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Showing posts from March, 2015

Mini-Holland Scheme LM4 Kingston Cycle path: New Malden To Raynes Park Link

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Whilst the Sustrans might be the best organisation to guide us through the process of determining the new cycle routes in the borough, the New Malden Pipe Track might not be the best route for one. 
The clue is in the site's designation as a 'Site of Nature Conservation Importance' (or SNCI). Its use as a conduit for the Ring Main, the means by which our water gets distributed, results in wetland habitats arising from the various leaks along the route.
Over a period of time reed-beds and associated wetland species have developed along this dark and undisturbed area, along with all the animals that would be expected to use a wildlife corridor. This includes the movement of deer, badgers, foxes, hedgehogs, reptiles and amphibians as well as an abundance of dragon and damselflies.
It is misguided to use the words 'enhance, improve, recreate' when it comes to the wildlife interest, without first conducting comprehensive surveys determining the habitats and species alre…

The River Crane and Crane Park Twickenham

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The Hogsmill isn't the only river to have undergone significant channel restoration in the  south-west London Thames catchment. However the Crane improvements  commenced in the late 1990's with the Environment Agency installing deflectors (using the boulders pictured). The enhancement work never stops and TCV volunteers have recently been installing bunds to create slack water, in order to protect small fish. Instead of the hazel faggots staked into the river bed (as employed along the Hogsmill) they were able to source sufficient driftwood from upstream. This is very surprising, as such a large area has been accomplished, which is visually  delightful.
 Everywhere along the Crane corridor is evidence of the hard work of local volunteers from the illustrated hedge laying near Lincoln's Fields, to the re-hung bat/bird nesting opportunities.

In addition to the habitat creation, members of the Friends of the River Crane (FORCE) monitor the water quality and convene education…

New misuse for Seething Wells?

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The chains and heavy duty padlocks have been removed from both sets of gates, but a plastic carrier  bag holds their base aligned to make them look secure. Inside, the wharf is covered with several cubic metres of landfill, from building waste to household rubbish complete with child car seats and paddling pool. This would have been deposited in at least three open backed truck loads and more are probably on their way.


The last time there was an unofficial land fill site in Kingston, it took a year to close it down, due to the ensuing 'responsibility' argument between the council and the Environment Agency, which nobody won. Perhaps whilst debating who will stop more waste arriving, we could arrange for a temporary padlock to be put on both gates. I guess the owners are aware, as I am reliably told they monitor this site.

Seething Festival Procession

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London Bat Group along with Biggles the bat attended the annual Seething Wells Festival  Procession see http://m.surreycomet.co.uk
The weather held until 5pm by which time, most of the bats had gone to roost!

Making the Hogsmill Beautiful - Part 3

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South East Rivers Trust have been knocking out weirs along the Hogsmill to enable fish to pass from the Thames to the source of the Hogsmill at Ewell. The results are impressive and this improvement is at Elmbridge Meadows on the west side of the A3.

We went to look in vain for frogspawn in the seasonal pond on the Meadows. Maybe a little too early, although there are records nearer the town centre (Penrhyn Road) from 20.2.15 and at Manor Park 28.2.15.

Although with a little egret on regular patrol, the frogs will have to be quick to get to the pond.