By Charles Bradley, Tarvin Community Woodland Trust - 12th December 2020 6:00am
It is tempting to try to draw further conclusions from the numbers. For instance, it appears that between 8am and 9am, we had 21 people who each walked their dog. However, there was no count made of the number of dogs with each walker — some folk might have been "dog-less" while others walked two or three dogs. Similarly, It might seem that families take a walk with children either just before lunch or later in the afternoon. But we must remember that no account was taken of the relationships within groups — we just counted adults and children — and so we must be careful that we don't read too much into the figures.
What is certainly true is that the figures for total users rose from a minimum between 8am and 9am to a maximum at the end of the morning — between 11am and 12noon. During the early afternoon, the numbers declined somewhat, before returning to larger numbers in the hour or two before dusk. It is also true that the numbers for dogs show rather less variation than did those for people, which suggests that the woodland serves a particular need in giving some of the hounds of Tarvin their daily exercise.
The essence of this first survey was that it should be simple — merely a count of the people and dogs who used our woodland on a particular day. Before deciding whether to refine the survey further or to deem it completed, we intend to repeat it in its present form on the first Sundays of March, June and September 2021. After each survey, there will be a report (similar to this one) published on TarvinOnLine. Once we have the results for a year, we can then decide whether a useful purpose will be served by developing the survey further.
The folk who spent their time counting people on what was not the best of December Sundays richly deserve our thanks — as do the 'walkers' who very amiably accepted that their activities were being 'spied upon' by a group of folk who could have been random strangers. Thank you, everyone! We are grateful.