So I have been wondering I thought this might be an interesting discussion. some Places that are good for Wildlife are good cause they benefit wildlife but like most things there is ups and downs. Places for Tourism and places where people might visit to wildlife watch, enjoy a walk and the views or simply walk a dog or meet up with people maybe even have picnics can face there own challenges like Urban Preassure or challenges that can come with geting so many people visit a place cause its such a nice place to go for a walk or other things.
So Nature Reserves and AONBs can face these challenges including certain habitats that are in decline and species that live in those habitats. For example i know a few places where you can see ground nesting skylark one place called edge has the Area of grass they are ground nesting in restricted to visitors so you cant go in so that they can prevent disturbance but 2 other places don’t and that is Rodbrough common and Selsley common. At Selsley common they have a sign that says they get skylark but during breeding season no sign that says warning skylarks nesting so people walk all over the grass where there’s holes in the ground and where the skylark are displaying and people go with there dogs aswell. Most people don’t know there’s such a thing as ground nesters and some probably only come for the view so only ones interested in birds will actually take notice of the sign. People should be able to walk around freely at nature reserves that are AONBs like Selsley common but lots and lots of people visit sometimes. I go somewhere else if it’s busy but go there when it’s not busy and have long enough and try to stay on the path cause of the skylark but I see lots of people in the long grass where skylark are displaying aswell as useing the path which I doubt is the main purpose and for good reason but most people wouldn’t be aware cause you can walk around freely. To me I think there needs to be a balance ground nesting birds able to display and nest without disturbance during breeding season aswell as the visitors being able to enjoy everything it has to offer. So that both benefit. To me I think Selsley common should have a sign and be stricter about people staying on the path (during breeding season) but allowing them in the long grass aswell as on the path when there no longer breeding. I doubt that Selsley common is the only place that can face challenges from getting lots of visitors and other things sometimes there are lots of other things that can come with being a popular place for visitors for nature reserves and AONBs though not just the ones I mentioned abouve they are good for wildlife but every place has there own ups and downs
Some interesting points there. I always have a question as to whether dogs should be allowed on nature reserves especially when not on a lead. If they are allowed then some people always let them off the lead even if this is banned. There is an interesting case at the moment involving possible ground nesting birds where we are not allowed to go onto the site to monitor the plants but general visitors (some of whom are bound to have dogs) are still allowed there. So there are lots of things to discuss. Perhaps should also mention that I have nearly trodden on ground nesting birds on a couple of occasions when setting up for botanical surveys, but that is over many years visiting large numbers of sites. I have to go all over the site specifically avoiding the paths when setting out the locations to be recorded so these very close encounters with birds not a common occurrance.
Sadly “SSSI” doesn’t appear to offer the protection it used to - I understand several have been destroyed as part of the disastrous HS2 rail project. Country parks offer good opportunities for seeing some wildlife as they get very used to visitors.
It’s strange to allow any general visitors to use the part with a case of probable nesting birds but not surveyors wildlife surveyors would probably be more aware of the existence of ground nesting birds than ones that just come for the walks or other things it has that in some cases may not all be interested in the wildlife side as much as the other things. Some might also come for the wildlife but even then not all people are aware there’s such a thing as ground nesting birds so you would think that surveyors would be trusted more rather than just letting anyone on a place that may have ground nesting birds when it’s breeding season. Perhaps people could educate visitors about ground nesting birds. Even if your aware of ground nesting birds during breeding season though you could still acidently disturb them so neither should walk over a part that might have some when warning and discouraging visitors they could educate the public to keep there interest in visiting for those who come to see the ground nesting birds while still offering opportunities to either take pictures or watch them but not actually entering the part there nesting so that people can still observe them and enjoy them without walking all over where there displaying and nesting Exspeacially with ones in decline or have declined or that are red listed cause ground nesting birds are very sensitive to disturbance.
Doing that could increase public awareness while also keeping the balance at the same time. For ones that don’t come to see the birds necessarily they might still benefit even if they dont go and watch them but for the ones that mainly or only come for other stuff Exspeacially with dogs there would still be a balance by preventing people from walking on there during breeding season while also allowing them to enjoy everything the place has to offer at the same time
Iv heard of HS2 a lot of conservation charity’s arnt happy about it cause it’s affecting alot AONBs which some are also SSIs aswell. And has damaged alot of them alot that have rare and declineing species so it wasn’t protected from the construction even though there protected areas. there were species that were afected in those ssi and AONBs site cause some species have specific requirements and species that are sensitive to habitat changes and disturbance some where in some species even the slightest change can affect them that includes construction and the way the habitat is looked after as well so it doesn’t even have to be changed much at all even just one slight difference in the habitat a specific species requires like short or long grass, noise level and other things in order to thrive can affect the population. so some arnt just sensitive but very sensitive to any changes to habitat or any disturbances. So there very sensitive Exspeacially during breeding season when they mate, nest and have young
This means visitors to places like how much people visit a place how noisy a place is , the time of year and what they do there near or on there habitat they call home can affect some species Exspeacially ones that are very very sensitive
My hope is that in the long term HS2 will be a net benefit for the environment due to taking traffic off roads, both from reduction in CO2 emissions (but will cars still run on petrol/diesel by the time it is opened), and reducing habitat loss from road building. But there is an upfront cost.
I doubt HS2 will shift a great deal of traffic from the roads baring in mind that it is essentially a limousine on rail service.
There will be some track side habitat.
When I was young we lived a mile or so from a railway. We used to walk onto the track side and collect garden escape strawberries. The strawberry patch used to have adders in it.
If you really wanted to get fossil fuel use off the roads an extension of the roll on roll off freight truck service running across the English channel should have been built to off load at the M62 and perhaps another couple of stops on the way.