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Post Info TOPIC: PENNINGTON FLASH. Issues & Concerns


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PENNINGTON FLASH. Issues & Concerns


Arrived on site this morning around 0.730 to find an angler parked on the shoreline near the slipway next to Horrocks Hide. I challenged him but he said he didn't know he couldn't be there and staff had driven past last night without saying anything. Obviously no idea whether the last bit is true but another indication of how much this site needs staffing. I phoned it through to the golf shop and they said someone would come out. No sign 20 mins later but I guess they don't start till kater

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A little update for you:- The final day of willow pulling/pruning on the spit for this year, so on we went to Ramsdales to do the same on the last of the Islands. 
Just six of the group today but we got through what we had set out to do, well done to all. 
 
We are now seeing some progress from our work throughout the 12 months we have been active as a group. 
We have clocked up 538 volunteer hours and 31 people have participated, my thanks to you all. 
I would also say thank you to Graham Workman, Mike King, Michael Fishwick for their assistance and Geoff Fletcher for his help, guidance and advice. 
Finally thanks to Wigan Councils "The Deal" for funding.

 

Anyone wanting to join us please get in touch

,
it is a very therapeutic way of spending a few hours with others who like some of the group
are 
suffering from anxiety problems, come on in blow the cobwebs away and find new friends doing a very worthwhile job.


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David Shallcross


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up date on LOS PF volunteers

 

The work we planned in the Teal scrape had to be abandoned today as the water levels at Pennington are over the access paths. A contingency plan was adopted so we proceeded to an area at the top end of the main drag past Tom Edmondson's Hide and on the left just before the canal footbridge. A good place for insects, butterflies etc, which had started to be colonised by tree species. We cleared the area of the saplings in readiness for mowing by site staff, this should improve the patch for the wildflowers that the insects need. Next week we intend to get on the Teal scrape again to open up for viewing into the left-hand reedbed before it's too late, as soon winter visitors will be arriving (hopefully a Bittern ) We will meet next Wednesday 20th September at 9-30am on the car park



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David Shallcross


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Update on the meadow at Pennington Flash ....Southside, the council have put large tree trunks around the meadow in an attempt to stop it getting cut.

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/leighos/



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David Shallcross


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John Watson wrote:

David
It's easy for the driver's manager to forget to give instructions, or for the driver to forget them on the day

Perhaps a more reliable protection would be to change the diary date of this mowing ?

Do the cowslips & other flowering plants need reseeding, or will they recover ?


 

Yes it's pretty much as simple as that. Don't mow the grass at this time of year. The plants will probably recover if left alone, personally I'm not in favour of reseeding because it wouldn't be the first time that the wrong seeds have been used and you'll end up with German cowslips instead of native British, plus a collection of other plants that shouldn't really be there, and then it becomes a man made garden rather than a natural grassland. Cowslips are perennials so one season of being mown should not wipe them out as long as it doesn't keep happening, plus a few early flowering plants had probably already gone to seed before it was cut.

Somebody suggested that I report this via the Wigan council website, which I have done. I don't know if you've ever gone down this route, but you go into Report an Issue, then into Parks and open areas until you get a list of sub headings where you can log your issue. Tellingly there is no sub heading relating to damage to nature reserves or destruction of wildflower meadows, but there are plenty of other sub headings such as "grass needs cutting". This sums up the British mentality to me. People must seriously go onto the council Web site to complain that the grass needs cutting, yet there is nowhere to complain that a wildflower meadow has been cut. We're a nation obsessed with cutting the grass and manicuring wild places and I have no doubt that this why the tractor driver just mowed without thinking. If as much time was devoted to managing places for wildlife instead of casually and lazily destroying them with a mower, a trowl and a spade simply to make them (allegedly) more aesthetically pleasing to the eyes of the uneducated, we'd have a chance of reversing the declines in our wildlife. But no, we'd rather see a monotone green lawn than a grassland full of flowers, bees, butterflies and hoverflies.



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hi, John, I'm no boffin on plants, but I'm sure mowing should not take place until after they have set seed.  The meadows had marker posts in them to remind the driver not to mow beyond them, but they keep being stollen.

The Council are looking into the matter and to how to resolve it. 

