On one of our walks two West Berkshire Council (WBC) employees gave an impressive demonstration of how to use a system that most Ramblers did not know existed. A distressed calf was found trapped between two fences. The ‘out of office hours’ (OOH) number was phoned and the DEFRA ear tag number of the calf was given and within half an hour the farmer was contacted. The group felt that we should have these numbers on our mobile phones.
One thing has led to another and a whole list of numbers for a range of problems has been compiled. A major difficulty is that we do not only walk in West Berkshire. There is a large number of district councils/unitary authorities in our neighbouring counties, which makes it difficult to track down the correct office for complaints about fly tipping, abandoned vehicles and rights of way.
A booklet has now been produced for walk leaders giving a list of numbers for neighbouring district councils and unitary authorities with a map to show boundaries.
The Rights of Way department of West Berkshire Council welcomes information about the many ROWs in their care. Accurate information is helpful and useful in planning the work for the volunteers and for the wardens. Please help with the care of the ROWs, which give us so much enjoyment.
WBC 01635 551111 (office hours)
WBC 01635 42161 (out of office hours - OOH)
Phone for anything to do with animal health - eg dead animals, animals injured or in distress. Please do not use the OOH number unless it is a real emergency. Give the DEFRA ear tag number and as much information as possible about the location of the animal. If you are out of West Berkshire the WBC office should be able to help you find the correct office number or put you in touch with DEFRA.
Fly Tipping and Abandoned Vehicles
WBC – Customer Services – 01635 551111
Abandoned vehicles and fly tipping departments apparently do not find grid reference numbers helpful. They like street names/pub names, which is often impossible, but give as much detail as possible. For vehicles give the make, colour and registration number.
Rights of Way (Footpaths, Bridleways etc.)
WBC – Customer Services - 01635 551111
If possible give the parish and path number and as much information as possible, the OS grid reference is very helpful.
It is also possible to report problems to West Berkshire Council via the Council's website; however, for a reasonably quick response a broadband internet connection is needed. This procedure for reporting problems simplifies identifying the location by allowing you to pinpoint it on a map.