Showing posts from 2019

London's House Sparrow populations: Ilford town centre

Thirteen years ago - at the behest of LB Redbridge - I walked around with a sign on my back asking people to tell me about their house sparrows. Ilford had an impressive population of house sparrows that appeared to be thriving in the town centre. The aim was to identify features that the birds depended on, so that they could be retained in the regeneration. This year I decided to revisit some of these sites.

The decline in house sparrow numbers has already been well documented in Britain where sparrow numbers are believed to have fallen by 70-90 per cent in the past 15 years. House sparrows are  declining all over the country, but primarily the decreases have been in the south-east of England, with the worst hit area London itself. Indeed, 7 out of 10 of London’s sparrows have been lost since 1995, and we know that the decline started long before then. Although it is still a relatively common bird in the UK we have lost almost 12 million house sparrows countrywide since the…

Kingston's Drove Roads

Many of you accompanied Lucy and myself along the drove roads of  Tolworth for a picnic during 12.8.18. Earlier this week Bruce 'of the drove roads' - arrived at Tolworth Station from his home in a small village at Carmarthenshire. Ironic, as it was the arrival of the mainline railway in the 1840's that made our local trackways redundant for the movement of cattle.
Our first stop was to walk the old Kingston Road to the 'Moated Manor' site aided by some context provided by the writings of  Richard Jefferies - a former resident of  Ewell Road (where there is now a blue plaque above Stack and Bonner). R.J. wrote of the cows walking along the Ewell Road with their heads moving from side to side c1877. This would have been post - drovers, as by then the railways were used for moving cattle around the country, so these animals might have walked from Surbiton Station.
We disturbed the usual buzzard as we opened the gates at the Moated Manor, who …