David



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David Shallcross


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David
It's easy for the driver's manager to forget to give instructions, or for the driver to forget them on the day

Perhaps a more reliable protection would be to change the diary date of this mowing ?

Do the cowslips & other flowering plants need reseeding, or will they recover ?

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hi Colin here is an extract from the minutes of yesterday's meeting regarding the unfortunate mowing incident this week.
 
No consolation but it's reported and hopefully never repeated
 
Pennington Flash User Group Meeting
12TH May 2017.
Present: Michael Fishwick Leisure & Property Wigan Council.
Geoff Fletcher Groundsman for WLCT. Terrin Turner British Horse Society.
David Shallcross & Joan Disley Leigh Ornithological Society. Brian Lythgoe Pennington Golf Club
Bridleways & Access Forum: Terrin attended the meeting and said that all was well they had no issues at all.
Leigh Ornithological Society: David and I attended. My first question was about the cutting of the meadows on the south side of the flash that David had emailed to me from the LOS Facebook site. Geoff said that the markers put down so the tractor/grass cutter knew not to cut behind them had been taken up by someone so the tractor driver just continued and cut it all. Why he thought it was ok to mow down Cowslips I will never know. Geoff and Michael said they will try to resolve this so it doesnt happen again, they will speak directly to the tractor driver before any future cutting.


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David Shallcross


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Thanks David

If I can get down I will, however 2:30 is not the best time for me on Friday.

 

Colin



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Hi, Colin, I have seen your very concerning post on LOS facebook. There is a Pennington Flash User Group Meeting at the Flash on Friday 2-30pm, myself and Joan will bring these issues to the meeting, ONCE again. We are fighting a losing battle at the moment but will plug away with the authorities both at the PFUG and Greenheart forum.

Regards and keep reporting issues, please. David



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David Shallcross


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As if we didn't have enough to contend with, hides being burnt down, anglers in Rammies, canoists going off piste, kids on the spit, Leigh Fire and Rescue practicing in front of Ramsedales hide, plus a whole lot more, it also appears that Wigan Council is devoid of conservation know how.  Take a look at the attached photos, a formerly beautiful glade on the south side of the flash which two days ago had a wide array of wild flowers including cowslips (see the last photo, taken last week) has been butchered by being mown. This is an act of vandalism by the council on a par with the East Bay hide being burnt down and somebody needs to be held to account or at least retrained. Yes I accept that grasslands need mowing (or grazing) in order to maintain them as grasslands but to do it in May, right in the middle of the cowslip flowering season and just as other plants are putting out buds shows a complete ignorance of conservation and habitat management by Wigan Council. Instead of a wild flower meadow full of colour and invertabrates, we are now left with a lifeless lawn suitable only for exercising dogs and all that they bring (and leave). I might also add that this is the ONLY area at the flash where cowslips grow, so basically the entire population has been destroyed before it had time to go to seed. I absolutely despair at times, the sign at the entrance to Pennington Flash says "nature reserve", but it's a long way from being that.



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This afternoon on main flash 3 canoeists seen going outside of buoys and flushing a load of Goldeneye. Ridiculous when they have the rest of the flash to themselves.

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Z Barrett


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An afternoon on the flash that was highlighted more for disturbance than the birds themselves,The flash was full of boats ,so everything flushed into Ramsdales,and then were flushed back out of there by fishermen who for some reason decide to fish in Ramsdales reedbed ,where there is no fishing allowed when they have the whole flash almost to go at,so the birds ended up at plank lane end,then just before dusk someone came out paddling round the edge of the flash on what looked like a surfboard,he was stood on it and flushed all the birds from Plank lane end then came along the rucks and flushed the whole Gull roost of about 5000 birds ,there seems little peace for birds at the flash these days . :(



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I went all through that last year Ian, even involved the Council, had an apology from the Fire officer. Then it happens again???? I have reported it to the three council people who have responsibility at the flash.

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David Shallcross


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colin davies wrote:

Leigh fire and rescue on maneouveres at Pennington Flash today, including the rescue of these two from in front of Ramsdales hide. Why do they have to do it on the nature reserve part of the flash?





