St Francis Today recently received the following letter from a reader in response to a recently published letter from St Francis Bay Golf Club regarding walking dogs on the golf course (read).

Chairman and Committee – St Francis Bay Golf Club.

A Joyous season to you all and  a Happy New year. The tills are tinkling and the rounds are over the top. The course is pristine and the weather is good.  Our holiday visitors are flooding in and we welcome them with smiles and patience.

The dogs are off the course (until January 20 we were told). Quite understandable at this time of the year. We want to be proud of our old village course.

But then in creeps the bleak winter and the tills are quiet, the rounds are down and the course is soggy.  Slowly, emerging, shaking themselves off are the permanent residents, the backbone of the village. Many elderly and on fixed incomes but their loyalty sees the village through these wintery months.

Consider us all – new hips, new knee shoulders  or just plain old. Don’t lose the caring spirit of the village we need you.

We have tried so hard to live up to your expectations. Doggy poo notices on the poles, nagged the owners to bag it and take it home, patrolled and picked up unknown heaps, stayed off  the greens and out of the bunkers, avoided Wednesday and Saturday competitions and Company days. If there are still some wayward owners we apologise. If you can’t identify them describe their dog. After all they are distinctive as most come from the SPCA and Rebecca.

But now some facts that are there for all to see.

The boundaries are porous – open to stray village dogs and people, illegal golfers stealing a round, children and grandchildren playing in bunkers, household pets from the residents next door. A nightmare to control.

Ban walking on the old nine where mostly the Plovers and the Thick Knees nest, the Yellow bill ducks and Herons fish. There are no dams on the new nine and one pair of Plovers on 15th are easily avoided.

The nine next to the sea in years past was a Public Open Space, the only green lung in the village. Our beach can only be walked at very low tide and the sandbank at the mouth has hundreds of Swifts, Gulls, White-fronted Plovers, Whimbrels, Sandpipers  and the odd speciality that pays us a visit and draws birders from far and wide. These species are as vulnerable as those on the golf course.

Enough said but first a Thank You for the letter recently sent congratulating the doggy group on the cleanliness of the new nine. We try,try……..

Sincere greetings, a Merry Xmas from an old past member.

Read letter from Golf Club published on December 17th