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Posts posted by Jerra

  1. 13 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:


    But, surely if cats have killed 27 million birds the population must have been reduced by 27 million from what it would have been had they not been killed.

    That is assuming that a) cats like most predators don't choose the sick and weak which would have died from some other source  b) That they aren't taking birds which are in the wrong habitat and aren't doing as well as possible.


    Cats, OK wild cats, were part of the UK natural fauna and not restricted to Scotland in times gone by, so domestic cats are probably just replacing natural predators.  Domestic cats have been part of human society since at least Egyptian times it would seem strange if suddenly in the last 50 years or so they had suddenly started to have an effect on populations which they didn't have for a couple of millennia.   Particularly when is past centuries they weren't as well fed and in many cases were expected to fend for themselves.


    For me however the telling point is the fact there is no scientific evidence and believe me it is not for the lack of looking.  Many many people carry out scientific studies and population counts.   For example 40,000 of us were involved in data gathering for the 2007-2011 Population Atlas.


    It is, to me at least, strange that people require proof for many things in life but grab hold of statements they agree with ignoring part of what is said, as Pete.i points out your statement is based on no evidence.

  2. 1 hour ago, sueb said:

    Too many people keep cats. I have a running battle with one which is intent on killing the birds around me.

    Could you give a reference for that please?  As far as I know the British Trust for Ornithology who carry out all sorts of ornithology research have found no scientific evidence that the cats have reduced bird populations, so I would be interested to read the research on which you base that statement. 

    • Greenie 1
  3. 7 hours ago, LadyG said:

    OK, so am increasingly concerned about absence of wildlife on the canals, a fabulous resource of food and habitat, but where are the birds and the bees?

    Birds seem to be being hit hard by avian flu also I find that at this time of the year food is still plentiful in the countryside so they are well spread out.

    7 hours ago, LadyG said:


    Who is monitoring them?

    Birds are monitored by many many organisations e.g. the BTO, BU and various local bird clubs such as the Cumbria Bird Club.

    I can't speak for other parts of the country but Cumbria Wildlife Trust have been running a scheme for a number of years to monitor insects particularly pollinators.


    Lots of Apps e.g. iNatura;list iRecord and Bird track gather data and feed it in to such things as the local Biodiversity Centre

    7 hours ago, LadyG said:

    Who is damaging them?

    Humans!   The government is still allowing some use of neonicotinoids.  Natural habitats are being destroyed, some people (such as one member of this forum) feel the world can survive if we get rid of animals.  Gardeners still use pesticides and prefer a garden which is "neat and tidy" leaving less room for wildlife hence the need for "No mow May".

    7 hours ago, LadyG said:

    I've been in a semi rural environment, hung feeders on a tree, no birds. I've seen one pair of Mergansers, winter visitors.

    (sawbills). I m not keen on mallard or Canada geese,  greedy beggars.

    Is there anything we general boaters can do? 

    Support organisations doing what they can, for land based folk the BTO garden bird survey helps to show from year to year the ups and downs of each species, pressurise your MPs about environmental concerns etc etc


    Everybody can and should do something.  As an example CBDC (our local biodiversity centre) points out that if common species e.g. mice aren't recorded it is very difficult to know when they are under threat and decreasing.  Obviously everybody hasn't an interest in wildlife but those who do can with very little effort contribute a lot.

    • Greenie 1
  4. On 03/11/2022 at 18:23, David Mack said:


    More than once, when I was in 6th form, our young Maths teacher, who was much closer in age to us than to most of his colleagues, squeezed 4 or 5 of us into his sports car and took us for a lunchtime pint in a pub far enough from school for us not to be discovered...

    Can't see it happening these days. 

    With the current "Teachers Professional Standards" document it would probably mean you never worked as a teacher again.


    However I had a colleague who met his wife while teaching in a boarding school, she used to sneak out, hide in his car boot and then he would drive to a remote pub.   She was in the 6th form at the time.  Another action which would lead to a sacking these days.