Put a formal complaint into the Officer in Charge of Leigh Fire Station (it can be posted directly to the station) as it needs to be logged and obviously what was learned from the last time it happened has not been cascaded down to the other watches or indeed stations involved. They will take action to prevent this from happening but it must be logged officially. Unfortunately, the movement of personnel within the service is such that such local information may be lost simply due to new crews being involved each time and the necessity to train and shortages of sites to do so within the county make Pennington an ideal location.

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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colin davies wrote:

Leigh fire and rescue on maneouveres at Pennington Flash today, including the rescue of these two from in front of Ramsdales hide. Why do they have to do it on the nature reserve part of the flash?


They did the same last year except they stood on the end of the spit :( but to be truthful wherever on the flash you did this training,some birds will be disturbed ,at least it is hopefully just one day .  



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Leigh fire and rescue on maneouveres at Pennington Flash today, including the rescue of these two from in front of Ramsdales hide. Why do they have to do it on the nature reserve part of the flash?



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Hi Volunteers, our next working party will be on Tuesday 15th November, 9-30 on the car park near to the toilet block. We will continue with the final part of the Birch and Willow removal from the Bickershaw ruck bank, above the lagoon. This piece of work is being done to hopefully encourage wild flower/plant growth.

As before it would be helpful if you could bring bow saws & loppers.



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David Shallcross


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Hi Volunteers, Monday 17th is the day 9-30 car park near center , I have parking passes. We will be removing birch saplings from an area near the lagoon on the ruck overlooking the flash. it's a good butterfly area but is being over grown with trees. Loppers and bow saws please, if you can bring your own it would help. Pengy's Hide work postponed.



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David Shallcross


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Thanks Craig for this message,this is so disappointing as only last week Joan Disley and I brought up the need for mowing of certain areas but at the correct time. I'll ring about it on Monday.

 

With Pennington i feel i'm banging my head against a brick wall, 

 

I posted John Tymon's post to the important people at the Council / Pennington and will do the same with this.

 

Please also report all incidences to the Golf Shop and they will log it.



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David Shallcross


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FAO Dave Shallcross

Whilst on the South Side today I noticed that most of the wildflower meadows have been left to become rank and overgrown, however one meadow that still looks like its mown to within an inch of its life, and now has a picnic bench stuck in the middle of it is the one where all the Bee Orchids used to be. Any chance you think the Council could A) move the bench and B) Mow it a bit more sympathetically? If I remember right, this meadow used to have approx. 100 Bee Orchids in it and it would be a shame to lose them - if they've not already been lost.

-- Edited by Craig Higson on Saturday 8th of October 2016 09:54:55 PM

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People are again fishing In ramsdales reedbed today totally emptying Ramsdales scrapes and the top end of Ramsdales at one point nearly 600 duck were in the Air with Nowhere to land :( without rangers to watch over the flash the place will just degenerate ,its a shame to see it like this :(

-- Edited by JOHN TYMON on Saturday 8th of October 2016 09:14:15 PM

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Good weather arrived for our first day as volunteers at Pennington Flash, the previous few days had been very wet and most of the paths and hides were under water. We werent able to do any work on the feeding station bird tables and perches, as the water had almost reached the table tops.

 

What we did do is: clean down the inside of the Bunting hide and wash and disinfect the seating and shelves with Jeyes Fluid, we carried out fence repairs and renewals to the Bunting Hide approach, and mended the gate latch.

We cut down overhanging tree branches and did some thinning out in the surrounding woodland. Some of the gang went on a litter pick around the site but concentrated their time around the lagoon on Ramsdales Ruck.

 

Many thanks to 19 of the group who could make it today, and to Mr Graham Workman Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles / Development Manager - Biodiversity,  for his advice on habitat maintenance and the provision of equipment.

 

Thanks also to Jeff park ranger for his cooperation today.

 

Thanks also to Michael Fishwick, Greenspace Development Officer. for supplying equipment and wire fencing.

 

Our next work day will be Saturday 3rd September

8am till 11 am

 

Bringing your own hand tools is always helpful but not essential.

 

 

 https://www.facebook.com/groups/LOSpenningtonflashvolunteers/

 

Up date sent to LEIGH O S members, Pennington Flash Volunteers and Council officials.

If you don't want these updates just let me know and ill remove your name. Hello everyone, first of all thank you to all who attended the first meeting this morning, or sent their apologies.

