Chessington World of Adventures

'Share your adventure' says the board. So, I thought I would share mine. When I visited today, I noticed that the Public Rights of Way (PROW) signs were missing/destroyed/smashed/pointing in the wrong direction. If you look carefully, there is a small blue faded sticker, which might actually say, 'Chessington Countryside Walk'. If you look on the ground, the waymarker stating 'Public Footpath', is long dead. In the Summer months, its quite intimidating gauntlet to run, as streaming hoards cross the path from the Goliath or Macaw car parks, and you are summoned to produce tickets.


Small blue sticker on the post, might attest to 'Chessington Countryside Walk', and a long  dead waymarker on the ground perpendicular to the broken style

For this reason, it is a little difficult to find your way without a map. Not surprisingly therefore, you might find yourself completely lost and looking into a construction site.

                                                                                                   Former 1ha picnic area to be Amazon Land

                                                                                                    Works to the south of the picnic area November 21

Perhaps, the development has received a thumbs - up through informal channels, as there seems to be a lot of bulldozer activity. A suite of new documents have just appeared on the planning file and none of the objectors have been notified.The Baker consultants appear to disagree with us 'consultees' who stated that the timing of  their November survey 2020 was a limitation to their appraisal. 

One of the new documents is a fairly incomprehensible item on  Biodiversity Net Gain. I gather that the wood to the south of the site - along the PROW run - is going to be managed for Net Gain. During an additional walkover survey we are told, the woodland was found to have 'poor vegetation structure and the presence of non-native species such as giant knotweed. This area was considered to be of ‘poor’ condition, but could be enhanced to ‘good’ condition if a woodland management plan for the site was implemented.'

So how is the loss of 1 ha of open land compensated by messing around with an area of recently planted woodland with a species -giant knotweed*- that none of us have ever heard of. Can we see the assessment of the woodland?

Surely, it is Sixty Acre Wood, ancient woodland and  Site of Metropolitan Importance (SMI) that would benefit from a little Net Gain. It is all but destroyed by ATV's, BMX tracks, wires that are strangling the oak tree trunks supporting the crazy platforms, and oh don't forget to reinstate the PROW through the wood.

                                                           Ancient woodland oaks in Sixty Acre Wood strangled by zip wires

How about some Net Gain at any of the rear of house areas, which are shockingly neglected. If you ever find yourself lost due to lack of PROW signs, you might happen upon them. In fact, there are  many species on the London Invasive Species List, from escaped bamboo, goat's rue (also ruining Jubilee meadow) and plenty of buddleja. How about changing the oil interceptors at the balancing pond, which was beautiful and is now an oily mess. Try picking up some litter,

or how about just stop felling trees.

                                                                    Tree graveyard along the PROW

* perhaps some weird hybrid between Japanese knotweed and giant hogweed


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