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British Waterways need a slap.
overton_cat wrote in naturesbeauty
One of my favourite sites is Napton Reservoir. A feed reservoir for the Oxford Canal which has a small SSSI along two sides of it. The reservoir is raised above the meadows by about 15 feet, giving a large slopping bank problem around three sides.

napton reservoir 09082007-07

Each year British Waterways mow the banks in early June and late August.

napton reservoir 25052007

Last year after complaints they left a strip uncut all around the site but not this year as you can see. Slowly the site has recovered over the weeks, but there has been depressingly little activity since the June scalping, both Common Blue and Blue-tail Damselflies are well down, precious few Red-eyed, and Large Red, a handful of Black-tailed Skimmers, no Emperor, no Four Spotted Chasers, and yes I know its been a horrid year but even so.

Then two weeks ago I photographed this on the site:

napton reservoir 09082007-07

this evening I returned to see if there were any more about, only to find the banks have been scalped again. I didn't bother to get out of the car.

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The ] before "napton reservoir" should be a >

i love this photo....the colors are amazing and the background of the butterfly pic reminds me of an impressionistic work....brilliant!

It came out quite well :)

Beautiful butterfly.

That looks so bleak with the grass all short. Is there a particular reason why they do it? At least if complaints made them leave it un-cut in the past, that method might work again...

Its as bleak as hell. It goes from a bank teeming with insects to nothing in a few hours. It has to be cut it otherwise it would get out of hand, but they just seem to send contractors around there with instructions to cut it. Earlier this year they strimmed the emergent vegetation too. A bugger for anything, like dragonflies and damselflies wanting to climb out. At least they couldn't get at the reed beds on the far side.


There must be better ways to keep it under control than cutting everything in reach off to ground level. But maintaining it as an insect/wildlife friendly environment would mean someone actually having to plan, and organise it.

I thought industrial-style grass cutters could be set to cut from a few inches above the ground, so that at least the lower level plants would be undamaged, but your photo looks as if they've cut as close to the ground as possible. How pointless.

I love the butterfly. Thank you. : )

the butterfly shot is gorgeous...and i really like the capture of the primary colors...magic

It is such a shame that the grass cutting affects the insect population to such a terrible degree. However, your picture of the butterfly is marvellous.

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