As for the RSPB: i will give you an example...
For many years, about a decade, i used to visit a large sand and gravel extraction pit about 30 miles away. I visited during April and May and again Sept thru October. This was obviously timed for migration. Due to the activities and scouring effect there was little in the way of breeding birds on the ever-changing wet bits. There were however LRP’s. I used to mark these with a stick and report them c/w a rough ‘Treasure Island’ type map to the quarry supervisor.
When this operation ceased, about 5 years ago, the RSPB bought it and with a lot of donated monies including the National Lottery iirc and established a huge reserve with Minsmere-type flashes. Access was made available, i and some others already had access, and paths, car park, electric fences, screens and a Normandy bunker type hide was erected.
Of course along came the No Dogs signs. Dogs are allowed but not beyond the areas where non-birders are likely to go. Lots of non-birders do access the scrapes and flashes area as the paths are very good. This has led to pushchairs and litter, sunbathing bikini-clad teenagers, overnight sleeping c/w alcohol and spliffs and a hide notebook full of puerile rubbish
But no Dogs.
Or birders with a Dog on a lead that used the place before the RSPB came to Town.....
Adjacent to the restricted Dog access wetlands at right angles is a well-beaten track that comes down from the nearby canal which is popular with passing boats particularly in the Summer. As everybody knows - narrowboats and Dogs go together! This ensures plenty of ppl stretching their legs and visiting this area of the reserve.....many with their dog(s). My observations reveal that most are never on a lead and i rarely, if ever, have seen a problem because boat owners (and i used to be one) are responsible people.
I used to enjoy taking my Dog to this area and there was never a problem. The RSPB have a major problem that is much worse than a Dog or Dogs. The Reserve is a designated flood overflow for the River Tame and the RSPB have been told that they cannot block excess water from entering the flood plain. There is plenty of meadow land that they could use to alleviate imo but nothing thus far. Increased Summer rains has now meant the Reserve has flooded during the breeding season 3 out of the last 5 years - indeed there are now flood mark indicators etched in the hide much like you see in quaint riverside pubs that are inundated with waterborne detritus and associated sewage regularly. This area ws bought as a sanctuary and the sight of hundreds of dead Gull chicks, plus waders, is now a frequently depressing one
But hey - no Dogs. I have decided i will revert to my MO of years ago and will now be taking my Dog to the Reserve as if i was a responsible boat owner
Much like i did in the days before the RSPB ‘managed’ the place
and birds actually bred there...
I will be accused of arrogance and selfishness but i judge my action to be the cause of zero problems and woe betide anybody who decides to lecture me.
Good birding -