Pic of the Week: Puffin, The Mouls, 31/5/20. Rupert Kirkwood
Pic of the Week images for 2020 can be found HERE
The Archive for 2019 can be found HERE , with previous years also available to view.
Coronavirus/COVID-19 and CBWPS Sanctions
COVID-19 UPDATE: In light of the recent Government update on the gradual easing of lockdown, the Cornwall Birds (CBWPS) Board have been in lengthy discussion over how this relates to what we do, so we’d like to explain our updated approach here.
Whilst the Government advice might seem to be allowing unlimited access to the countryside for ‘leisure activities’, this comes with many caveats that we should ALL be observing. We stand the best chance of avoiding further restrictions by acting responsibly and following the spirit of the guidance, not just the minutiae of the wording. If possible, we encourage everyone to continue to work their local patch and keep unnecessary travel to a minimum. Most of us are lucky enough to have open countryside and amazing places right on our doorstep, so it’s not necessary to travel long distances just to get our birding fix. The draw of ‘honeypot sites’ brings with it a much greater risk of direct/indirect contact (and possible virus transfer) with other people, so the more we can do to limit this the better. But we appreciate that many people will be keen to get out and enjoy the best that summer has to offer and we don’t want to discourage this. We do want to reinforce the key Government messages though, so if you do spread your wings (so to speak) and go birding further afield or to honeypot sites that:
- You only travel with people from your own household
- You may only meet up with one other person from outside your household
- At all times maintain the recommended social distancing of 2m
- Maintain good hand hygiene, especially with regards to shared contacts such as gates
It was agreed unanimously by the Board that all of our hides should remain closed for the foreseeable future. However, access to reserves (and any parking) will be managed locally by wardens as they’re the people best-placed to understand the risks and put measures in place to reduce them. We’ll try to keep everyone updated as to where is open and where isn’t but do bear with us on this.
This is often the most difficult area to reach consensus on, as we appreciate that people want to see and share new and exciting birds, but we must weigh this up with the concomitant risks. In the short term, the bird news team will now publish sightings from much wider areas, not necessarily just gardens and local patches. We will also publish most records of county rarities, but won’t publish records where the bird news team (and/or the Board) consider there to be too much risk with regards to appropriate social distancing. In a similar vein, we won’t be publishing news of any national (BBRC) rarities that are likely to draw larger crowds where social distancing is unlikely to be observed.
We hope this goes some way to outline our current thinking, but the essence of the Government advice and guidance is that “it is important that everyone continues to act responsibly”.