10 Mar 2018

10th March 2018 59% and rising.


Saturday 10th 33F, 0C, light winds with heavy overcast. The forecast is for continuous rain or sleet after lunch. I'm slowly breaking in new walking boots. Managed to get a hefty discount for a shop display, discontinued model in my large size. They hurt on the inner ankles so I'm only lacing them up to the ankle. I had the same problem with the even taller, Salomon boots. After lacing them low they eventually gave enough to become comfortable. It would be very risky to wear new boots for an expedition without thoroughly testing them first. Fortunately the rest of the boots are comfortable but I'm limiting myself to a couple of miles a day. By deliberately walking on different surfaces and inclines to fully exercise the leather. A day of wet snowfall.

Sunday 11th 35F, +2C, breezy, heavy overcast and misty. Showers forecast. The steady loss of trees and hedges had me seeking some data. Agricultural land, as a percentage of total land area, stands at 59% in Denmark. This makes Denmark fifth in the entire world. With regular complaints about loss of natural habitat and poor public access to nature. There is no public footpath system as there is in the UK. Though many [but not all] private woods allow public access on existing paths and tracks. Former access routes to nature are regularly lost due to prairiefication of smaller fields by large and acquisitive, highly mechanized, holdings.

Forest area in Denmark is 135th in the world at 14% with much of it conifer growth for timber production. Even when clear farm tracks exist, with vehicle tyre marks clearly visible, there is no public right of access. There is supposed to be a wildlife corridor beside field hedges but the rules are rarely observed. These would offer a massive and effortless increase in public access routes to natural areas. Or simply an escape from the traffic.

Organized shooting is a popular pastime in winter at all social levels. Somewhat ironically, the income from this activity, allows copses and marshes to continue to exist in the corrugated landscape of endless fields. Many copses and woods are used to raise pheasants [as prey] in fenced off enclosures. Some field ponds are actually improved to help increase duck populations for shooting. Field drainage is a constant activity in the local, agricultural landscape.

Exploitation of coasts and beaches, in the day tripper, entertainment sense, is almost non-existent in Denmark. Access to the sea is often hampered, or completely blocked, by sprawling, private summer house areas and their deliberate chain building along narrow beaches. These houses and huts often attract higher prices than normal homes despite the constant drone of motor lawnmowers and coastal erosion in some places. Rising sea levels would suggest the loss of many of these seasonal villages. There are marinas in many coastal towns where deep water conditions exist.

My walk was accompanied by fine drizzle. Lots of small birds about, some singing. I wore cuffs of cut off [holey] socks to help pad out the stiff [boot] ankles. It seemed to help but there is much more walking to do before any level of comfort is achieved in place of very real pain. Thick mist kept me at home and off the trike.

Click any image for an enlargement.


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