Saturday, December 16, 2017

Save your country park!

You might not be aware but all of the Priory Rangers have been given redundancy notices.

At the moment two are based at Harrold Country Park and three at Priory Country Park. In total they are responsible for nearly one thousand acres of public green space which also includes Browns Wood, Clapham Park Wood, Putnoe Wood and Mowsbury Hillfort. They also support and provide educational resources and manage and encourage volunteer groups such as those that help out at Priory CP and the Friends group at Putnoe Wood and Mowsbury Hillfort.

They are undergoing, at this time, an internal consultation with Bedford Borough Council. The five current rangers are being asked to apply for two ranger positions (downgraded by one pay grade) and two positions that are being called groundsman positions (downgraded by two pay grades). One position is to be made redundant.

As this consultation is internal and we were not aware of any previous Budget Public Consultations concerning the fate of the Park Ranger Service we cannot directly contribute to these meetings. We can however make our comments and views available to the rangers. This information can then be used to support the their case during their consultation with the Borough.

If the Borough’s plan to implement these redundancies comes to fruition it would not just have a negative environmental and management impact on the main two sites but all green open spaces and all volunteer groups that depend on the rangers for their support and knowledge.

Please help fight the rangers case by emailing your comments and views as to why the Rangers are so important to the upkeep of our country parks and green spaces. This information can then be used to support the rangers case during their consultation with the Borough.

You can email your support for the rangers to me and I will pass it on. A letter or email to your local councillor or the mayor would also be helpful if you have some time to spare. Find your councillor's contact details here:

Please be respectful in any communications, abusive emails will not get us anywhere, reasoned argument and/or impassioned pleas will serve us best.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Sunday Volunteers - 9th July

The task on Sunday was pulling the Himalayan Balsam along the river bank between the canoe slalom and Cardington lock. A small group of vols got stuck in and managed to clear the stretch. It was quite a transformation as prior to starting we couldn't even see the river. On completion the river was back in view and our native plants now have room to breath! Taking the Balsam out now prevents it seeding and so hopefully next year we'll have less to deal with. Following photo's supplied by Danny Fellman:


A big pile of Himalayan Balsam, one of several!
On the birding front some good news this week with the confirmed breeding of the Common Terns which have used the new tern raft this year. We spotted at least 2 chicks on the raft on Saturday morning. EG has been ringing in the Rough, completing the annual CES visits. These have been going really well so far this year and on Monday the 10th 50+ birds were processed including a second Lesser Whitethroat juvenile.