Cost of Neglect
The flower walk, which was due to take place at the end of the month around the perimeter fence at the Seething Wells Filter Beds, has been cancelled.
This is due to the fact that the wild flowers, which had formed part of the chalk grassland and are named on the Site of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI) citation within our Local Development Framework, are now overgrown by brambles, bracken and trees.
It has taken the current owners, precisely two years to thoroughly neglect all of the features at the site, but why haven’t the council acted. When Thames Water placed an unauthorised red pipe (see previous posts) across the Chelsea Tunnel by FB 1 several years ago, there was uproar and talk of enforcement action with a posse of the Conservation Team going on a site visit. Twice, I have had the council on my case because my Jerusalem sage grows a flower petal too far over the pavement at this time of year.
|Holm oaks and Ash saplings|
Yet at the recent public meeting a councillor stated that the deterioration wasn't considered sufficiently bad, to consider taking enforcement action.
Despite the fact that the site was surplus to requirements, Thames Water carried out a vigorous management regime, which was costly and the subject of many discussions between ourselves, M. Grey from Thames Water Properties, as well as our M.P., as local people wanted to establish what would be the responsibilities and running costs of the site.
Many of the trees that are currently spreading across the FB's are listed on the London Biodiversity Partnership’s inventory of invasive species such as Holm/evergreen oak Quercus ilex as well as buddleia. If the council are not concerned about the chalk grassland, surely they should be concerned about the state of the wall. Perhaps the Friends should launch a petition to pressurize the council to take action. It could be undertaken on the council website and I would be the first to sign.