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        1. Southwick Country Park which is which? I’ve seen the fab work you’ve all been doing but didn’t know dogs were only allowed in one area. Could you point out which area is dog friendly and which is not?

            1. It’s the part of the stream where the ford crosses into the Church Field. We have gravelled the bottom, reinforced the bank and put in steps so that elderly dogs (and Sheldon with his bad leg) have easy access. I’ll take it up with the Countryside Team and ask for an official sign or something similar.

            2. Craig Knight: doggy dip is by the wooden steps where people would cross to fro the field towards the church

    1. They are, Christine, they are. We have put in a doggy dip further downstream but people still insist on letting their dogs into the wildlife ponds. It’s hard to persuade some dog owners.

  1. I think it’s because people are completely unaware of your plans.
    There is no signage to explain your intentions and without meaning to be rude, people aren’t mind readers.
    Lots of people who use the country park don’t necessarily use Facebook or social media and aren’t always local or are visiting on holiday (I’ve regularly met lots of people like this)
    I follow you on Facebook but have to say I wasn’t aware of areas of water dogs are/ are not allowed (other than the original pond during the heatwaves during the summer)
    Hopefully you can make this clear to all park users when visiting to help keep your project on track.

  2. I absolutely agree with Sarah.

    The reserve is being developed for the benefit of wildlife, but the people that use the reserve aren’t being informed properly. Yes there are a couple of A4 notices in Lambrok Meadow, but what good are they when dogs are off the lead long before the owners have seen the notices? And if people have seen the notices, very few are taking notice of them.

    Also, the dog dip is in between the two scrapes. With dogs off the lead and often far away from their owners, how on earth can the dogs be expected to only go in the dog dip? Dogs love water and will jump in the first water they come to.

    I don’t mean to rant and I’m not having a go at dog owners. The fact is that the reserve has come to be a place where dog owners let their dogs off of the lead. This is how the reserve has evolved over the years. There have never been any rules governing how dog owners should control their dogs, as a result, many dogs run wherever they want to.

    Getting wildlife (other than insects) to scrapes will never happen whilst dogs can run around off the lead in Lambrok Meadow. Anyone who thinks otherwise is kidding themselves.

    I know some people will not agree with no-go areas for dogs, but it’s a Nature Reserve. The simple fact is that an out of control dog off the lead in a Nature Reserve is not a good thing.
    The park is big. 150 acres big. That is more than big enough to have areas where dogs are allowed off the lead, areas where they must be on a lead, and areas where they are not allowed.

    I know that there are responsible dog owners, but I am saddened seeing dogs running through the wooded areas chasing away ground-feeding birds, or trying to catch water voles, or running through the set-aside areas. I don’t want to see dogs banned, I simply want to see a balance where everyone can enjoy the reserve – whether its walking their dog, having a picnic, or looking for wildlife – and the wildlife is protected.

    The definition of a Nature Reserve is – a tract of land managed so as to preserve its flora, fauna, and physical features. It’s about time it started living up to this.

  3. I agree with Simon I don’t use the park anymore because I’m fed up of dogs off the lead, jumping all over me while the owners are in other areas of the park. If it’s a nature reserve they’re supposed to be under control and that’s not just calling them 100 times

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