I'm So Miserable :(
A dear old mate introduced me to Amwell Nature Reserve. I remember the excitement of crossing the railway line to get there. I've been visiting regularly since. My blip followers might remember that when the weather is bad I have been in the habit of sitting it out in one of the hides and still being able to get a wildlife shot to post. I've been posting daily, without a break, for six years. Amwell Nature Reserve is one of my most often-used tags.
I went to Waltham Abbey this morning and shot the Pancake Race. After lunch I took Ollie dog to Amwell Nature Reserve. A lovely man, who I had met before in a hide in the Lee Valley Park, was in the Gladwin Hide with his perfectly behaved collie dog. Ollie and his dog have perfect hide etiquette, better than many adults and most children.
I progressed to the James hide and got the above images. My last. :( The Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust has decided to make the James and Gladwin hides out of bounds to dogs. It made me very sad. They say it is to prevent dogs accessing the reed beds. Once in either of these hides there is no way a dog could access a reed bed. I suspect that anti-dog humans are driving this, there are plenty of them in wildlife/birding/photography circles as I have discovered since adopting my German Shepherd last May. I have spent many hours in hides at the reserve and most of the time I have been completely on my own, or of late with my dog. I've never seen a dog in the reed beds or for that matter any badly behaved dogs. Dog owners are animal lovers and most care for wildlife too. I suspect that the majority of visitors to nature reserves are dog owners, getting the benefit to physical and mental health and well-being that dog ownership and being out in the countryside provides. Most understand that one should keep one's dog close and not let it out of sight, in fact nearly all would be stressed if their dog were to disappear. Nobody wants naughty children or naughty dogs but the pro dog lobby is very strong. The Wildlife Trusts would do well to try to work with it. All that is needed is that dogs should be on a leash in these areas that are considered to be sensitive "to protect the delicate wildlife".