Thursday, 5 August 2010

Pinch point

A week or so ago i headed off to Lewes to try and reach a couple of contacts who farm in the river valley known as the Offham marshes,not really a marsh since the river was banked and ditched in the 1700,s,however sporadic sightings of bigcats here going back to at least 1989,particularly in 1995 and a lot in 07,point to a possible pinch point in a travelling territory.As the wide river Ouse has only bridges at Barcombe mills 3 miles to the north,a precarious pipe a mile further down,a bridge at the tiny hamlet of Hamsey and a big road bridge in Lewes town to the south,it,s probable that a cat moving through it,s ground would choose not to swim a cold river but use one of these bridges.Regular sightings to the west at Offham downs,on the Offham marshes then east of the river at Malling and Glyndebourne would suggest that cats have been using the Lewes bridge.Hold on a minute,would a bigcat really go through a town and not use the quiet country bridge a mile to the north,brazingly and without fear?The route it would have to take is a meander along the riverside then after the town bridge would mean only crossing a couple of gardens then the road to get to the downs.27.12.07 The Observer(Lewes) reported a large wild cat seen by a South Cliff resident running through her garden at breakneck speed "it was very fast,much bigger than a fox with a long tail and long body"she said,whats more she saw at the end of november doing the same thing.The fact that it was running very fast points to it either having been seen or ,more likely ,crossing an open bit of ground.Also in 07 there were multiple sightings on Mount Caburn on the northern slopes of the Ringmer and Lewes escarpments,i went there the other day and it was easy to see how this place links up the downs from the east and west ,there was a sighting there only last november.All this points to travelling cats cutting through towns on a regular basis,not avoiding them,to get to areas and not just at night but unafraidely in daylight too......The picture shows the Offham marshes,horses standing by a wartime pillbox,with the wooded Offham downs at the back.In the near top right hand corner is the bridge of the Lewes to Seaford railway line,again the scene of multiple sightings especially in 07......
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