We talked about what we will be doing as volunteers around the site, what we won't be doing & health & safety.

We have a plan of action, initially to carry out tasks around the Nature Reserve and hides most of them are in a shocking state and are totally unhygienic. (not a great welcome to Leigh for visitors) It was noticed that over the last few weeks all hide maintenance has stopped, the supply of seed to the Bunting hide also, we will explore why this has happened.

Martyn Jones offered to set up a dedicated Facebook page for the group, and by magic he's done it already L.O.S. Pennington Flash Volunteer Group We will commence work on Tuesday 23 rd August and will meet on the car park as close as we can to the visitors center.

By this time i hope to have arranged free parking passes with the council and obtained some P.P.E. for you to ware.

But always come equipped with weather proof clothing and boots etc. A reminder will be sent out the week before.

PS since of meeting our group now numbers 36. David Shallcross Chairman,



-- Edited by David Shallcross on Tuesday 23rd of August 2016 03:47:43 PM



-- Edited by David Shallcross on Tuesday 23rd of August 2016 03:48:06 PM



-- Edited by David Shallcross on Tuesday 23rd of August 2016 03:48:29 PM



-- Edited by David Shallcross on Tuesday 23rd of August 2016 03:49:11 PM

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David Shallcross


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Up date sent to LEIGH O S members, Pennington Flash Volunteers and Council officials.

If you don't want these updates just let me know and ill remove your name. Hello everyone, first of all thank you to all who attended the first meeting this morning, or sent their apologies.

We talked about what we will be doing as volunteers around the site, what we won't be doing & health & safety.

We have a plan of action, initially to carry out tasks around the Nature Reserve and hides most of them are in a shocking state and are totally unhygienic. (not a great welcome to Leigh for visitors) It was noticed that over the last few weeks all hide maintenance has stopped, the supply of seed to the Bunting hide also, we will explore why this has happened.

Martyn Jones offered to set up a dedicated Facebook page for the group, and by magic he's done it already L.O.S. Pennington Flash Volunteer Group We will commence work on Tuesday 23 rd August and will meet on the car park as close as we can to the visitors center.

By this time i hope to have arranged free parking passes with the council and obtained some P.P.E. for you to ware.

But always come equipped with weather proof clothing and boots etc. A reminder will be sent out the week before.

PS since of meeting our group now numbers 32. David Shallcross Chairman,



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David Shallcross


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Leigh Ornithological Society (formed 1971)   
 
 
Hello if you offered to do some maintenance at Pennington Flash, this is an update on were we are up to.
 
I had a third meeting with council officials yesterday and finally it was agreed we could make a start on some meaningful but simple tasks.
 
We will be concentrating our efforts initially on the actual designated Nature Reserve.
 
The first project being the Bunting hide clean up, the feeding station layout and strimming, re-wire the fences to prevent off lead dogs going through to the birds.
 
we will start in 3-4 weeks.   
 
 
Before that i'd like to have a short meeting to talk through what we can do together as a team, to list your individual skills,(if any) to take contact information in case of emergency, to hear your concerns about the Flash, and your ideas on ways to solve them. (can we meet this Saturday 23 July 10 am on the car park top end away from the visitors center)
 
It would be most helpful if you could write down  your name and emergency contact details, to hand in to me on the day. 
 
David Shallcross
Chairman, 

 



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David Shallcross


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Pennington Flash, the spit has been neglected this year as the weed control wasn't done and the Bunting Hide was like a tropical rain forest today, the vegetation is very high. I had a meeting this afternoon with 3 officers from Wigan Council, to discuss the sites future and how we as nature enthusiasts could help. It is now agreed to plan and go forward with an LOS volunteer group. This will still take a little time to set up for health and safety's sake alone. Some time ago i ask for people to let me know if they could give some time to this, to which i had an encouraging response, if you are still interested please let me know.



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David Shallcross


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Colin thanks for your reports, they are of use and have helped bring much needed notice to Council officials



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David Shallcross


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Sorry to continually be the harbinger of doom, but there were at least 3 people in the Teal hide early afternoon who were intimidating enough to make me decide to not go in. They were men in their mid-twenties, one sitting in the doorway, a second on a bench in the hide but looking through the door not the window and a third out of sight inside the hide. Music was blasting out of the hide and when I approached the one in the dooway said to the others "Here's a guy with binoculars". That was enough to make me decide to turn back. Obviously none of them had binoculars and they were clearly not birders. I didn't see any beer but it wouldn't have surprised me if they had some.

