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Latest posts by hypercharleyfarley

squirrel shot for coming to the table.

Posted: 25/01/2013 at 12:06

Just to clarify - people "have a right" to shoot things in this country, provided they have the appropriate gun licence, and the landowner's permission. In the case initially discussed on this board, I think the person wasn't in what you'd call a "public place" - it was his garden, I believe.    In fact, not many areas are actually "public places" - though you might be forgiven for thinking that, given that people feel free to roam through the countryside at will.


For example, although there is a public footpath which crosses the field at the back of my house, I do get a bit cross when/if people come along to take rabbits etc without asking my permission first.  Wildlife knows no boundaries and wild creatures are what you might call "opportunists" and will frequent places where food is easily and readily accessible, hence the huge increase in the numbers or "urban" foxes.  The same applies to squirrels - and rats, come to that - so don't be surprised if you see them in your garden!  All welcome to come after the rabbits here - but please ask me first!

Fork Handles

Posted: 24/01/2013 at 18:31

You've just forgotten to "un-tick" the box!  Now....I might have an excuse for having a forgettery these days,

is it ok to feed birds ordinary suet rather the prepared bird suet you can buy

Posted: 24/01/2013 at 16:02

ref rats - try your local council first & see if they'll do it FOC.

is it ok to feed birds ordinary suet rather the prepared bird suet you can buy

Posted: 24/01/2013 at 12:21

If you can't be bothered to catch can make food for the birds from all sorts of stuff you probably already have in kitchen cupboards.   Stale bread, crackers, biscuits etc can all be whizzed in a blender for few seconds and mixed with left-over fat from, say, a roast - or you can mix in some vegetable oil.  It won't stick together (but it would if you use suet or beef dripping/lamb fat) and will probably provide as many calories.   You can add all sorts of other things too, if you have them:  unsalted peanuts (whizz them a bit first) cooked rice, grated cheese rind, porridge oats and so on work well too, and you can even use peanut butter if there's any left in the jar!  I put the resulting mix on a bird-table type thing, and also made a hanging "table" from an old/unused plastic tray.  I made three holes in the rim of the tray and hung it from an apple tree branch using one of those chain-type thingys which you get with hanging baskets.  Have also used wire coathangers in the past  to make a hanging-hook type thing. 

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 21/01/2013 at 19:01

Snow with an easterly wind on Friday - created lots of drifts but not so much actual depth on the ground - however, last night changed things quite a bit & now there's approx 5" + drifts. 


Of course, as is the way of things, it was snowing again this morning when the logs were delivered.  I'd cleared the snow so they could dump the load on the ground (Pa's old muck shovel - remember those, Frank?- came in handy) but I had to cover most of the load  because I couldn't stack the logs under cover quickly enough..........  guess what I'll have to do tomorrow..........



Snow on my new shrubs

Posted: 21/01/2013 at 18:53

I'd suggest that if you're worried, you should shake the snow off before we get a thaw/freeze which will make the snow stick to the branches.    Best way is probably to use a long-handled garden tool/ broom or similar & tap each branch on the underside so that the snow falls off but you don't get covered in it! 

squirrel shot for coming to the table.

Posted: 19/01/2013 at 16:48

We can't escape the fact that grey squirrels are classed as "vermin" - as are rats, for example, and it is not against the law to kill them any more than it is against the law to kill rats.  The problem here seems to be that the person who got into trouble for killing a grey squirrel didn't manage to despatch it quickly and relatively painlessly - which is why I said in an earlier post that if he'd been a better shot he'd have got away with doing the deed.

The greys carry some sort of disease which, whilst it doesn't seem to affect them  badly, does affect reds and is one of the reasons for the great reduction in the number of red squirrels in the UK.  I think the reds are less flexible (if that's the word) as regards diet too, so the greys can survive and flourish in a wider environment than the reds, which nowadays seem more or less confined to those areas where there are pine forests.  Clearly the "powers that be" consider the greys to be a serious problem because of the damage they cause so I personally have no problem with their being controlled provided that this can be done efficiently and without undue suffering.

squirrel shot for coming to the table.

Posted: 18/01/2013 at 17:21

I think the grey squirrel was deliberately introduced into the UK in the mid-1800s somewhere in Cheshire - and spread rapidly, causing such a problem that during the 1950s there was a bounty of a shilling or a cartridge for a squirrel tail.  They do quite a lot of damage to young tree growth so I guess it may have been The Forestry Commission which instigated this.  I think they raid birds' nests too, so aren't good for wildlife in general so far as I can see.  I know someone who had to deal with a whole lot of problems in his house's loft, due to damage caused by squirrels nibbling at cables etc.    One of my nephews has a thatched house and has ongoing problems with squirrels damaging the thatch in the eaves.


I got the impression that the person who was prosecuted was in some sort of dispute with his neighbours anyway - maybe if he'd been a better shot he might have got away with it.  I know that if you trap a squirrel, it's an offence to release it somewhere else.  You are supposed to dispose of it humanely, and not release it.

New shed - any tips?

Posted: 10/01/2013 at 10:22

Hi again Obs - can't you get "proper"  creosote in Belgium either?  Suppose not - EU regs & all that.  However, what I use now is the creosote substitute which seems the next best thing.  I get it in 5-gallon (?metric equivalent) containers from a local place which sells agricultural stuff.  I like it because not only is it easy & quick to apply but also lets the grain of the wood show through & fades eventually to a sort of grey-ish colour on my post & rail fencing, though the colour on the shed looks a bit different - probably because it was treated with the "old" sort of creosote in the past.  As I mentioned earlier, the shed has been here for ages - since this house was built/replaced in the l960s.  I think 50 years' life for any wooden shed is pretty good going! 

p.s. what news of Rasta & "newer" dog? 



New shed - any tips?

Posted: 09/01/2013 at 16:35

Hi Obs!  will your new shed be made from timber which has already been treated with some preservative or other?  If so, "ordinary" paint on top might not work so well. 

I had to have the doors to my shed/garage replaced a few years ago - needed to make the opening bigger so as to get the car in - and ever since then I've regretted not using creosote on the (new) doors.  The shed itself dates back to about 1960  (nearly all of the wood is still more or-less OK) - & was used as a sort of workshop, I think, & has been creosoted a number of times over the years. 

I painted the doors dark green - using one of those paints which "do what it says on the tin", and despite the fact that the wood was new &  had been primed & undercoated, the green paint peeled off after a couple of years.  The doors face south & get the full sun, soo that may have had something to do with the problem - though the other parts of the front (creosoted) are as good as ever.


How I wish I'd used creosote on the doors in the first place, & not green paint................

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