BBOWT Nature Reserves – Problems and Opportunities
Wendover is surrounded by four BBOWT nature reserves, great opportunities for relaxation during the lockdown but a problem when a minority of visitors abuse their welcome.
Unfortunately, anti-social behaviour at Weston Turville Reservoir Nature Reserve has twice required police intervention as social distancing has not been observed. A lot of bottles and other litter have been left behind, rubbish that has had to be picked up by volunteers, and the permissive footpaths are being extensively used by speeding cyclists.
We have put up notices at the three main access points reminding people to observe the rules for using this and other BBOWT nature reserves – mainly helping to protect wildlife by not using BBQs, not littering, not swimming or cycling and keeping dogs on a short lead. Please also respect the fishing and sailing installations. The local communities have enjoyed walking, exercising and relaxing here since Rothschild days – we want to keep things that way so please do all you can to encourage sensible behaviour by your own example.
The pressure caused by increased numbers of people visiting nature reserves during the Covid crisis is understandable and we thank the majority of users who continue to enjoy these wild spaces and behave correctly. With a long summer ahead we are stepping up our monitoring of local hotspots: we have been very happy to welcome new volunteers from the local community at the Reservoir but some more would be a great help to keep an eye on Bacombe Hill and Aston Clinton Ragpits.
Please direct any questions and offers to volunteer to Mark Vallance, Senior Reserves Manager, BBOWT on firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard Birch, BBOWT Chilterns Group, Wendover