CBC Chat Forum Thread

AuthorTopic: Ear plugs anyone?
Noel Elms Ear plugs anyone?posted at 25/07/2014 21:50:16

Paid a rare visit to a hide on Cley Marsh reserve yesterday solely as I had agreed to accompany a friend, not only new to bird watching but had never been in a hide before.

We entered Bishop hide soon after opening time to find a couple of occupants already in place and quietly sharing their observations as each new bird was identified. However, as the number of occupants increased so did the noise level and the decibels peaked with the arrival of a group accompanied by a stentorian-voiced guide. No doubt the guide was only doing as instructed by not only identifying the birds on view but providing a potted history of each species but I for one do not particularly want to be in the situation where I am unable to hear what the person next to me is saying due to the noise level at the other end of a hide. Suspecting that the performance would be repeated in the other hides, the remainder of our visit was spent in the relative peace and quiet of the Visitor Centre busy with the footfall associated with the early days  of the school summer holiday period.

I never met the late Simon Aspinall so I have no idea if he had a view on hide behaviour, I hope he would have approved if just one of the legacies of the wildlife education centre to be built in his memory is not only to educate people to enjoy wildlife but to do so without impairing the enjoyment of others.

Kath & Mick Claydon Re: Ear plugs anyone?posted at 26/07/2014 21:59:48

Oh, I do so agree with you.  I rarely go into a hide after 9.00 a.m. these days, if it's not someone giving a running commentary on every bird they see (or think they see), it's the constant firing of cameras. 

Noel Elms Re: Re: Ear plugs anyone?posted at 29/07/2014 07:05:39

Kath and Mick.

From the number of people sharing their views on this topic off forum, we are not alone in keeping our distance from any bird hide during busy periods. The conservation charities responsible for bird reserves with public access are well aware there is an issue here but in my experience, seem reluctant to take any effective action for fear of  reducing the footfall in the retail outlets which are such a prominent feature in today's visitor centres

While I may not be in the market for a cuddly toy or an ethnic wood carving of dubious provenance, I have no objection to visitor centres being commercially successful and I note some go to the extent of having Visitor Experience Managers in post. However, having taken my money I consider there is a duty if not an obligation, to ensure the visitor experience is delivered to the satisfaction of as many of the customers as possible.

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