Monday, 26 December 2011

Christmas Rail Kill

Great Christmas day walk with Dougal, 1 hour along the Buckingham crossing section of the track with all trains stopped for the holiday and a bright winter sun. The once a year rare opportunity to explore the trackside without the risk of being mown down by a train. Found the time for a quick walk between morning stockings and afternoon Christmas tree presents and while the children distracted by chocolate and lego.

Evidence of dead creatures with every step, we checked, and a dead pheasant every 5 meters or so on average, either 'fresh' and to be avoided or mature to be considered or clean bones to be collected. A selective collection of finds are now laid out on my father-in-laws conservatory table and include many pheasant and rabbit bones, two partridge skulls, many train shattered pheasant skulls, 8 rabbit skulls and a grey squirrel skull. In this 500 meter section of track alone, and we only picked up a small percentage of the bones, so imagine the shear volume replicated across the country's rail system. Briticsh Rail, the seasonal gift that just keeps on giving, Q: What is the true cost to wildlife, if you combined road and rail ?

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