Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Seemed like a good idea at the time

Earlier this month, my family and I went to the Werribee Sewage Treatment plant's open day – to find out how the treat sewage, but mainly to catch a glimpse of the water birds that flock to the 'wetlands' and ponds there. I'm sure you may think it odd, but we found it fascinating. Would you believe that the place, especially Lake Borrie, is a significant habitat for something like 270 species of birds? Unfortunately, most of the birds had migrated north for the winter!

While on the coach tour, our guide pointed out the odd telegraph pole-like structures pictured above. No, it wasn't some art installation, though I wouldn't be surprised if it were. Researchers had found that the cormorants that flock to the area were in strife because the gum trees that were their usual perches were dying and collapsing. So they erected these new perches for the cormorants (being a threated species and all) – who flatly refused to use them.

I was struck by how this was a beautiful example of how what seemed like a good idea at the time, and plainly of good intentions, turned out to be absolutely useless – or just not used.

Do you know of any other examples of something well-meant and seeming like a good idea but didn't work as planned?

[Image is one of mine; apologies for its blurriness - it was taken from a moving bus. CC mark lawrence]

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