Showing posts from 2017

Beverley Brook and the Thames Water Pipe Track

The Beverley Brook rises near Nonsuch Park at Stoneleigh and forms the eastern boundary to the borough from Motspur Park through New Malden to Roehampton Vale. Along the Kingston boundary it forms part of a number of sites from Back Green (Sutton) Manor Park, Malden Golf Course, Coombe Wood and Wimbledon Common. (ref side-tabs Beverley Brook). Today we set off on the west or sunny side of the riparian vegetation, fringing the sports fields owned by Kingston council. 

 Here a wealth of galls were noted on oak: marble, ramshorn, cherry, currant and knopper galls which is a bowl shaped protrusion. This is caused by a tiny gall wasp, Andricus quercuscalicis. It produces ridged outgrowths on the acorns of our native pedunculate oak; forming in August, becoming woody and brown. A second generation then develops in the catkins of Turkey Oak.

 Along the banks of the brook - wherever the tree cover opens -  are found both male and hart's tongue ferns. In the woodland - particularly aroun…

The Tree Charter

The Independent Panel Review on Forestry, published in 2011, suggested that there was a need for a tree charter that reflected the modern day role of trees in our lives, and safeguarded access to the trees for future generations.

On 6 November 2017, on the 800th anniversary of the 1217 Charter of the Forest, the new Charter for Trees, Woods and People was launched at Lincoln Castle – home to one of the two remaining copies of the 1217 Charter of the Forest. It now rests in the Lincolnshire Archives. The Charter has 10 broad threads or principles. They are:

Thriving habitats for diverse speciesPlanting for the futureCelebrating the cultural impact of treesA thriving forestry sector that delivers for the UKBetter protection for important trees or woodsUnderstanding and using the natural health benefits of treesAccess to trees for everyoneAddressing threats to woods and trees through good managementStrengthening landscapes with woods and trees My professional body the CIEEM (Chartered In…

Manor Park - one year on

Last January I posted on Manor Park recreation ground, featuring the pond,
which was then - full. I thought it would be interesting to return to see the condition of the site, particularly as the local Friends group had convened a well-attended task, planting 2,000 bluebells see Usually, I visit whenever I need courage to go to my dentist, which is just opposite the main entrance.
The recreation ground is on old agricultural fields, according to tithe maps, and  has remnants of ancient hedgerows. Hence its designation as a Site of Local Importance for Nature Conservation.
Although the pond was dry - hopefully it will fill up before spawning time - the woodland copse was looking splendid. Not a scrap of litter to be seen and dead hedging - or wind-rows - had been created from the arisings of  coppicing; these had been placed along the path.
Unlike the ivy - dominated plantations, there is plenty of light getting to the woodlan…

The view from Tolworth

With thanks to the Environment Trust using funding obtained from the Co-op, the broken down fence around Tolworth Court Farm Moated Manor (TCFMM) site was repaired yesterday, including a completely new section.

The poor state of the fence has meant that litter from the road could blow into sensitive areas, such as the pond, which is scheduled for a face lift in the new year. As well as  human ingress - gaps in the fence- have allowed deer egress,  sadly resulting in a recent vehicle collision.

Seclusion ensures that  shyer wildlife species are more likely to be  found at TCFMM than on the main Tolworth Court Farm Fields. Yesterday there were three crows mobbing a buzzard around the perimeter of the field as well as redwings and fieldfares along the old Kingston Road.
The large intact area of  hedgerows and  field system on the opposite side of the A240, lead to the main farm being a hotspot for brown hairstreak - only recorded in this borough, slightly further along the Bonesgate corr…

More Green Belt Stuff

Last week saw the appearance of John Gringrod at the Richmond Literature Festival to discuss his latest work 'Outskirts'. It  features his upbringing on the 'last road in London' alongside the Green Belt in New Addington. John presented some Green Belt factoids:

Green Belt comprises 13% of the total land in England to stop towns merging formerly known as the Green Girdle. Octavia Hill first coined the phrase Green belt in  1882. New ribbon development started eating at the countryside after WW1. The Campaign for the Protection of rural England (CPRE) first proposed the Country Code in 1934.  (BTW they have a London branch, which is keeping a close eye on London's Outskirts).

Patrick Abercrombie designed the Green Belt ring of a width of 5 miles around London, housing was planned for the future on designated areas of white land now all used up. There is still white land on the A-Z although much of these areas are electrical installations, MOD land and other  pretty …

Ancient, veteran and notable trees in Kingston

In my spare time, I go to a list of important trees that I keep  in my notebook, and upload their details (a short description, grid reference and a photograph) onto the website of the Woodland Trust.  I  find them whilst walking around the borough- if I have my 'wits about me'- they are usually trees of more than '3 hugs'. The WT depends on volunteers to submit information about important trees but there is someone who will come and validate the record in the 'fullness of time'.

Interestingly, someone has already uploaded  veteran and notable trees in the south of the borough, although the largest willows that grew along the Hogsmill near the A240  were felled last year and would have had girths of >4 hugs (the remaining trees are 4.66 and 4.45m). There are ancient ash trees on Tolworth Court Farm Fields,  altogether a different classification.

Ancient trees are further defined by their age as being > 400 years and our nearest most splendid examples are f…

Tolworth Apple Store: Committe meeting to discuss the petition

Last Tuesday- at a full meeting of the council - a petition containing 518 signatures, which was  gathered to determine a positive future for the Tolworth Apple Store, was formerly debated. The building was described with the assistance of photographs: