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58 votes
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How does water depth affect swimming safety? Why do signs, especially in the UK, say "DANGER: deep water"?

Well, there's the obvious issue that the bottom may shelve very steeply, so that non-swimmers trying to paddle may drown. Beyond that, I think there's a specific point and a more general point. ...
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37 votes
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What hazardous wildlife is there in the UK?

In the UK we have, comparative to other countries, very few venomous creatures. However the false widow and adders are still a risk. False widows have mostly been recorded in the South of England ...
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31 votes
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Camping with a dog for the first time

I regularly backpack overnight with two dogs (one is a great dane / lab mix) in the US. A tired dog is a good dog. I have an advantage of several miles of hiking in, but you can still tire the dog ...
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  • 426
29 votes

Why would one choose to use a Harvey map rather than an Ordnance Survey map?

Well, if you've ever tried walking in countries like Spain or Italy, we should celebrate the fact that we are spoiled for choice. You can always get by with an OS, so why would you ever choose Harvey? ...
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28 votes
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How likely are you to be injured by falling shot from a game shoot?

Pheasant shooters will almost certainly be using shotguns, not rifles. A shotgun cartridge contains many small pellets, and they lose their velocity much more rapidly than bullets do. In fact, their ...
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  • 2,805
24 votes

What hazardous wildlife is there in the UK?

In addition to the wildlife hazards mentioned in the other answers, swans and geese can be intimidating even if not highly hazardous - the adage about a swan's wing being able to break your arm is ...
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  • 458
23 votes

How does water depth affect swimming safety? Why do signs, especially in the UK, say "DANGER: deep water"?

I cannot swim, so if I am expecting something to be shallow enough to stand in and then it turns out that it is much deeper then I will die. Normally I would expect that water gradually get deeper ...
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  • 330
20 votes
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Why don't people in the UK use snowshoes?

This is really interesting, and I think it might be similar to why we don't generally have snow tires / chains etc as a common item here in stores. Certainly the South rarely gets snow, with Wales, ...
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20 votes
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Deer activity in the wet

This behavior is well-known to be honest. There's this myth that white-tail activity increases if it rains (the deer seeks shelter). However, the truth is that this doesn't really affect the daily ...
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18 votes

How likely are you to be injured by falling shot from a game shoot?

Falling birdshot stings a little, but I've never known it break the skin. It's no worse than having a 5p piece dropped on you from a couple of feet up. If you're on a public footpath, guns may not ...
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17 votes
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Difference between a "path" and a "footpath"?

A path indication on the map means that when the mapper mapped it there was physically a path on the ground. It gives no indication as to who is or is not allowed to use that path. The brown ...
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16 votes

Is there National Park-equivalent protected nature in the United Kingdom?

Although I have not found IUCN Level II protected areas, there do exist areas with a higher level than national parks. So as regards are there at least areas with a protection level stricter than ...
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15 votes

Camping with a dog for the first time

There's a decent thread discussing this issue over at BPL. Based on that and similar discussions, my suggestions would be as follows: Cover the floor of the tent with a tarp or similar material. ...
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  • 8,358
15 votes

Which wildlife is it legal to hunt in the UK?

From gov.uk you can hunt the following legally: Birds You don’t need a licence to hunt: game birds, eg pheasants and grouse quarry birds and certain wild birds, eg moorhens and woodcock certain ...
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15 votes
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Is there a difference between Trail and Fell running?

I think the main difference is probably in British vs American (/rest of the world) English. Fell is a particularly British term referring to areas such as the Lake district that does not really have ...
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  • 7,069
15 votes

How does water depth affect swimming safety? Why do signs, especially in the UK, say "DANGER: deep water"?

One thing not yet mentioned is quickness and ease of rescue. In my younger years, I was a trained lifeguard, and though my certification is long expired, I remember most of the concepts. A ...
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14 votes
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How many "Munro" revisions have there been?

A list of changes to the Munro list and database of Munros and tops can be found at The Database of British and Irish hills. The list is maintained by the Scottish Mountaineering club (SMC) and is ...
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  • 7,069
14 votes
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Can you identify this lizard-like creature I observed in the UK?

That's not a lizard that's a smooth newt. Source None of the lizards in the UK look anything like that, and the tail and lines are what I am basing my identification off of. Also see Attracting ...
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13 votes

What hazardous wildlife is there in the UK?

In general the British Isles are very safe. Most paths are well marked, dangerous areas are also marked off, and there are no large predators or other animals that are a serious threat to humans. ...
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13 votes
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What is the species of this spider? Is it venomous?

That actually looks to be a Woodlouse Hunter (Dysdera crocata). They prey exclusively on woodlice. They also go by a few other names such as: woodlouse spider, sowbug hunter, sowbug killer, pillbug ...
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  • 246
13 votes
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Getting into canoeing - UK

It will depend on whereabouts along the Thames you live but there are many canoe and kayak clubs and water-based outdoor recreation centres around. It is possible to get into it without any training ...
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  • 3,855
13 votes

Why would one choose to use a Harvey map rather than an Ordnance Survey map?

I've used OS 1:25k and 1:50k extensively in the UK. I also have a little experience of using 1:40k Harveys maps (Lake district, for mountain marathons). I have been impressed with the Harveys: in ...
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  • 2,240
13 votes
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Is there a reason for seeing a lot of roadkill badgers in the spring?

Its a combination of the male badgers out looking for mates, Springtime is the most perilous time for wild animals, says Whelan. “A lot of male badgers are killed in spring because they’re out ...
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13 votes
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OS Map Symbols - Black Dots

According to the Ordnance Survey legend, those are BOUNDARIES Civil Parish (CP); England or Community (C); Wales See page 6 of the legend under boundaries. There are no other small black dots on the ...
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12 votes

What hazardous wildlife is there in the UK?

Not sure how hazardous they are, but wasps, bees, hornets etc could spoil your trip in sufficient numbers or if you have an allergy to them. The NHS has a good page on biting/stinging insects, how to ...
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12 votes
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What happened to the Rendlesham Forest Bird climbing frame?

Apparently it was removed due to lack of funding for repairs. Here's a link to an article about it. Here's a link to a picture for the curious. Too bad.
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12 votes
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Did I see an Osprey?

The osprey does seem the most likely option. There are only a handful of breeding pairs in North Wales, but they are in your area so it's credible. The wingspan of a small common buzzard starts at ...
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