Promoting observation, free range exploration, sense of place and citizen science, through the field notes of a naturalist.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Bring back school shoes with a compass in the heel.

One of the talents fostered in students during my degree course was that of an enquiring mind. Never accept the norm always look at the other side of the coin was the mantra of some lecturers. This enquiring, questioning approach I believe is innate within naturalists and couple this the another trait of natural curiosity and you have a potent  'miserable old git' combination.

For a while now I've been troubled by the amount of 'essential' clutter that arrives to set up home on our open spaces including nature reserves. Multiheaded waymarkers announcing excitingly themed walks, metal gates, hard surfacing, boardwalks, interpretation boards, handrails, comfy seats etc. these are a modern day conservation success story.  Some will see these features as necessary contributors to getting people out to enjoy nature, others may view them as patronising rubbish - urban thinking for a countryside setting!

Down at the seawall off Newport yesterday I came across one of the newly branded waymarking posts for the Wales Coastal Path. I don't have a problem with the concept of a coastal path, as it's always been there, used mainly by local people. Which is my point, why is it that we all now need to be told where the path is? Are we expecting a rash of walkers confused by the seawall, saltmarsh, tidal estuary combination that they need to be pointed in the right direction to help avoid a lemming like disaster? Lets be honest if you're local you will be familiar with the path, if making a trip to visit the coast you'll be an experienced walker complete with stick, gaiters and map. So for who's benefit is the waymarked post? Probably the vast majority of the population who don't care a monkeys and who's nature deficit disorder is untreatable.

I suppose one benefit of encouraging those hordes of flip flop wearing walkers to stay to the path is they're less likely to brush against one of those nasty toxic brown-tail moth caterpillars. Yours opinionated.


  1. I walked around a local 'cluttered' nature spot with my 10-year-old son and he said it was 'like a theme park'. He enjoyed it but he enjoys places more without the boardwalks and the interpretation boards.

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  3. Do you know "unze" is selling girls School Shoes at lowest prices with free uk delivery and returns?


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