  5. 1 hour ago, IanD said:


    Some people might also consider that taking a diesel boat onto a river without draining/cleaning the fuel tank to remove any water/dirt and replacing all the fuel filters to be seriously negligent, since it seems that stirring up crap or water from the bottom of the tank is what has caused most of these problems leading to the boat losing power. Doing this would probably be a *much* bigger contribution to boat safety in these circumstances than carrying an anchor, by avoiding the problem happening in the first place.


    So do you do that then? 😉


    It is many years since I last took a boat on a river and yes the fuel and tank were clean and I was carrying an anchor.


    Incidentally dirty fuel and or lack of maintenance aren't the only reasons for a boat losing power, it is impossible to totally ensure nothing will go wrong.   For the cost, size and weight of an anchor it seems IMO to be "spoiling the ship for a hap'orth of tar" to not have one.

    • Greenie 2
  6. 2 minutes ago, IanD said:


    "Some people would count..." covers an awful lot of ground -- some people think that Elvis is still alive, or the Earth is flat, or 5G is frying their brains, or that aliens live amongst us, or that digital watches are really clever... 😉


    If insurers (and the courts, and CART) thought that a narrowboat venturing out onto a river without an anchor was "seriously negligent", you can bet your boat that having one would be a legal requirement to get insurance cover and/or a license, like passing BSS.


    They don't, which rather suggests it isn't... 😉

    Perhaps I should have been clearer.   Most people I know and it would seem many on here would consider going on a river without an anchor seriously negligent.


    There is that better.

    • Greenie 1
  7. 4 hours ago, IanD said:

    Oh, leave it out -- I'm trying hard to be sympathetic to other people's POV, you're just trying to carry on a pointless argument and needle me for the sake of it. Grow up. And go and sit on the naughty step while you're at it...



    Already discussed -- almost certainly (IANAL) nothing, unless an anchor was a compulsory item of safety equipment required by either waterways regulations or your insurance policy. Several people have already delved into the fine print of their insurance policies or those where the terms can be read online, and nobody has found any suggestion or clause saying that an anchor is needed in inland waters.

    I was thinking more of any action the relatives of the dead crew member might take.

    1 hour ago, David Mack said:

    Insurers may pay out for death or bodily injury which occurs as a result of an accident, but the chances of the insurers then recovering that sum from the person in control of the boat at the time are virtually nil. They would have to prove that the persons actions were so unreasonable as to amount to serious negligence, which would be hard to do, and it would only be worth pursuing if the individual concerned had sufficient assets to cover the insurer's costs.

    Police could investigate and take action, but as far as I know there is no boating equivalent of 'causing death by careless/dangerous driving' so I think criminal prosecution for manslaughter would be the only option available to them. But again the burden of proof is very high. Simply making a particular decision in a stressful situation, that with the benefit of hindsight turned out to be wrong, is not an offence.

    Some people would count being on a river without an anchor as seriously negligent.

    • Greenie 1
  8. 1 hour ago, magnetman said:

    Things have moved on since then. Humans can manipulate their food sources in a such a way as to not depend on other species. We are clever enough to do this.

    Wrong!   Between  1/3 and 1/2 of the worlds food requires pollinators i.e. insects, without healthy biodiversity they don't survive and our food supply is up the creek.


    Assuming you are old enough consider your car windscreen in summer and in the 60s and what it is like now.


    Since the late 1980s every commercial tomato you have eaten has been pollinated by Bumble Bees.  The situation is so desperate we are having to breed Bumble Bees specially for the job.


    The natural world which we rely on for food has to be healthy to perform properly, this healthy relies on the web of life linking all living thinks.


    Your attitude is as far off beam as climate change deniers.

  9. 14 hours ago, magnetman said:

    Animals are pointless. I suppose they get a bit of attention in the form of humans wanting to eat them and also some people like watching wildlife films but other than that not interesting. Get rid.


    I take it you were never taught about the interdependency of all life forms on one another.


