Joggers are now asked not to run or jog once inside the reserve.
As a part-time birder I am relieved at this move by the Trust. It's really hard to focus on the nature when people come clomping, huffing and puffing past when you are trying concentrate or listen out for bird song. Sometimes the joggers would force of the path too. Then when you have spotted something and someone runs part the bird sods off!
I've been going to nature reserves most of my life and you just never see people running or hear groups of people in animated discussion, let alone yelling into mobiles.
No doubt some folks will be put out a bit but I think this is a good move to everyone not just birders, to enjoy a few moments of piece and quiet.
... Edited. It';s not a ban, but a polite request that people don't run or jog within the boundaries of the reserve.
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How about the children in there? Do they annoy you Neil? And the clouds? Do you sometimes find yourself shaking your fist at them too?
I deleted my earlier comment because actually Will 's comment got me thinking. I do appreciate this restriction because I've had run ins with rude joggers there and the path isn't wide enough sometimes. But whatever will be banned next? Kids running around? And aren't there weddings and events at the Coal House too, don't they disturb the peace for wildlife? I remember a party weekend at the wetlands a few years ago with a lot of visitors, live music and market stalls where this wasn't an issue.
People going about their everyday business, selfish b_____s, have you complained about this on Twitter?.
I think that's a good move too. I'm a runner but it's a nature reserve; trying to set a PB through the Coal House Cafe tables is pretty daft. For a quick nature running but we have the New River Path to use - then we can cool down with a nice coffee and a Grebe watch after...
No one does try to set a PB through the Coal House tables so why are you saying this?
How do people force you off the path?
I don't think I've ever yelled into my mobile on a run, maybe that's why I can't get GFA for London.
Chill guys, it's a nature reserve, it's only open for people to visit because the organisation who runs it is is happy that people aren't disturbing the birds. People are there by permit only and they can shut it when they want just like private land.
Obviously most joggers are well behaved, but some are not observing distancing and I guess the nature reserve is also worried about the affect that the increased numbers of runners during lockdown may have to nesting birds. The council was looking at banning joggers in numerous public spaces like the parkland walk or even closing it fully at one point.
The council was looking at banning joggers then realised it was a bad idea and didn't do it.
The reserve is part-funded by local taxpayers and as such they should be careful about banning groups of local taxpayers from using it. It's also part-funded by Berkley Homes, who've used imagery of runners enjoying the reservoir in their marketing materials - I'm not sure how pleased they'll be to see their runner residents banned from taking a jog there.
The truth is some petty-minded people just love exerting their power and banning things. Covid has been fantastic for these guys - and they usually are guys - who've relished the opportunity to give everyone a good bossing.
Jogging has been a lifeline in recent times for many people, as has access to nature in the inner city. Shutting us out is short-sighted and wrong.
Simply banning joggers smacks of heavy-handed managerialism. Surely instead the Trust could engage the jogging community and work with us to find solutions and make things better. It is difficult to see how banning joggers squares with the Trust’s charitable aim of enabling people to connect with nature. We should be included and not pushed out.
They claim the ban is based on science that joggers startle wildlife, but it’s on the basis of a single obscure paper that doesn’t draw conclusions that warrant a ban. They simultaneously claim it’s about covid safety, which is also crooked - even a cursory look at the evidence on outdoor transmission would throw that out.
The truth is that the Trust is overrun by a clique of posh, white, middle class folk who run it for the benefit of their tribe (take a look at the trustees and management team) who’d be happy for everyone else to stay well away - except when they need a coin, of course, which is when they come bleating to Berkeley Homes, Hackney Council and the diverse local community for funds.
Exclusion, intolerance and banning people isn’t the way forward for institutions that want to thrive in this area.
I’m sure you’re not amongst the number but there are some right arseholes who jog around the site - I was told to “Get out of my way” by a bloke checking his FitBit as he ran into me.
I'm sorry that happened to you. But there are arseholes in every corner of society and I take issue with custodians of our public spaces doling out collective punishment on the whole running community because of the bad behaviour of a small minority. It's heavy-handed and divisive.
Will the wetlands managers next ban babies in prams because some of them cry too much and have been known to drop wet wipes on the paths?
Thanks for your reply - but I’d like to correct a few things -
RSPB does not ban running in reserves and it is not a precedent - quite the opposite, - RSPB often partners with the running community: https://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/reserves-a-z/rainham-marshes/get-active-in-nature/ The Active Nature initiative is a national partnership between RSPB and Sport England. They see the value of working and co-existing together. Both are such positive pastimes.
Joggers are in fact BANNED by the wetlands management - I have it in writing from the COO. They're not politely asked, they are told in very blunt sign. I was last week treated very impolitely by a uniformed guy on the gate who shouted at me when I unknowingly jogged on to the boardwalk.
Finally, for the managers to declare that a banned community is in their opinion well served elsewhere and therefore doesn't need to be allowed into ‘their’ space is simply not on. It is the logic of segregationists. This is London, we rub along together.
It is frustrating to see the privileged managers and trustees of the wetlands use their position of power to exclude people who aren’t in their favoured set. They need to understand that no one group has a monopoly on this important public asset.
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