Burton Mere Wetlands
Despite some very slight changes in lockdown restrictions in England, Burton Mere Wetlands remains closed to the public for now. Our priority is to ensure that we only re-open when we have everything in place to keep our members, visitors, volunteers and employees safe.
We must also make sure that the wildlife that calls our site home is ready to receive attention after a couple of months completely on its own. You'll have seen reports from round the UK of birds nesting on and near normally busy paths (as well as some weird and wonderful places), so it's going to take us some time to check and make sure they are safe too.
We ask that you bear with us in these difficult times and check our reserve website, Facebook and Twitter regularly for the latest information, as well as the RSPB Covid-19 updates here.
Burton Marsh permissive path (Greenway) - *EDIT* - this has now been re-opened, click here for further details
Sadly, due to a high number of anti-social behaviour incidents over the recent weeks, the permissive Burton Marsh path (part of the Greenway), that leads past Burton Point has been closed to the public since 9 May.
That weekend our staff dealt with high numbers of trespassers onto the reserve, were verbally abused and threatened by members of the public, and had to call on stretched police forces for support in managing this section of path. That was following a significant rise in the levels of anti-social behaviour on this section of permissive path in recent weeks; ranging from repeated abusive behaviour, verbal threats and trespass onto Burton Mere Wetlands.
The decision to close that section of path was not taken lightly, but was made following a marked increase in these issues leading up to that weekend and a serious incident requiring emergency police assistance on the early May bank holiday, where a member of our staff was subject to verbal abuse and extremely threatening behaviour. The local police were shocked at the extent of the anti-social behaviour witnessed from people using the path and were very concerned at the number of people flouting government guidance on social distancing, so fully supported the temporary closure of the path in the interests of public safety. Since then, we have been working closely with local authorities to look at ways in which we can safely re-open this path for the community, and we are hoping to do so this week (week commencing 18 May). We will update here when we have more information about the re-opening.
If you are exercising on public paths around the wider RSPB Dee Estuary reserve, as well as abiding by social distancing measures, we urge you to be alert for nature and please be extra careful around it - especially on beaches (where birds such as terns nest), paths (where plants have emerged, and birds may have nested) and open landscapes (ground nesting birds and other wildlife can easily be disturbed by people and dogs off leads).
Thank you. We look forward to being able to welcome you back when it can be done safely and responsibly for all people and wildlife concerned.
Image by Paul Jubb
You're going to get key workers like me killed by forcing us to use a busy dual carriageway to get to work instead of a traffic free national cycle route. I hope you can live with that when the first casualty happens.
"The priority is to protect staff, local residents and wildlife from abusive and antisocial behaviour." - a rather selfish view - stuff the the poor workers who now have to cycle miles out of their way on dangerous roads. But so long as local residents are happy, that's OK. Will I'm a local resident and I do not wish to be associated with this type of selfish behaviour.
As a local resident, I fully support this action and thank the RSPB and local police for taking this step. The priority is to protect staff, local residents and wildlife from abusive and antisocial behaviour.
I am very disappointed to learn that this path has been closed. Over the past few weeks it has been an oasis to me – watching the wheatears flit along the stone walls, and listening to the song of grasshopper warblers and skylarks.
Yes, the path has grown busier, as frightened people living through extraordinary times seek a little bit of safe space. And I appreciate there may have been acts of “anti-social behaviour”, but to close the path feels very mean-spirited – it reminds me of a once-hated teacher who used to punish the entire class for the behaviour of a very small minority. By all means, take steps to protect the perimeter of the reserve, but closing the path seems to me an ignoble act.
Of course, I and many others are now inconvenienced by the closure, but the people this action will really hurt are the essential workers who use the path every day to cycle in for a long shift at the food factories on the Sealand industrial estate. These folk are now being forced miles out of their way, and onto roads that are infamously dangerous for cyclists. Think on that.
Hi RedKite56, we appreciate that this is concerning for those who responsibly use the route. However, there has been a significant rise in the levels of anti-social behaviour on this section of permissive path in recent weeks; ranging from repeated abusive behaviour, verbal threats and illegal trespass onto Burton Mere Wetlands. The decision to close the path was made following a marked increase in these issues and a serious incident requiring emergency police assistance this weekend, where a member of our staff was subject to verbal abuse and extremely threatening behaviour. The local police were shocked at the extent of the anti-social behaviour witnessed and very concerned at the number of people flouting government guidance on public health, so fully supported the temporary closure of the path in the interests of public safety. We are working closely with local authorities to look at ways in which we can safely re-open this path for the community; once we can be sure that all guidance around responsible use of the path and social distancing will be observed.
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