    Part of the reason climate is changing is owing to the balance of nature being upset by habitat destruction  e.g. rain forests.

  10. 5 hours ago, MtB said:


    The RSPB bod on the wireless this morning was furiously knee-jerk objecting to this proposal on every ground he could clutch at like a good-un! 



    Sorry MtB but I can guarantee he has a greater depth of knowledge and understanding of the effects than you have.  The RSPB now considers the whole of the ecosystem and biodiversity not merely birds.


    Reduce biodiversity and you add to the problems climate change is causing, with regard to things like pests to crops etc.

    50 minutes ago, Loddon said:

    Did you miss the fact that there is going to be tidal electricity generation in the barrier?

    Better prepare ourselves for flooding and saying goodbye to all low lying land.

    we need to grasp every opportunity to generate power without using fossil fuels, which includes gas,  to even have the slightest hope of surviving.

    Losing few species in one locality is a minor irritation compared to saving the planet.


    The problem is "the few species in one locality can often be a large slice of the world population.

  11. 2 hours ago, LadyG said:

    I tried part boiling fat sausages before frying instead of splitting them. Splitting them gets nice caramelized taste 

    They were not as good when hot but really nice cold with dijon mustard. 

    re Tod, was hoping to cruise in company to get through locks, but not seen another boat for a week! Will set off as soon as it's not raining

    By the way things are going weather wise that will probably be sometime late spring.  Well if the weather up here is anything to go by it will be.

  12. 25 minutes ago, chevron said:

    Hi Please if anyone sees a male swan last seen Trent and  Mersey canal at Acton Bridge  with ring number CLC2 will you let me know where. It’s a swan which has been returned ti the canal after having treatment for an injury which has not settled in its old area.

    I assume you or the organisation returning it to the wild know about Euring.   It may be reported there by people who don't read the forum, it would probably also be a good idea to post the colour of the Darvic ring.  I know when I am checking swans knowing the colour is a help.

  13. 2 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

    In farming (in particular horses) things are still sold / bought in Guineas, and not 'pounds' 

    There are still some non-SI units used

    Horses are the only livestock I have ever come across sold in guineas.  A quick wander round the internet showed most prices in Pounds and pence not guineas.


    With regard to Bushels my "Black's Agricultural Dictionary" says:


    A dry measure by which grain was once generally computed, and also  used for fruit, containing 1.28 cubic feet or 8 gallons.  Many farmers still drill seed in bushels per acre or refer to grain in terms of pounds per bushel when discussing quality, but following metrication, grain traders now use Kg per hectolitre.  Fruit is now generally picked into bulk bins rather than bushel boxes.


    N.B.  my bold and the book was published in 1981 I doubt many framers still think in Bushels per acre or Lbs per Bushel.


    My experience says farmers quickly change to the units they are buying and selling in.  Within 6 months of auctions starting to sell stock in Kgs I had the following experience.


    I was on a farm and the farmer was preparing a young Charolais bull for showing.  He asked me what I thought it weighed as he was fairly elderly I didn't think he would be up to date on metric measures so I gave him an estimate of 6and a half cwt.   Teh reply "Nay lad thats nee gud t'me me scales weigh in Kg".


    I seriously doubt there are any but the very oldest who still use imperial weights for doing business, yes they may, but I doubt it, estimate in imperial and then convert.

    1 hour ago, LadyG said:

    It's likely that this will prompt a rush on eggs, to be followed by flour, then vegetable oil, but It's unlikely all Sainsbury's egg producers have suddenly stopped supplying eggs , more likely one lorry did not get through in time 

    UK domestic birds are all now housed, so Avian flu is not going to reduce supply, it's the high price of feedstock, and the price fluctuations which make it high risk  This is due to the supply of wheat and sunflower oil from Ukraine, the Russians can stop shipping if they want to , as they have already demonstrated.

    Poultry will gradually reduce in supply and increase in price. Pigs have a longer timeline, but same thing is going to happen.eggs have a longish shelf life, but eggs have to be shifted fairly quickly , there is no profit in sheds full of ageing eggs.

