1. The trickling brook veins sparkling to the sun J.C.
2. The black ants city by the fallen tree J.C.
John Clare could be referencing jet ant Lasius fuliginosus, apt as there is still a tree on Tolworth Court Farm, where jet ants with their heart shaped heads process up the trunk of an old oak tree to milk aphids, which they farm. This is a species requiring rotten wood to complete their life cycle and may be the remaining site in the borough for this species for more read tolworth-treasure-ancient-droves
3. 5 eggs pen scribbled over lilac shells J.C.
4. Bard of the Wild Flowers J.C.
Four years ago we held a scything workshop on Tolworth Court Farm Moated Manor. The sward is currently the most floriferous in recent times. tolworth-court-farm-moated-manor-scything 1
6. The hedgehog hides beneath the rotten hedge J.C.
The south and south east of the borough might be a last district stronghold for this species. Over the county boundary around Cox Lane, was my last local hedgehog encounter. It didn't seem to have the least clue where it was headed but was probably confused by our lights. tolworth-treasure-and-hogsmill
7. From pewit haunted flats are gone J.C.
The 'Britain from Above' website shows Great Butts field with expanses of standing open water at least six months of the year; the active flood plain of the Hogsmill river. It was here that Jefferies remarked on seeing 2,000 lapwings during the winter (I recorded 200 regularly above the Portsmouth road at Seething Wells). Now the only evidence of former marshy ground, are the three species of reed that dominate the vegetation at Great Butts, with phyragmites the most abundant at the low point around the first pylon. Flooded fields photo
8. Journey to Milking from the neighbouring town J.C.
This journey would have been made via the drove routes as the only viable way of travelling with animals - exempt from road tolls. The drove road in Chessington is still intact and can be traced on a direct route through Tolworth's droves. These double hedgerows with oak standards are perfect for purple and brown hairstreaks. Brown hairstreaks TCF
9. Bard of the Mossy shed J.C.
Over the A240 there is a hidden part of TCF. At some point in its history it was a moated manor. There are still foundations of old farm buildings, including a barn and brick built byre. During the 1950's the Offer family continued their dairy business until it became impractical to walk cattle across a busy road four times daily. At Queen's Promenade, Kingston riverside can be found a memorial bench dedicated to Mr. H. Offer, last dairy farmer of Tolworth. A fireman friend, bought a tin of brasso last year, and polished it until it shone.