 



-- Edited by colin davies on Wednesday 27th of April 2016 09:09:50 PM

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Two people in front of Horrock's hide on the Spit this evening. Some canoes had moved out a bit by the time I got my camera out and waited for them to emerge from behind the trees, but they were initially right up to the reeds.

Anglers frequently in Ramsdales, canoes right up to the reeds in the western end and people walking on the Spit, no part of the flash is free from disturbance. It's as often as every other evening now I see people somewhere they shouldn't be. Pennington Flash is no longer a nature reserve, it's a place where wildlife clings on despite the activities of people. Sad to see its demise.

 

 



-- Edited by colin davies on Friday 22nd of April 2016 09:33:03 PM

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Two canoes right up to the reeds in the western end this evening flushed everything. I don't know if they are allowed to go this far, but I've never seen them there before.



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i will be organising some volunteer work days in the near future, if you can give a few hours now and then please let me know. i'll add you to my list and contact you before hand.

Work will be nothing madly physical as i'm approaching 70 and intend to pitch in best i can.  

email me: leighos.chairman@gmail.com



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David Shallcross


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some points from a discussion i had with mr M Fishwick last Thursday.  PLEASE REPORT issues to Him:_

Hello David,

 Please find below the bullet points from last weeks meeting.

 

·         Supply LOS with litter pickers, high viz vests, gloves, bin bags and RA for ad hoc litter picks.

·         Supply LOS with stock netting, fencing pliers, gloves, safety glasses and RA for ongoing minor fence repairs.

·         Review bird feeding locations within the reserve with LOS preferring a phased reduction to one feeding location (Bunting Hide).

·         Return cages over feeders to deter squirrels.

·         Propose Bunting hide tidy up as Council Volunteer project in partnership with LOS.

·         Look at s106 (public open space) monies for habitat management.

·         Discuss Pennington Flash projects with Community Reparation.

·         Work on the screen has started.

·         Only use whole peanuts within the feeders.

 

Regarding litter, it was felt that the reserve as a whole was kept free of litter, the situation along Pennington Line was unknown

 

Illegal angling has reared its head again, no angling signage is still in place, I will pick this up with the EA and the angling club.

 

Regards

 

Michael

 

Michael Fishwick
Greenspace Development Officer
Resources Directorate

Wigan Council

Leisure and Property Division
Town Hall,

Wigan WN1 3DS
486908

www.wigan.gov.uk
www.twitter.com/wigancouncil
www.facebook.com/WiganCouncilOnline



-- Edited by David Shallcross on Monday 11th of April 2016 07:39:42 PM

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David Shallcross


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JOHN TYMON wrote:

Reports again today of people fishing from the islands in Ramsdale scrapes all afternoon -Its a crying shame what happening at Penny at the moment :(

 




Its why I don't go anywhere near as often John. Its heartbreaking watching the site turn into a complete mess.

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Reports again today of people fishing from the islands in Ramsdale scrapes all afternoon -Its a crying shame what happening at Penny at the moment :(

 



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Wigan have installed a steel height bar & gate just before the bridge

Hopefully that will keep the travellers out

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David Shallcross wrote:

Hi John i'm just back from two weeks away, i will send your comments to the people at Wigan who need to know. But please always report things of this nature to the golf shop people as a start, it needs to logged if nothing else.


Cheers Dave

It Was reported to the person onsite about the fishermen, im sure everyone knows about the Mink as they have been seen by everyone in the last few weeks ,so the onsite people will im sure have been told by the people who can get there every day - Bill ,Barry  etc who speak to them in the hides. I think theres quite a few Mink as they are being seen all over the place at almost the same times.

cheers John



-- Edited by JOHN TYMON on Sunday 27th of March 2016 04:40:13 PM

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Hi John i'm just back from two weeks away, i will send your comments to the people at Wigan who need to know. But please always report things of this nature to the golf shop people as a start, it needs to logged if nothing else.



