Small Woodland Owners' Group

damage to beech bark

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Re: damage to beech bark

Postby smojo » Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:20 pm

Oops seem to have started a bit of a "handbags at dawn" situation with this thread. Thanks for the sycamore info Paws. I was misinformed and read that they were imported from the US. Now back to the kill or no kill (playing devils advocate here). As I said earlier, it's all a matter of perspective and comfort with our personal ethics/belief systems etc. which way we decide to go individually. I don't eat meat at all now. Mainly because I don't like most of it, or care for the preparation or rearing of animals pumped with antibiotics and steroids etc. I do eat fish and seafood though which has other moral implications but eating out would be damned near impossible if I didn't and I have no objection to anyone else eating meat and all that it involves. So that's my moral compromise.

What if scientists discovered that eating a portion of squirrel poo everyday protected us from cancer? How would our attitudes and ethics switch then? Would we be suddenly be happy to cut down all our valuable non-squirrel-eating species and replant with tasty sycamore and beech, make squirrels a protected species and encourage them into our woods?

And what about diseases themselves. Aren't they living organisms too. Viruses, bacteria etc. Don't they have a right to live? If we try to live in a completely harmless way, then wouldn't we just perish pretty quickly? We'd have little to eat and fall prey to the first nasty disease that attacked us. I know I'm being ridiculous with these ideas but it's food for thought when trying to decide whether you are comfortable with what life to eradicate.

My attitude is changing all the time. I have seen loads of massive black slugs in the woods. Now, having had allotments and been a keen gardener, I would have had no compunction to chuck some slug pellets around my precious lettuces and bedding plants to annihilate the slugs. But I have not the slightest concern over them in the woods as I realise they are a valuable part of the woodland ecology, helping to break down vegetation into loam enriching components. I'd say that is big moral dilemma for me. So my comfort level regarding big black slugs is - if they not harming me or my property then leave them alone but if they are - I'm in my rights to get rid of them. I can kill them or remove them to another place. Unfortunately we don't have the option of removing squirrels to another place other than squirrel heaven.

My brain's hurting. I need a lie down and a glass of red. :|
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Re: damage to beech bark

Postby Zathras » Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:46 pm

Dexter's Shed wrote:...they are no different from rats/mice barring they taste better, if anyone had a big infestation of rodents in their homes, I'm sure they would see nothing wrong in laying poisons or putting down "little nipper" traps, and would see it as a job well done, culling any pest is therefore no different,


Funny you should mention that...

I have an air rifle which I do a fair bit of target plinking in the woods with, and have said I would certainly take a squirrel if they come by at the right time or a rabbit for the pot. However in the last three weeks I've shot 3 rats in our town garden, all clean kills.

It is very interesting the different reactions and views people have expressed to me in relation to shooting a rat vs rabbit vs squirrel. Mostly it seems to be a jaw drop in horror at the squirrel and a cheer for the rats, with something more random for the rabbit...
Last edited by Zathras on Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:59 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: damage to beech bark

Postby Dexter's Shed » Wed Jul 16, 2014 4:50 am

Zathras wrote:
It is very interesting the different reactions and views people have expressed to me in relation to shooting a rat vs rabbit vs squirrel. Mostly it seems to be a jaw drop in horror at the squirrel and a cheer for the rats, with something more random for the rabbit...


I think it's to do with the "fluffy brigade"
those that we tend to call townies, that see rats/mice as pests that should be killed, yet think it's barbaric to cull rabbits, even though the rabbit is probably causing far more damage and loss of earnings to the farmer, than the rats or mice ever do, and of course mr grey squirrel tends to get the same reaction.
I also go crayfish catching (yes simon for fun) it's a great day out for the kids, and it's helping to eradicate the NON NATIVE red signal crayfish from our rivers, yes I have all the necessary documents issued by the environment agency, funnily enough, that's another non native that damages our river banks, and carries a virus that is wiping out our native crayfish, the red signal is often referred to as the poor man's lobster, and very tasty they are too, and most people out there, yup even the townies tend to agree with the catching and eating bit,

so it's quite strange,

non native crayfish- wiping out our native crayfish, most people agree to its culling and being eaten
non native squirrel- wiping out our native squirrel, shock horror your a monster that enjoys killing
it must be the FUR, hence the fluffy brigade
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Re: damage to beech bark

Postby smojo » Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:35 am

And what about non native food emporiums wiping out our high street like a bad disease from the USA - McDonalds, Burger King, Colonel Sanders chicken thingy, Starbucks etc :lol:
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Re: damage to beech bark

