I BEGAN my usual Saturday morning walk at Damflask with my two dogs, parking my car on the main road, near the entrance where the notice board is.
It was a beautiful morning. The freezing fog hung over the Dam, yet the sun was shining, giving it an eerie glow. It was so tranquil - to start with.
After about ten to fifteen minutes the shooting started. As I walked along, always feeling nervous when I hear the gunfire which is so close, I saw in front of me a pheasant trying to fly up onto the wall which is on the right of the path, well past where the canoes are kept. Three fishermen were watching the bird which was obviously injured.
The bird then ran through the gap in the wall, terrified and no doubt in considerable pain. The fishermen said it had been shot. I realised then that as I had been walking along, to the woods to the right of the path, what I had thought were squirrels or other wildlife rummaging in the undergrowth were in fact wildlife that had been shot and were dropping to the ground.
I find it disturbing enough that people are allowed to go out with guns shooting innocent creatures. I know birds are bred purely for this so called 'sport.'
However, the men were not using gun dogs to retrieve the birds they had shot. In fact it would not have been possible because they were not in that vicinity but across the road from the Dam and somewhere in the woods on the other side. As I continued my walk around the Dam I kept hearing a man bellow and then the firing would start.
Apart from the cruelty aspect I believe there is also a danger the general public. On many an occasion I have heard gunshots and this has been very, very close making me worry for the safety of myself, my dogs and others.
Damflask is a beauty spot. A peaceful place. Once again it was spoilt by idiots out with their guns.
There are only two places for guns. One is a shooting range and the other, sticking it where the sun don't shine which is exactly what I would have liked to have done if I had come across the person/persons firing at will.
I think it is the duty of the council to prohibit shooting around the Dam and would be obliged to hear their comments.
Julie Slingsby, School Lane, Stannington
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