Friday, 10 February 2012

.....tracks in the snow.....

A fall of snow covers ...and reveals.
After the snow of the weekend, I visited Cordwood and enjoyed tramping through the virgin snow.
But, others had been there before me.
Pheasants use our site as a refuge and their tracks were everywhere.
And where there are pheasants, foxes follow. The pad marks of a big fox crisscrossed the site.
But worryingly, mine were not the first bootprints in the snow.

 Even though the gate was locked and no-one had entered down the drive, boot marks marked a trail to the polytunnel, to the lockable metal container and via the stretched green tarpaulin where we store sawn logs.
I followed the tracks around and discovered that someone had entered the site through a gap in our neighbours' hedge and had also entered or left the site by climbing the locked metal gate that gives us access to adjacent Crimea Plantation.
I began to fill the gap in our neighbours' hedge with thorny Hawthorn branches cut several weeks ago from the hedge. As I was doing this, our neighbour walked her dogs through the woodland and we chatted. It was then I spotted a third entry point - they had cut a hole in the perimeter fence!
As a short term measure I filled the hole with wire and then dragged the rest of the hawthorn branches to the other side of our fence and built a dense 'dead hedge' of hawthorn to deny access to the fence.
I also laid the few remaining hawthorns that had once been the boundary hedge to thicken this barrier.
Having done this I built another dead hedge across the path access to the gate in Crimea Plantation.
Both entry points are where the footpaths are nearest to our boundary and these are the areas where we are most vulnerable.
More work is needed in both areas to ensure that they are secure, but I felt that I had made a good start.
I bought nasty, spiky metal strops that can be fitted across the tops of the gates.
We will replace the damaged fence panel soon.
The police have been notified and have visited.

Although nothing was taken, damage was done and our confidence in our security was shaken.


Matron said...

I caught a fox in my patch yesterday! Leo went running down to defend me! then left a little yellow message for it.

Bridget said...

Not nice. At least the snow allowed you to see the footprints. Maybe just a nosey neighbour.