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Showing posts from May, 2013

House and Sand Martins at Seething Wells

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Even 12 years ago, the natural world of Kingston and environs was  very different. Prospect Road, just off the Portsmouth Road was a haven for house martins, who built their nests at the eaves of the cottages. One of the people instrumental in the initial campaigns to save the Filter Beds (now sadly deceased) had martins nesting at her cottage. There used to be clouds of them, along with swifts and sand martins, feeding over the filter beds during the summer.
When building a new or repairing the previous years nest house martins are dependent on wet mud. This needs to be located near to the nest site, as the birds can't travel too far with loaded beaks. As the Lambeth Works were developed, (now Simpson Way etc) supplies of mud were reduced to less reliable seasonal sources from puddles and so became weather dependent. This spring has been largely without rain, topped by strong drying winds, with no guaranteed local supply. See the video below to observe martins building a nest. I…

FoSW Public Meeting: Vision for the Future

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Last night Ed Davey presided over a hall packed with >100 people as we came together to discuss a vision for the filter beds that we would like to see going forward. After presentations, the audience was split into 5 groups to discuss heritage, access, funding etc., each with a facilitator. This will be followed through by a survey monkey.
There was overwhelming opinion  that the developers had been allowed to get away with too much for too long regarding their wanton neglect of the site. Cllr. George kicked off with  comments regarding the state of the listed blue railings, stating that they were an eyesore. Cllr. Green said that the council officers did not feel the neglect was currently sufficient to undertake enforcement action at present even though they were aware that the roots of trees were undermining the wall.
During the 1990's the Building Conservation Team were exercised by a red pipe that was installed in front of the Chelsea tunnel portal. This has appeared in a …

Appeal announced

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Last weeks Surrey Comet reported  that Hydro Properties will be announcing its appeal within the next few days.The company has hired top planning and environmental barrister Martin Kingston to fight its case.

On his company website No 5 Chambers, it states Mr Kingston is "top of the tree," "a first port of call for the most complex and high profile cases" and his "advocacy skills prove devastating for the opposition".

FoSW has responded as follows:

'We've been really excited at the opportunity Hydro's failure opens up for working with a community that has come together behind a shared cause, keen to contribute to the development of a far more fitting future for this historically and ecologically vivid site'.

We'll be bringing everyone up to date with our plans at a public meeting on 17th May, St Andrew's and St Mark's School, Maple Road. As we've always said, we're keen to gather residents ideas and hopes to mak…