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Showing posts from November, 2016

More urban rivers: The Ravensborne

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River restoration has been a topic of recent posts, the Ravenborne was amongst the first river in the region undergo this treatment. European LIFE funding as part of a massive urban renewal project has regenerated the centre of Lewisham.

At low tide, it is possible to walk along Deptford Creek, where the Ravensborne ends its journey to the Thames. Here riparian developments have led to some interesting planning gain (on the Lewisham rather than the Greenwich side).
Sheet piling may be the cheapest way of protecting the bank or freeboard but this is useless for wildlife. The  best option is some form of terracing but this is expensive and often tricky to match to the vagaries of tidal water. When properly undertaken and well managed to remove invasive species, the terraces give rise to excellent habitat for plants and fauna of brackish water, where some unusual species have been recorded including a hybrid between Japanese knotweed and Russian vine (pictured). So far only one addition…

Kingston Cemetery Fungi

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Its rather late in the year to be looking for fungi; the dry autumn and the long grass have meant there has not been much to see. Whilst some species benefit from infrequent mowing - others  do not - wax caps and the corals definitely prefer the shorter, warmer grass. 
Some birds prefer shorter grass as they find ants on shorter turf, which is exactly where we found the droppings of the green woodpecker, which resembles a burnt out cigarette (see photo).   Most of the fungi therefore was located on the boles or stumps of old trees such as the honey fungus on the tree outside the Dawson Road gate- no sign of the orange peel fungus that was present last year. The Inonotus hispidus on the ash with the many woodpecker holes (walk in the main gate and turn left).
These are all important contributors to the web of life and it was possible to see the fungus gnats flying in the warmer temperatures- as well as spiderlings - that had set up some opportunistic webs around the upturned gills …