    They are housed to reduce, note reduce, the chances of them catching avian flu not eliminate the chances.

    • Greenie 1
  14. 29 minutes ago, Naughty Cal said:

    We had goose a few years back. Twas expensive. But very nice.


    Currently have half a goat, half a sheep and half a pig in the garage freezer 😀 


    Love our butchers. We go in for one thing and come out with a half a butchered something else 🤣🤣🤣

    We humans have not messed up anything. 


    Our planet has always had cycles of warming and cooling.

    Yes it has taking a couple of centuries or so to show the rises that have taken place in a few decades.  This is not part of cyclic weather, unless you know something that the worlds top scientists don't know.   Do you have some secret source of information better than scientists from all over the world.

    • Greenie 1
  15. 13 hours ago, Bacchus said:


    It is just nature in action. Creatures live. Creatures die. Other creatures eat the ones that have died. One of the dead swans I saw today had a blood-stained throat, but I suspect that was something trying to have an opportunistic snack rather than the cause of death  - The Defra notice suggesting "suspected" avian flu implies a more likely cause of death.


    Tens of thousands of people die of flu in a bad year, no different for swans. Life is a balancing act for all of us

    It is different for swans.  The percentage of people who die each year is a tiny percentage compared to the percentages dying from Avian Flu.  With swans comparatively spread out the numbers may seem small.  Remember no matter how common they seem there are only in the region of 7,000 pairs in the UK.


    The effects of the current Avian Flu can be seen in places where large numbers of birds are seen.  A reserve just across the Solway from us has had 700 deaths among swans and geese in the last 9 days.  The current wave of flu started last winter.  The Farne Islands alone have had around 50,000 bird deaths this breeding season.


    Anybody who has even the slightest grasp of the web of life and the need for biodiversity should be very worried by the Avian Flu situation.

    • Greenie 4
  16. 7 hours ago, David Mack said:

    Fine if they are genuine volunteers. But I am a bit uncomfortable with the idea that people, who we do not allow to work and earn money to support themselves and their familes, should be pressured into working for free, even if for a good cause.

    So does that mean basically you don't believe Saddam and the reasons he gives in the article.   Also do you think a charity like Care 4 Calais would pressure people into volunteering.

  17. 1 hour ago, IanD said:

    Also "This includes £1.5 billion annual economic value from water-based tourism and jobs" -- meaning hire boats among other things. Not boat owners or liveaboards though, they're obviously of no economic value... 😞

    Surely boat owners who aren't live aboard are tourists, at least that is what we call caravaners (among other things) up here in the Lakes.  Caravaners are basically only the terrestrial equivalent of boats.

  18. 15 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:


    The problem being C&RT have not met the conditions of the grant and the claims they have made have been proven to be fraudulent, I would suggest that however much 'boaters howl' the C&RT / DEFRA grant is unlikely to be renewed.

    Probably you are right however it doesn't help if the majority of boaters are antagonistic to CRT whatever they do.

    • Greenie 1
  19. 17 minutes ago, IanD said:

    They're all in trouble, but wet-led pubs are worse off because their revenue per customer and profit margins are lower -- it's why so many have already closed or shifted the emphasis to food in recent years. You're lucky you've still got one of the food pubs open... 😞

    Luckier still, the pub in the village (food pub) remains open and very active with live music on Sunday lunch/afternoons.

  20. 27 minutes ago, IanD said:

    I like doing both. Either way, a lot of pubs of both types aren't likely to survive the winter unless something changes drastically... 😞

    There is a square in town that had 4 pubs, two wet and two food.  Three are closed two wet and one food.

  21. 19 minutes ago, IanD said:


    This is like worrying about whether the flames are red or yellow when the real problem is that your ar*e is on fire -- some of us think they *all* taste unpleasant... 😞

    LOL.  I love Swede, Mrs J on the other hand is in your camp.

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