Recent news - 17th December 1999

Busy year, Illegal fishing, Council work, Terrapins, Rat catching and 1999 Fun Day.

Busy year .....
Another year just about over, and a busy one for FBCP with a lot of the summer weekends spent attending other local conservation do's with the display stand promoting Brickfields Country Park.  The Web site continues apace, now over 70 pages, but there is still a lot of work to do to complete the wildlife and plantlife pages.

Illegal fishing .....
Our main problem during the year has again been illegal fishing, on a couple of occasions the situation becoming a bit touchy with the police having to attend on one occasion.  The problem had been exacerbated by the loss of the new floating "no fishing" sign in July.  Just to make the point once again, fishing in an area designated by the owner as "no fishing" is illegal and is covered by the Theft Act, punishable by a fine and/or confiscation of the fishing equipment.  Please do NOT fish in Brickfields Country Park pond.

Council work .....
Work has started on some of the jobs negotiated with the Council and the observant of you visiting the park will probably have seen that the old rotting five bar gate has been replaced.  Other work to the pond, banking and islands is to progress next year, although some of it will have to wait until the autumn / winter season so as not to disturb the pond wildlife.

Bramble control .....
We are continuing our efforts to get the huge amounts of bramble under control, whilst trying to balance the requirements of the public who like to pick blackberries and the wildlife who use it for food and shelter.  Bramble (Rubus fruiticosus agg), is currently our biggest headache in the park as it's fast growth rates can mean that a cleared area can be completely regrown within a year of clearance if the job is not done properly.

Terrapins .....
Another effort to remove the six remaining terrapins (Trachemys scripta elegans), from the pond was made during the hottest weeks of the summer as they are then most active.  Wne have tried both trapping and netting but without much success, terrapins are wily little blighter's and they soon got wind of our antics.  As of October they have gone into hibernation in the silt at the bottom of the pond, so we will start again next year, probably just after Easter.  If you are wondering what we intend to do with the terrapins (if we manage to capture any that is!), we have found two local terrapin sanctuaries that are willing to take them and give them good homes.  For further information on terrapins see their page in the wildlife section of this site.

Rat catchers .....
Brown rats (Rattus norvegicus), are also a bit of a problem in the park but are currently under some control and numbers do not seem to be increasing at this time.  They are being culled by the Council with selected residents bordering the park setting out special poison traps each night.  The bramble clearance has also helped so that access can now be made to block up the rat runs.  For further information on rats see their page in the wildlife section of this site.

2000 Fun Day .....
Our Fun / Open Day for 2000 is at present scheduled for Sunday the 2nd of July.  It promises to be bigger than 1999, so make a date in your diary now.

If you see any vandalism, damage or disturbance in the park, please do not get involved, just phone the Police on the usual number - 999 or 112 (mobiles)

If you have any news for Brickfields Country Park please e-mail at The Friends of Brickfields Country Park.

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