Back to my cause celebre! There were hundreds of wildfowl at Wentwood Reservoir yesterday but to do anything more about getting a closer view other than sticking my scope through the bars of the gates like a Special Branch officer on a surveillance operation was impossible. Once again Welsh Waters practice of embracing certain income generating recreational users more than others means that birders are locked out like naughty children.
So what is Welsh Water's policy on access to their landholdings? Paul Henderson Strategic Regulation Manager in his written evidence to the Welsh Assembly Government's Sustainability Committee Inquiry into Access to Inland Water in 2009 gave us a hint. He said:
'We are committed to providing appropriate access and promoting recreational use at our landholdings for the public in so far as there is no significant risk to health and safety, risk of pollution or damage or harmful impact to wildlife'.
Fine words are offered by Welsh Water and WAG in relation to nature conservation but allowing access for individuals and organisations who are well placed to support their conservation aspirations is all too often restricted or barred. Birders are simply up the proverbial creek without a paddle.