Monday, 26 March 2012

Destruction.... shock, horror!!

Two blog entries in a day... but this one won't wait. We have just witnessed the destruction of a field boundary opposite  our meadow... on the opposite side of the Aigronne. The shrubs were ripped up and deposited on the river bank... right on top of the last remaining clump of fritillaries around here!!

This was some of the patch in 2004
These fritillaries are not yet out [see this Days on the Claise post], fortunately, so may well be protected by the dumped bushes from the old hedge line. But yet another wildlife corridor destroyed.... OK, the hedge was in a terrible state... gappy and dying... why? Because they will insist on "trimming" their hedges with tractor mounted flails on a long arm... because it is quicker and cheaper than hand cutting with a billhook. The flail method leads to disease... which then creates gaps in the hedge... which soon means that the hedge is worthless as a boundary... so it gets removed.

One of our patches the same year... but not seen them here for around two years.
We think the coypus have had them.

But dumping it into a gap beside the river, whilst convenient for the farmer [or contractor?] is no substitute for proper management.

In the same place, but on the riverbank in 2004 were these Purple Toothwort

The destruction of wildlife corridors leads to isolation of species and their eventual disappearance. All along the Aigronne at the moment, there is a mass clearance of all the old trees.... especially the poplars... and we will be blogging about this in the next few days and explaining why the way it is currently being done is a bad way of proceeding if it is to benefit wildlife.

If it is just being done for the fisher folk is is a sad thing.


Susan said...

With any luck the farmer is taking advantage of the large hedge replanting grants currently available from the Conseil Général, but I doubt it. 'My' Large Blue breeding meadow is for sale and they've just done a number on the hedges there to make it 'propre'.

Tim said...

I doubt it too... the two fields concerned are 'small' fields... this makes one 'big' field... the only good thing is that he will never bother trying to clean out or plough the 'bulge' towards our bank!
I'll wander over there at a spare momement today and take a closer look.
All the pictures on this entry were taken 11 April so I'm keeping my eyes peeled... I made it a resolution to take a daily walk round the meadow once the summer arrived... as you've seen your first swallow and we've heard the first cookuck I might as well start!

Niall & Antoinette said...

what a shame! I've never seen a fritillary except in photos.

Anonymous said...

We remember seeing our stretch of the Creuse being cleared of poplars 23years ago when we first arrived at Les Iles. We were devastated as the view completely changed, About 70 full grown trees disappeared in one season, leaving only the three standing on our land. Hedgerows were also taken out. Now, twenty years on you would hardy know it had happened, and we were under the impression that it had been done to harvest trees that would otherwise have died and perhaps fallen into the river. The three trees on our land are now dead, so perhaps the harvest serves an important purpose?
PS find your blog very interesting (sourced through Days on the Claise)

Anonymous said...

We were devastated when the poplar trees from our stretch of the Creuse were taken out just after we arrived 23 years ago. About 70 trees were removed, and some hedgerows. Now, you would hardly know it had happened and the Poplar trees are growing strongly again. It appears to be a harvest of the mature trees, and certainly this stretch river is full of poplar trees once more. The only remaining trees of the original 'cull' were on our land and these have since died naturally, which fits in with what we were told, in that these trees have a short life expectancy.