An ecological, circusesque, Richard-Jefferiesian and social account of South West London in the World!
Please use the search-box in the navigation bar- to find your chosen subject
Wildlife Walks November 2011
Draining the Filter Beds 2011
Wildlife Walks 18th, 25th November at 11am and 3 December at 2pm
These walks involve a perimeter tour and short talk about the key habitats and species found on this site of nature conservation importance. Booking is essential as only small groups can be accommodated along the busy Portsmouth Road. Bring your binoculars but more importantly wear warm clothing. Allow around forty five minutes. Book at Alison Fure or via the website seething wells water: Surbiton's hidden heritage
Oaks and maples Cambridge Gardens 2019 Street trees can often be the most beautiful objects in our streets. They are important to their communities as well as having environmental benefits. They are a living history in our landscape and can have particular connections. They may be fragments of a previous landscape incorporated into a modern street scene, such as the oaks at Cambridge Gardens once part of the Duke of Cambridge's estate. A great read with information on how to research street trees is a History of Street Trees by Dr. M. Johnston. London plane trees CRE 1976 Beech tree, Chesterton Terrace 1976 Studies show that the difference in local tree cover can reflect the various socio-economic groups. In Victorian times middle class areas were planted with many street trees or had higher quality front gardens than working class districts; now referred to as 'green equity'. It can be demonstrated by looking at old photos of the seven roads that were
Fly-fishing the Hogsmill It is interesting to see the river from a different perspective: the Hogsmill is popular with anglers at this time of year; although it is unusual to see someone fly- fishing. A chub has just been caught on bread and it looks a good size. Trout are sometimes seen in the Hogsmill and can sit in the weir notch by the school. Our own Richard Jefferies in his book 'Nature Near London' remarked on the Hogsmill trout as far up as Tolworth Hall Bridge (now the A240). chub This fish was carefully unhooked and orientated in the swim where it soon finds it way - probably to the next father and son - sitting further upstream. These anglers have caught the 'ghost' koi within the last two weeks and appear to be the second successful pair to catch the pond-escapee in the last few days. Ghost koi are a British invention. They were produced by accident in the early 80’s when a farmer allowed a mirror carp and a koi to spawn together. The offspring
The last day of May, I went to see if I could find the black redstart that had been widely reported, no luck but it will turn up again on one of the old buildings. The lush vegetation was looking beautiful between the Filter Beds at Seething Wells. I made a note of the breeding birds: goldfinches twinkling away, blue tits gathering food, sand martins flying over the FB's (only two this year unfortunately) moorhens and some scruffy little coot chicks entangled in the algal blooms. Proud parents were showing off their four Canada chicks; they can cover a lot of ground in a short space of time they were soon feeding on water pepper and bistort gleaned from the ziggerat-sided basins. A song thrush sang from the wharf alongside greenfinches as well as the seasonal chiff chaff; although this year all numbers are down, reflecting not only the topsy-turvy Spring but also the continued tumble in insect numbers (even seed eating birds are dependent on insects to feed their young).