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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Many thanks Neil for the positive debate/discussion & have a good day.
Thanks for putting forward that view - fair enough, yeh instead of an outright ban they could have got some alternatives on the table.
Lost you at the bit about posh white people, anyone can get involved. At the end of the day everytime me or my mixed race partner get involved in a community driven activity, cleaning up this, local politics that, the only people who turn up are mostly middle class whites - what's wrong with that, are you racist or classist? It's not like they're excluding people from volunteering lol.
At the end of the day, next time I'm jogging there (I go along the new river when it's not a bog) I'll just walk when I get to the nature reserve.
Shit me, you'd think they were rounding up people for the gulag or something.
Yea shit me man
Direct quote from email by Richard Grindle, COO of Wildlife Trust London: "We concluded that our only option was to implement a ban".
There are loads of nice places people can jog in. Let the birds and others have some peace
I suppose it comes down to what the priority of the site is - as a reserve for wildlife or as a place for leisure pursuits. If the two prove incompatible in this instance surely the priority has to be the wildlife?
They aren’t incompatible at all. It’s really about one dominant group of visitors pushing out a minority group.
They seem to be in this instance, otherwise why would they introduce a ban?
If it were intended to be only a reserve for wildlife it would never have been opened. The wildlife lived very happily there for years without the cafe, families, concerts, weddings, walkers, runners, school groups, etc .
The notion that birds are being affected by runners is a complete red-herring. It's a great illustration of how an issue can be sidetracked by false or dubious information.
Covid is the primary and only justifiable reason runners have been banned. However, the London Wildlife Trust has been disingenuous from the time the Wetlands were originally closed off. At that time they stressed that closure was down to an inability to ensure social distancing.
What's clear is that the real issue is a financial one. With the cafe being unable to open, they didn't have the funds to employ staff to open/close and run the area. Once the green light was given for cafe to open, the issue of distancing disappeared. With the exception of a strip laid down the middle of the wooden pathway, there is nothing different to pre-covid times.
Runners don't sit and buy a coffee and sandwich. They must run through the now expanded external seating of the cafe though. This isn't pleasant for the patrons of the cafe or for the runners.
Bottom line is that this thread assumes the decision has been made because of a few birders needing their own space and/or that the wildlife is somehow at risk from joggers. Both are nonsensical ideas, but are being unhelpfully perpetuated by the operators of the Wetlands and the OP.
But still it is a charity, and money has to come in to keep it open. So they need people to buy and use the cafe, they need the events in order to pay for things. So the wildlife excuse isn't valid there strangely enough.
Rumour has it they ended the lease for Lizzy (who ran the cafe very successfully previously) because she made too much money and the Trust became greedy so they wanted the cafe back. So it isn't only about wildlife.
The Trust is operated by a clique of upper middle class white guys who were lobbied by some other well connected upper class white guys (birders) and they decided to stick with their own and ban the outsiders. This kind of thing is not typical of Hackney and must be called out, particularly when it’s part funded from the public purse.
I’ve the utmost respect for birders/birding and the reservoir volunteers. I do however think the managers have made mistakes and an underlying cause is they don’t reflect the diverse community they serve. If the Trust wasn’t run by an old boys club (take a look at the profiles of the managers and trustees) it may not have taken such an exclusionary stance.
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