At the risk of raising the blood pressure of my, environmentally sensitive, readers – read on.
Following on from my brush with Covid I have not kept up with the walks featured in the Lancashire Cicerone Guide book. I hope to resume them shortly. Today I needed a gentle leg stretcher – Longridge Fell always has something to offer. I’ve not done a ‘litter pick’ up there for several weeks so that became the object of the morning’s stroll.
Parking up I was immediately confronted with discarded pizza boxes and drink bottles , also strangely two plastic motor oil containers. There is a litter bin 10 metres away, though admittedly it is usually full to overflowing. Not a good start to the day.
I set off on my walk intending to clear this mess up when I return, it won’t all go in my bag. Longridge Fell was bone dry making for easy walking though the threats of moorland fires must be high. I noticed the bilberries were very small perhaps a reflection of our lack of rainfall this June and July. The other thing that struck me was that the heather was already blooming – I seem to have missed some seasons this year.
A sad finding on the ridge was a recently dead Kestrel. I could see no signs of it being shot, but I did wonder afterwards about possible poisoning. Should I have picked it up and sent to the RSPB or police for toxicology tests?
Up to the trig point and back in a circle I half filled my bag with the usual doggy poo bags, drinks cartons and food wrappers. The short stretch on the road at the end provided an equal amount of rubbish dumped out of passing cars. All I had to do was pick up the rest of that rubbish in the car park.
This is a local beauty spot with a fine view of Chipping Vale and the Bowland Hills so there are always cars parked here. In lock-down it was a free for all with all the verges taken over, things are back to normal now. Today I noticed two artists busy painting the scene. I wandered over to have a chat and admire their work. One was using watercolours and the other acrylic, they both complained about the high temperature affecting their paints. What a talent to be able to capture that view with a few brushstrokes. I wish I had asked them to email me a copy of their finished paintings. That reminds me, I have on my study wall a watercolour of the very same scene done for me by a Mr. A Long, an artist who lived in Longridge 40 odd years ago.
What a contrast from two gents fully appreciating their environment to the louts who drive up here with their takeaways and don’t take them away.
Looks like Lucozade is still topping the litter list, although McDonald’s trash is a strong contender.
I reckon the kestrel may have suffered from Avian Flu? I think one is advised not to handle birds in that situation – I found one in Swindale similar a month or so back.
I only used my litter picker stick to examine the bird.
I’ve just searched Internet and my Avian Flu advice was correct – see:
Very interesting. The advice not to touch the bird is emphasised and that was at the back of mind at the time but more worried about poisons.
The site states “In Great Britain, if you find:
a single dead bird of prey,
three dead gulls or wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks), or
five or more dead wild birds of any other species
at the same place at the same time, you should report them to DEFRA.”
My single bird of prey falls into that category, but I’m not sure if I could find it again. Does make you wonder what to do for the best.
Yes, I think birds – especially birds of prey – found dead with no obvious reason should be reported. Litter is terrible – we pick up bagfuls from a lane that’s only really used by locals, which says it all.
I’m sure you are right John I just wasn’t sure about touching it. The bird not the litter.
Looks like the litterbugs’ vehicle was seriously burning oil. The dead bird is a dilemma. I’ve also come across the occasional one but never thought to report it, perhaps mistakenly assuming all branches of government are too overstretched to take any interest these days. Litter does get me going, but you set a good example going out picking it up. I couldn’t pick up dog poo bags though, even with a picker, being utterly revolted by them and bewildered that anyone would think it was okay to hang them up for all to see.
It is not the most pleasant of jobs and I’m careful to close the bag well in the car and get it into my dustbin as quickly as possible – no sorting out the recyclables.