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WHITLINGHAM: Thorpe Marsh, frustrating times

20th July 2011

Another evening at Thorpe, and more disappointment. There were 43 Green Sandpipers at Cantley yesterday, coincidentally 43 more than I saw this evening. I did get an inkling I wasn't going to see anything when I looked out over the spit, only to have my view blocked by two people throwing balls into the broad for their dogs to chase. I went around to the marshes side and counted the loafing Lapwing (49), and whilst doing this I heard a Bullfinch calling from scrub near the railway line. Now Bullfinch would have been new for the year if I could have located it, but despite calling a few more times it stayed hidden. Having waited for half an hour or so I decided to go and have another look on the spit, only to find two different people standing on the shore. The final straw for me was when I realised they didn't even have a dog, they had just decided to walk to the edge and throw stones in. Grrr.

In todays EDP there is a big article about the NWT taking over the running of Thorpe Marshes. It says they want to hear from people about the marshes, although it doesn't give an email address or any contact details for people to give their views, which I thought was a bit odd. For me the oddest thing about the article though is Mr Joyce saying that one day he hopes Bitterns will find Thorpe Marshes. If you've been, you'll know that only a very small amount of the site is reedy. Its just not Bittern habitat. Was this just a flippant remark, or does he really want to get rid of the existing habitat and reed it over? He also suggests a living classroom, which is completely unecessary given that across the river Whitlingham has a Forest School, pond-dipping platforms, a separate area of woodland for activities and an indoor classroom area in the barn. I await the consultation process with interest.

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