From Ian Costard.
I CAN now confidently state that summer is here. Although the weather has not, perhaps, fulfilled the optimistic promises of the long range forecasts, the surrounding conservation area has shown its worth.
The abundance of local flora and fauna are there for all to see and enjoy and this is what prompts my correspondence to your medium.
With Megan my border collie, I walk through Les Mielles park near enough every morning. This I find to be a wonderful start to the day, regardless of the weather, though during the summer months this enjoyment is sadly often spoilt when one comes across the destructive aftermath of the overnight campers and barbecue fraternity.
On Sunday morning I found the main barbecue area left in a disgusting state. The nearby trees and wooden bridge had been vandalised to fuel an unsuccessful bonfire. Green timber does not burn and was, therefore, still lying in a blackened heap. Litter is strewn about the site.
The area obviously selected for use as a toilet by these sad individuals was one of the footpaths which has been left like a minefield for the unwary. It would appear that the toolbox for vandalism did not contain a spade for digging a simple latrine.
I simply cannot understand the mentality of these people. Do they live like this at home? If they return for a repeat stay next weekend and the area is still as they have left it, what will be their reaction? Anybody planning a barbecue there today will be disgusted when they arrive and will probably blame Public Services, who really do have a thankless task.
I believe this sort of thing is a reflection of an inherent lack of respect for our environment. If people would just take more care, the rewards would be there for all to see and enjoy.
In conclusion I can only hope that if you do kindly print this letter, the people involved will read it and recognise their folly. Meanwhile, Megan and I look forward to many more rewarding walks.