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David Shallcross


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RE: PENNINGTON FLASH. Issues & Concerns


Bad news for the Ground nesting birds at Pennington ,A large adult Mink has been seen at the front of Horrocks Hide twice this week cry

 



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RE: PENNINGTON FLASH. Issues & Concerns


I know how you feel John, there same frustrations on Bickershaw Rucks but with off road vehicles not fishing

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RE: PENNINGTON FLASH. Issues & Concerns


Gordon Newman wrote:

Again 3 teenagers fishing in Ramsdales actuallly in the water @ 17.15. can the access path not be blocked?


They were wading into Ramsdales all weekend ,I did report it to the person on site from the council, as far as I can see ,there's very little else we can do, if the council don't have people to protect the nature reserve and the fishing club ,don't police where people fish apart from a few temporary signs that have been in 6 months, its becoming a losing battle . The Illegal fishermen know they shouldn't be there ,but they know ,no one will do anything ,so they carry on.



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RE: PENNINGTON FLASH. Issues & Concerns


Again 3 teenagers fishing in Ramsdales actuallly in the water @ 17.15. can the access path not be blocked?

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Someone fishing on the islands off ramsdales scrape moved all  the birds from ramsdales and scrape area. reported later to a Wigan metro employee



-- Edited by JOHN TYMON on Saturday 12th of March 2016 07:07:02 PM

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Good to see them gone,

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Travellers have now left great clean up job by wigan council well done back to normal. :)



-- Edited by JOHN TYMON on Monday 7th of March 2016 01:24:39 PM

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Car park 3 quarters full of caravans again yhe travellers are back

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As mentioned before - I sent an email to my local councillors and MP about the state of country parks in Wigan. To be fair my Councillor has come up against a bit of a wall, but my MP did forward my letter to Wigan Leisure Culture Trust (or whatever it is called now). The first reply I found a little weak, and so responded back. The second reply was better but still, in my opinion left a few questions unanswered. The guy from WLCT (not Graham Workman - think it was his boss) did say he was happy for me to share his response here, but unfortunately I seem to have binned it with some other mail - if I manage to find it I'll see if Ian can come up with a way to share it. However in essence he said that there were plans to do 'stuff' to improve the state of the parks, however cuts have made it very difficult.

Personally I'd encourage everyone to write to their Councillors and MP's, as the only way to make the the situation better is to get the council to change how much cash they are willing to spend.

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There have been Few issues at Pennington the last few days .3 people 20 - 25 year olds so not kids, building some sort of camp or screen with reeds in ramsdales reed bed today my guess for night fishing also some of the temp no fishing signs ripped down, and in ramsdale hide the wheelchair part was vandalised yesterday and ripped out of the wall. I propped it back up , but no one about to report to my guess the same people building the camp using it for shelter have vandelised it.Be careful if your in that area late at night at the moment. >

-- Edited by JOHN TYMON on Sunday 21st of February 2016 03:30:40 PM

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David Shallcross wrote:

Good point John, the hide is mainly close because of the charts and info on the walls that have been vandalised in the past.

I will mention it at PFUG meeting in early February

P.S. I think there is a clause in the contract between the council and the the providers, that it be used for educational purposes only ????? will check it out



-- Edited by David Shallcross on Sunday 31st of January 2016 09:23:56 AM



Cheers Dave It was open for the first 10 years, so not sure what made the change come about, and I know vandals can wreck things ,but as a whole ,it seems a waste to have such a good Hide not being used, as I haven't seen it used why ive been there for a few years now . :)

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Good point John, the hide is mainly close because of the charts and info on the walls that have been vandalised in the past.

I will mention it at PFUG meeting in early February

P.S. I think there is a clause in the contract between the council and the the providers, that it be used for educational purposes only ????? will check it out



-- Edited by David Shallcross on Sunday 31st of January 2016 09:23:56 AM

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David Shallcross


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It would be good if both parts of teal Hide could again be opened every day like it used to be ,It seems a shame to have such a large hide always closed ,to be used just a few times a year by school parties. Yesterday there were plenty looking for the Bittern at the teal Hide ,but unfortunately no seats and there were quite a few older people standing at the back trying to view when next door there's a 18 foot empty hide with plenty seats available.confuse

-- Edited by JOHN TYMON on Sunday 31st of January 2016 09:09:22 AM

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