The Beverley Brook rises at near Nonsuch Park at Stonleigh 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, part of which is owned by Kingston Council. The photograph indicates new habitat created under the Water Framework Directive, on behalf of the Environment Agency at Green Lane Worcester Park. This should have the effect of holding back water in times of heavy rainfall.
From Green Lane it is possible to follow the Beverley by walking along a footpath behind houses in Kingshill Avenue (on the boundary with Sutton). By lingering, the kingfisher may be seen and its high pitched whistle will certainly be heard. The toeboarding has parted company with the freeboard leaving still pools, which create perfect habitat for amphibians and some protection for young fish from predators. Unfortunately, this back land area has been used to dump rubbish from building materials to household waste.The notice on the allotment gate will confirm that you are in Kingston, although here the brook flows through Joseph Hood Memorial Wood, which is actually in Merton, where it is heavily shaded by oaks. As it leaves the wood it flows under the embankment of the rail line between Motspur Park and Worcester Park Stations and flows under Blake's Lane through Coombe (formerly Beverley Boys School) playing fields where it is steeply embanked. We visited the site after the development of the new school building.
After passing under the A3 Kingston By-pass, the next section runs through an industrial area which has seen recent changes in land ownership. Although the land is in the LB of Merton, it was owned by Kingston for years, and was once used as part of Burlington School’s playing fields. Kingston decided to sell it at auction last year and Merton hoped to buy it back at the guideline price of £20,000 to incorporate into the green corridor. However it went to a developer for £131,000 who has submitted applications to tarmac this area.There is a path across the land to the footbridge over the brook, which has been used continuously by the public since the 70's but it is not known whether this can continue. Whist possible to follow the brook along Onslow Road it becomes difficult as it passes through Emanuel School and Beverley Park Golf Driving Range. Here the brook is joined by its tributary, the Pyl brook. The Beverley continues to New Malden railway and the Thames Water pipe track, to enter Malden Golf Course.
This is where we ended a walk in March this year and followed the meanders watching bats along the course. From here it is necessary to negotiate the A3 via a subway and must be followed by weaving through a residential area (try and follow the signs over the cloverleaf junction). The brooke eventually emerges alongside playing fields before entering Coombe Wood (Fishponds Wood on the Merton side). The two sides of the brook are managed very differently: the Kingston side is characterised by open playing fields (left) although there is sufficient scrub retained for bird life
The Merton side is pleasantly wooded and during our walks we have seen grey wagtails, two pairs of mandarin ducks as well as heard a family of tawny owls. However the star turn is the Beverley bridge along the A3. ......
A harp-trapping and radio-tagging project at Wimbledon Common funded by the London Bat Group, tracked a Natterer’s bat from a tree in Richmond Park. After leaving its roost it flew towards the A3 road bridge over Beverley Brook onto Wimbledon Common.
Bats were also observed flying through the grille at the Beverley Brook into Richmond Park (pictured). At this location the Brook falls within Kingston and what is done here, regarding management of lighting for example, will affect a number of bat species crossing the A3.
During April we visited to monitor the levels of bat activity and found it to be very good with four species including Daubenton's and Natterer's bats present.
The Beverley continues through Richmond Park and during 2015 has been subject to similar a restoration programme as the Hogsmill river. At a site visit during December, the Royal Parks Ecology Officer, Julia Balfour, took a group of 15 of us to see the improvements. The first step was to obtain baseline information for a number of taxanomic groups.
This included amphibians especially great crested newt as this species is known within 500m. The Environment Agency also undertook an electrofishing exercise which recorded 9 fish species.
After baseline surveys were obtained the next stage was to prevent dogs and deer to the watercourse. These animals cause a great deal of poaching and slumping of the banks. It was recognised that this might not be appreciated by the public and so just before the area under exclusion, a dog bathing and drinking area was created (photo).
The exclusion was facilitated by the fence, preventing animals from walking upstream. This is repeated at several stretches along the watercourse, where access bridges intersect the brook. The scheme was endorsed by David Attenborough and an explanatory panel circumvented any public anxiety there might be.
Deflectors were pinned to the streambed, the channel was narrowed and the bankside was reprofiled using coir and logs. Berms were created using hazel faggots. During works temporary silt traps were erected to prevent damage upstream.
The narrowed channel has changed and speeded up the direction of flow, creating opportunities for spawning fish on clean silt free gravel. Phase 2 of the project will be to create a silt trap/ pond to prevent hydrocarbons entering the brook. The margins will also be planted in 2016.