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Latest posts by hypercharleyfarley

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................

Slimey, mossy courtyard, help please!

Posted: 08/01/2013 at 13:44

I don't think gravel over tarmac would provide a safe surface - bound to be "skiddy" because the gravel wouldn't be able to settle/bed in.  You can, however, get moss killer-type stuff which has to be watered in!  There are areas of my garden (paved/some concrete surface) which have, this winter & for the first time ever, gone all greeen & slippy.  If & when the weather dries up a bit, I'm going to try washing/scrubbing over those areas with some bleach solution.  Thank goodness I don't have any wooden decking - the decking in gardens I've come across during the course of my work is positively lethal right now.

The real problem has been all the rain we've had this past year - hope it's not going to continue for 2013, but you never can tell! 

Best way to tidy areas outside of lawn, stop unwanted growth?

Posted: 02/01/2013 at 17:37

If you don't want to use bark,  you could try gravel (or slate chippings) instead.  Geofff's quite right when he says the birds will flick bark chippings all over the place.  I have used gravel on top of a black water-permeable membrane with great success.  It covers part of the area at the back of the house because I didn't want to have the whole of it paved.  I planted some stuff through it before putting the gravel down - 20 years later it still looks fine & there are no weeds at all.

Happy New Year

Posted: 01/01/2013 at 20:57

Happy New Year from me too - Am glad to see the back of 2012 -  few (if any) happy memories. 


DK - maybe I should get my chimney swept.................




Posted: 31/12/2012 at 18:43

I think you may mave misunderstood the bit about chicken wire - I think the poster who suggested its use meant that you should put the compost bin down on top of a piece of chicken wire rather than wrap the wire round the container.  You'd need to choose the smallest gauge mesh.

However, I've got a better idea (!) & this is what I've done with two plastic "dalek" type bins which I got from the local council.  Both bins sit directly on an area which was already covered by several small-size concrete paving slabs, with approx half-inch gaps between the slabs.  This way the worms can easily find their way up through the gaps and into the bins, and the gaps are far too small for anything much bigger to manage it.  If you're consistent and careful as to what you put in the bins, it's not very likely that rats would be interested anyway.  The most important thing to remember is No Cooked Food Items should ever go into the compost.  I put all sorts of stuff in my bins - tea bags/coffee grounds/vegetable & fruit peelings/the contents of my vacuum cleaner cylinder/shredded paper/some leaves/some prunings/some grass "mowings" etc etc - but never more than about a 3" thick layer of the latter at any one time.  As far as turning the contents of the bin's concerned, I have a special gadget which I bought specially for the purpose - if you have a look at "garden tools and equipment" or something like that on the internet, I expect you'll be able to find something similar.  Good Luck!

pets and why they are called what they are called

Posted: 25/10/2012 at 20:10

I can't really remember a time when I didn't have a dog or cat -  my first dog (I was about 5 I think when he was given to me) was a cross between a bearded collie & a sheepdog. He was called Tippy, because he had a white tip to his tail.  Had my first cat before that, a black one called Kitty - I remember her climbing up the kitchen curtains as a kitten & falling off into a bucket of soapy water. Next cat was called Snowy - though he was in fact black & white!  Quite a long gap then until the next cat - probably 20 years - and she was called Fitzpatrick.  Odd name, I know, but she had been found as a kitten in a monsoon drain outside Fitzpatrick's Supermarket on Orchard Road in Singapore and was "inherited" with the house where we lived  then.  She had a mutilated tail - I'm not sure why, but was told that there were local superstitions about not allowing a cat to be "perfect".  Next cats ( in the UK) were Smokey & Roly - two grey & white brothers who were rehomed from the RSPCA as adult outdoor cats.  They were really good at keeping the front garden here free from rabbits. Roly was killed on the main road - though it's quite a distance up the lane.  Smokey lived a further 4 years and died of natural causes two years ago.

So - dogs (in chronological order):-

Tippy - as above

Carlo - black & white sheepdog

Simon - black & tan standard dachshund

Miggy - black & tan miniature dachshund

Daisy - fawn Italian Greyhound

Rosie - blue-cream whippet

Lily - grey-brindle & white whippet

Freddy - fawn & white whippet

Charlie - grey-brindle & white whippet

Harry - fawn & white whippet

Frankie - red brindle whippet

Piper (aka Pie) - fawn & white whippet.

The last two are here as I type this  - and (you've probably guessed) my nickname Hypercharleyfarley is because of Charlie, who fitted that description so well in so many ways.  I still miss him so much. - but loved them all.



Is there anything I can't compost?

Posted: 18/10/2012 at 12:25

Hi Figrat - thanks for the links/info.

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