An ecological,circusesque,puppetesque, Richard-Jefferiesian and social account of South West London in the World!
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Seething Wells from the Thames- Boat Trip
An intrepid crew braved the 8 degree temperatures to record heritage and other features along the river wall of the Filter beds. There are many niches used by wildlife, which will be tidied away if the marina and moorings are developed. This includes the old barges, which provide multiple opportunities for nesting birds, as well as shelter, night roosts etc. The river wall is a solid mass of ivy berries, indicating the abundance of pollinating insects, which must have been busy during the autumn. In turn, this will provide food and shelter through the winter for thrushes, blackbirds, blackcaps and wood pigeons . We saw wrens, robins and a foraging tit flock as we cruised along the wall.
Spanish broom and ivy along the river wall Thames.
It may look untidy to us, but this is what ecology looks like, these are ecological niches. The structure, density and variety of vegetation is habitat for insect prey and pollinators and offers shelter during bad weather or from predators. Look closely and there is a shelf where moorhen can perch and missing mortar where pellitory- of - the - wall and gipsywort take root.
mistletoe on trees in Home Park, Barge Walk
and above all, when viewing the opposite side of the river (at Barge Walk), it becomes apparent that this is the darkest and most undisturbed location along the Thames in the London Region.
Thames Water have 56 days to pay £4,000,000 + £84, 646 costs for the sewage spill that took place at the Green Lane Recreation Ground during 2016, as announced by the Judge at Aylesbury Crown Court this afternoon. see here Hogsmill sewage leak Although Thames Water pleaded guilty to this offence in 2019, it has taken - 2 years - to appear in the court lists. In addition, Thames Water asked for 4 TIC's (offences to be taken into consideration). See these incidents below and links to the blog posts: 8th February 2016 - pertains to the pollution of Green Lane Recreation Ground; 27th January 2018 - spillage of stored sewage sludge 14-16th October 2018 Sewage-spill-green-lane-recreation.html and linked incident 24.10.18 25th September 2019 G r een-lane-sewage-spill 30 personnel were required to remove 2,500 bags of waste from the Green Lane recreation ground, New Malden; the public amenity remained closed for almost one month (photo above) after the Tunnel Sewer (Worcester Park-Gre
fly-fishing 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 included so
Open Space in Tolworth is shrinking. Hectare by hectare, open land is now covered with new development with more in the pipeline. This ranges from the: LIDL headquarters on Jubilee Way (photo below); 106 apartments at Tala Close (formerly a field adjacent to Tolworth School photo above); and related infrastructure projects. The London Plan Annual Monitoring Review 2016 (No. 13) stated, 'The largest area of locally protected open space that was subject to planning permissions in 2015/16 is 2 hectares at the Tolworth Girls School and Recreation Centre in Kingston upon Thames which will provide housing as part of the scheme to expand and remodel the existing school'. New developments require infrastructure, so 'edgelands' or areas on the fringes of industrial estates are used for cycle routes, access roads, etc. No new areas of POS (Public Open Space) are actually provided. In fact the Travel Plan for the development at Tolworth Towers infers that open space not pu