Saturday, 21 November 2020

Tree scam...

When we first started walking JRT in the Bedgebury Pinetum, it cost a few quid a year for parking, I think it was around £30.00. There was no entry fee for seeing the trees, and taking very pleasant walks.

We became very keen on the place, and liked to watch the various developments taking shape, and even got to know several of the managers, who are an informative lot, and very knowledgeable, in fact, we would go over most days as the scenery can be stunning, especially in the autumn.

Now JRT is more circumspect about walking too far, we let our membership lapse, but looking at their website recently, an annual membership now costs £72.00, and while parking varies from £3.00 to £10.00, one wonders why all this cost is involved, when the whole lot of Forestry England is part of the Department of the Environment, and presumably paid for by citizens' taxes anyway!

It's a shame that a short visit costs so much, and while there are some facilities on site, it puts a lot of people off, so that's why you'll always see a couple of laybys on the A21, full or cars, all with empty bike racks. There is a back way in...


A K Haart said...

Nice looking area but I just checked their website to see how often we would go if we happened to live in the area. After some intensive spreadsheet analysis it seems to come out as approximately - never. The top price for car parking at weekends and bank holidays appears to be £13.

Looking at it again though, an annual membership at £72 per household seems reasonable for anyone inclined to visit regularly.

Scrobs. said...

You're right about getting value from the £72, Mr H, but our beef is really, that we've already paid for all their development, so why can't we get what we want (and should be entitled to), for free, or just a nominal cost, like any parking lot?

On a good day, with a following wind, I can just get there and back on my bike, and this could help if the thing breaks down, as they have a thriving bike hire company operating there!

A K Haart said...

Changed my mind about the value of it. From the careers part of the website -

"All employees are eligible to apply for up to £1000 worth of bicycle and cycling equipment via the ‘Bike to Work’ scheme."

"Mental health awareness, including a trained team of mental health first aiders."

"Local wellbeing champions organising events and sharing information to support your wellbeing."

"Our LGBTQ+ Supporters Network is open to everyone and provides a place to champion and support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning colleagues across the organisation."

Scrobs. said...

Blimey! I'd not seen all that!

The cycle scheme just happens to 'help' Quench Bikes, who have a large workshop and showroom on site, right by the visitor centre! There are always a lot of bikers on the various tracks, and I wouldn't actually mind going on the on-track one, but am buggered if I'm paying for parking! It's a bit too far to get there from home by bike and do the circuit, but I can just get to Marshalls Lake and back on one charge!

Again, all these 'benefits' are paid for either by UK taxes, or those damned parking charges!

lilith said...

We don't go to Westonbirt for similar reasons Scrobs. And now with Lockdown you have to "book"! How spontaneous and romantic is that!?

Pig the ancient dog salutes JRT!

I drove past the Pinetum the other week and thought of you Scrobs xxx

Scrobs. said...

Aaah, Lils! How lovely to hear from you again!

We just feel that it's an unneccessary rip-off, and while they do a lot of good work there (I occasionally bike over and back), you must feel the same about Westonbirt! The pic above is the Pinetum, but there are many more, especially of Sevenoaks!

St. Ronans continues to thrive, a great chum who lived in the old Headmaster's house, sadly popped off a couple of years ago, so we never go there, but I do know the folk who live in the bungalow just off the main road! Also 'The Oak and Ivy' has closed, probably for good!

JRT wishes Pig well, too, with fewer teeth! Also, kind regards, to Elby, I usually see his comments on C@W, and he's always spot on, whereas some of the others must be in cloud cuckoo land! E-K gets involved too, but he isn't that happy at the moment, which is a shame!

When are you going to start your blog again? I tried googling it, and got about a hundred alternatives, whereas in the old days, it was just you! It was your post about a coloured pair of wellington boots which really started me off to thinking I might start doing one as Scrobs, and anyway, you got the answer to the name check absolutely right!

Stay safe you guys, it's lovely to hear from you again!!

lilith said...

Bless you Scrobs. Calfy is in your general direction these days...

Finally deleted my blog after losing the password for years. I was in London on a Thursday recently and wondered if you still sometimes meet your mates for lunch in the Smoke? We have gone full hillbilly down here, the wellies are seldom off and there are dogs and empty cider bottles everywhere! (Actually he's doing a dry January) I'm off the booze completely for a while and this is made possible by a) our local being shut for lockdown and b)laying down some excellent wine to look forward to!

We discovered the trick of never listening to the news, or the BBC in general. Really helps the peace of mind. I accidentally switched it on the other day and it was a perennial cross and shouty Scottish politician being cross and shouty. That was as much news as I needed for some time!

Lots of love to you and your Beloveds! xx

Scrobs. said...

Lils, you're right about the news - its just awful these days - the subject matter is bad enough, but the bias is appalling! We're discussing this on the latest post, where Corin Piper has even popped up (T.P.Fuller, Modo etc..:0)

Anon (Darcy), has emigrated from the other site, and is so very welcome!

I retired several years ago, as all we were doing was spending our pensions on stuff which went nowhere, so the other two carried on for a few years, then they packed up as well!

I just haven't been so busy in ages, there's so much to do now, although we gave up the allotment a couple of years ago, the garden is taking up some sort of revival (we didn't ever move after all that), Senora O'Blene is doing fine too, staying well clear of humanity at the moment which is a best idea for her as you know!

Keep in touch anyway, its great to hear from you again!

lilith said...

In a way I'm glad you're both still in your lovely home. You have the garden so enticing! And of course you are in a fine locale. Now that life has got weirder than Scotton Pinkney it is hard to see where it will all end! For example, I have gone carnivore as vegetables were making me anxious!! :) So I'm looking at my veg patch and wondering what flowers to grow instead. It's so weird I was in the butchers the other day watching him prepare a joint and found myself wondering "Ooh that looks lovely, how does he stop himself nibbling?!"

It has all gone too far!!

Love you Scrobsxx

Scrobs. said...

Tell Calfy that a great local butcher is Andersons, in Cranbrook!

Meat there is absolutely superb,and he works his socks off to provide great service and the biggest pork chops we've ever seen!

Are you growing carrots in buckets, Lils? Best way IMHO, and no fly either!

I've never actually thought of vegetable anxiety, but there again, a sizeable parsnip could do a lot of damage, if administered in the wrong way...

Stay well you guys!