End Of The Friends

Black-necked Grebe at Kincraig Lake by Cliff Raby

On Tuesday this week I went to the final meeting of the Friends of North Blackpool Pond Trail Group. For the best part of a decade they’ve been putting on moth and bat walks, pond dipping and so on. They do this on the Kincraig estate near Blackpool and the Fylde College, and paths and ponds nearby.

Or rather they did, as they’ve wound up. There’s probably a few factors at play. Financially the bank charging monthly for the bank account meant the small balance that was available was becoming inadequate to even pay those fees. This is likely to be an increasing issue for small organisations that aren’t attractive propositions for banks.

It has also become increasingly challenging getting people to events. In some ways this could be seen as surprising as the pandemic highlighted the advantage of green spaces on people’s doorsteps, and the Pond Trail is easily accessible for many on the east side of town. Activities that are free or low cost ought to be more popular given the rise in living costs also.

It’s also increasingly difficult to find people willing to run events. I’ve seen the same issues in parkrun where I help run events, less people are attending since the pandemic and of those who are a smaller proportion are willing to volunteer rather than just take part. There’s a vicious circle where less people turn up so volunteers become disenchanted and give up.

To finish on some positives. Kincraig Lake remains a rough diamond which has great birdlife, including a heronry, in the middle of a Blackpool housing estate. Groundwork are continuing to do maintenance work and encourage conservation volunteers. I’ll still be doing monthly waterfowl counts as I have for several years, drop me a line if you want to come along sometime.

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