Posts Tagged With: Grey squirrels

Sleeping dogs

I’m back in the doghouse, comrades. “Oh no!” I hear you say. “Not again.” Sadly so. It’s the barking up the nearest (and probably the wrong) tree that does it. The charge? “Insulting and unprofessional” behaviour. And the plea? Well, somewhat guilty to the first bit, I s’pose, but “unprofessional”? I am a volunteer, not a professional, and I’ve never heard of a professional site secretary before. So not guilty to that bit.


This little scuffle is, I hope, the final bone to be picked in a spat that is now several months old – the subject of a post back in September in which we Hillbillies found ourselves on the wrong end of certain anonymous and equally spurious allegations concerning the ill-treatment of Mr and Mrs Nutkin (i.e grey squirrels). Aficionados may recall a visit from the police and the RSPCA, followed by several emails from the head honcho at the People’s Republic.

Barking mad

Barking mad

The latest development was an email last week from said head honcho who, having covered his arse nicely, dismissed the complaint but in doing so, let slip who was behind it. A somewhat rash thing to do, some would say, but in my view, and unless I am much mistaken, if someone wishes to level a charge at you, surely it is only fair and just that one should know who the complainant is. I do not believe that it is OK for anyone to be able to make accusations without putting their heads above the parapet. That way lies the refuge of many a vexatious scoundrel/malicious litigant.

And who would this complainant be, I hear you ask? The head honcho let slip that it was an organisation called Animal Aid. Righto, I thought. Let’s take a look at this lot and then fire off a somewhat snotty (emailed) broadside in their general direction (the subject line was “will you kindly go away now?” That was the polite bit. They didn’t take at all kindly, for example, to be called a bunch of spineless bunny-huggers).

Uh huh. “Was that wise?” my dear wife inquired. Probably not. But we won’t be hearing from them again, will we? I responded.
All went quiet for a few days but then, blow me down, a reply landed in which our friends at Animal Aid denied that they were the source of the initial complaint at all, claiming that all they were doing was following up a complaint that was made to them, and all they did was to make an innocuous enquiry of the head honcho at the republic.

And what else did they do? They only copied the reply, accompanied by my earlier blast, to the head honcho himself, presumably with a view to getting me disciplined or sacked.

There is one small snag here, my friends. As you know, I have no boss. I do not do “bosses”. The republic didn’t appoint me, and they don’t sack me either. The head honcho may well be holding his head in his hands, wondering what the Dangerous Dogs Act has to say about this sort of thing – and the answer is, laugh or weep. Preferably the former.

And as to the true source of last September’s campaign. Surprisingly, she is continuing to lie doggo.

Winalot, anyone?


Categories: Allotment blog, Allotments, animal rights, Gardening, Wildlife | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Bunny-hugging axe grinders

Y’know what? There are people out there who really don’t care for us Shepherds Hillbillies – not one little bit. Some of them we know about – intruders who have been ejected from the site; evicted tenants who blame me personally for the fate that befell them; aspiring tenants who failed to pass their probationary period and therefore never became tenants at all. All have their axes to grind.

And then, of course, there’s the animal rights nutters. We have already been ambushed by them – and now it looks like we’ve got another visitation from one entirely deluded old duck (if she is suffering from dementia, then profound apologies for that swipe). But I am struggling to get to grips with what lies behind all of this.

So what’s happened? The flak has been flying big time over the past week or so. My front door has been battered down twice, in the nicest possible way – firstly by two terribly polite little fellows from the RSPCA and then by none other than the head honcho from the People’s Republic himself. And the pretext for all of this? The bunny-hugging tendency appear to be after us – this time on the somewhat touchy subject of the eradication of grey squirrels. No guv, I protested, not us.

This is NOT me

I found this in the archive at work. They were shot in by a gamekeeper Northumberland – along with 22,000 others!

The mistaken bunny-hugger appears to believe that one of our number has been after the grey furry things (though it wouldn’t surprise me hugely if they had). One of their (naturally anonymous) number believes they have seen something truly terrible taking place from across the allotment site perimeter fence, and has decided that SOMETHING MUST BE DONE TO STOP THIS CRUELTY!

And what does this alleged cruelty add up to? The complainant doesn’t seem to be all that sure, so she has sought to throw the book at us, falsely alleging every sin under the sun (well, three of them at any rate) – firstly, that she has seen a squirrel caught in a trap (these entirely humane things can be bought from any decent garden centre); secondly, according to the RSPCA, that one of our tenants had drowned it in a water butt; and thirdly, as related to the republic’s chief apparatchik, that the same squirrel had been left in the trap to starve – also without doubt a total fabrication.

It wouldn’t surprise me  if one of our fellows was attempting to tackle Mr and Mrs Nutkin because they are, along with the muntjac deer and the rabbit, among the most serious pests that confront us, whether we are talking about our crops or indigenous flora and fauna. All of them are imports from abroad, thanks to the profound stupidity of well-meaning but idiotic humans, all of them are doing very nicely thank you, and none of them have any predators to bother them (apart from us humans).

Catching them is most certainly not illegal, but leaving them in a trap for more than 24 hours is (there are a raft of reasons why 24 hours would be far too long in any case). But the intriguing question remains, what could happen to them after that? Drowning them is illegal, and shooting is not permitted on any part of the republic’s land.

So I guess that if this indeed is going on (which I doubt), then the only remaining option would be to empty them out into a sack, get hold of them wearing a very robust pair of gauntlets (no doubt essential unless you want the grey furry one to take your thumb to the grave with it), and administer one swift, heavy blow to the head – probably about as humane and instantaneous as it gets.

And why should one ponder all of this? Well, I guess that if we want to stand any chance at all of cropping our sweetcorn, broad beans, hazelnuts, figs, plums, sunflowers, you name it, along with enabling the wild birds to get a sniff of the contents of the food we leave out for them, then that could be an option. But alas, that really would give the bunny-huggers something to moan about.

Question is, how do they feel about rats, slugs, snails, aphids, blackfly, whitefly and a thousand and one other bothersome little beasties? So far as I’m concerned, vermin basically come in four varieties – those with four legs, those two legs, those with no legs, and those with hundreds of legs. And the most verminous of them all? Well, there is an argument that says its the second of those – y’know, the one’s with two arms as well, and a mobile phone. And a very bad attitude to go with it. Or just plain nuts.

Squirrel fritter, anyone?

Categories: Allotment blog, Allotments, Gardening | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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