Postby jennysmate » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:36 am

I think it's to do with the "fluffy brigade"

I think its more complex than that.
Were programmed to nurture anything with a big head and large eyes, eg a human baby. It isnt just townies that have this instinct.
Also I think that perceived danger has a lot to do with it. Squirrels arent life threatening to us, but rats have caused millions of deaths.
As for non native species, what does that mean? We are all non native to the Uk, so when do you become a native 100, 1,000, 10,000 years ?
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Re: damage to beech bark

Postby oldclaypaws » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:49 am

The problem with burgers is that the main ingredient is beef. The beef is often either produced in South America on land that was recently rain forest, or supplemented in its feed with soya beans, grown on former rain forest. The more beef that's eaten, the more rainforest is cut down. On top of that, something like 30-40% of human greenhouse gasses are produced by agriculture, much of it the methane produced by cows, or the oil used to fertilise grain to feed to cows. If we were all veggies, oil usage, land required for food production, and obesity would all fall markedly. On the other hand, the economy would change to the detriment of many traditional UK rural communities, there would be more human methane emissions (? Lol), and the switch to other crops might bring new unforeseen changes for better or worse. Every action has a consequence, and lots of small actions add up to big consequences, so if humans look collectively at what goes into the things we do, small changes in behaviour can make a real positive change, like recycling, banning neonicotinoids or charging for carrier bags. Its absurd the number of people using bottled water when the Western world has very high quality healthy tap water. (Coca colas Dasani was filtered tap water from Sidcup, it also didnt help they launched it ignorant of british slang with the American innocent phrase 'bottled spunk') :o .

Regarding Smojo's 'ownership' and 'property' and his right to defend it from disrespectful squirrels, do the squirrels know its yours, after all they live in it all day, you just visit. Perceptive humans, it might be argued, realise they do not own anything, they are just a small part of a total system, and ownership is a curiously narrow recent human concept. Slugs, squirrels, even amoebas are all part of a marvellous and interdependent ecosystem which we should observe, learn about and respect, treading lightly where possible.
Current human activity is a headlong rush to environmental disaster and mass extinction when we are supposed to be intelligent, true intelligence would being aware of our actions, trying to have minimal impact on our environment and being part of it sustainably. Arguably Smojo's black slugs are a superior species.
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Re: damage to beech bark

Postby Dexter's Shed » Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:12 am

jennysmate wrote:
I think it's to do with the "fluffy brigade"

I think its more complex than that.
Were programmed to nurture anything with a big head and large eyes, eg a human baby. It isnt just townies that have this instinct.
Also I think that perceived danger has a lot to do with it. Squirrels arent life threatening to us, but rats have caused millions of deaths.
As for non native species, what does that mean? We are all non native to the Uk, so when do you become a native 100, 1,000, 10,000 years ?


lol, you gotta love a trier, if you want to class yourself as a non native then fine, I'll put you on the list :lol:

do a quick google search, squirrels are the cause of around 30,000 house fires per year, so you ma not die from it, but loosing your home probably feels like it
where as weils disease which is the main one rats can spread, infects around 44 people a year
as for them causing millions of deaths, are you referring to the black plaque ??? as that was caused by fleas, rats were only the host animal
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Re: damage to beech bark

Postby oldclaypaws » Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:30 am

that was caused by fleas


The black death was pneumonic, that is spread by the airborne droplets coughed into the air by humans, which were then breathed in by other humans. Fleas and rats may have helped carry it from continent to continent, but humans living in close proximity were the causes of contagion.

Justice for fleas ! Fleas are innocent ! Release fleas from cruel circus conditions !
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Re: damage to beech bark

Postby Dexter's Shed » Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:32 am

oldclaypaws wrote:
that was caused by fleas


The black death was pneumonic, that is spread by the airborne droplets coughed into the air by humans, which were then breathed in by other humans. Fleas and rats may have helped carry it from continent to continent, but humans living in close proximity were the causes of contagion.

Justice for fleas ! Fleas are innocent ! Release fleas from cruel circus conditions !


ok, lets put anyone who "coughs" on the list :twisted:
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Re: damage to beech bark

Postby oldclaypaws » Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:27 pm

squirrels are the cause of around 30,000 house fires per year


5313763_f520.jpg


American statistic. If you will build houses from wood and then fill your cupboards with peanut butter, its hardly surprising that the varmits eat through the exterior and rummage round your electrics. Wall voids make a great place to raise your young if you're an American squirrel. Heated too !

Main cause of UK house fires is cooking equipment (52%), although what % of these is caused by people cooking squirrels in a honey glaze doesn't appear in the statistics. :?
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