The Ladywell Mulberry (with content provided by Dr. P. Coles)

During 2019, I attended several Mulberry walks led by Peter Coles from Morus Londinium . In particular, we visited the Mulberries of Lewisham 13.2.19. From Elverson DLR station the road names - Silk Mill Road -  echo the 11 former silk mills that existed along the Ravensbourne.    The last mill closed in 1936 and our bonus was to meet a resident who remembered it working. Our walk  ended at the top of the Ravensbourne where there was  a massive old prostrate Mulberry in its own grounds, opposite Ladywell House, along Lewisham High Street. See more about Peter and his walks here on the subject-of-mulberries    Since our joyous visit, the site has been developed and the trees are destined to be felled under planning application DC/23/129956. Only four objections have been registered to date, although additional mature trees are due to be felled, which will have an effect on the character of the street scene.   The Mulberry will be replaced with a Canadian species of Tulip tree and so a

Draft Local Plan comments

This is work in progress and will be added to if time allows. Some of the comments require the results of FOI requests (see ). The comments do not follow the same order as the Draft Plan for this reason. Feel free to include any of the points made in your own comments see here   In todays climate it is detail that is important as we lack terminological consensus & common goals in our 21st century complexity.  Our borough starts from a very low base for access to  nature. The  Fig. below from Greenspace Information for Greater London illustrates we are on a par with Lambeth for ease of access to nature. In the introduction  it states that Kingston has 39 Sites of Nature Conservation Importance (SINCs) but at  10.23 it mentions 45 SINCs so some consistency would perhaps lead to greater confidence in the soundness of the plan. I am querying the number of Nature Reserves cited as 12*, as I could not find 12 reserves listed on th

Three minutes to save 114 trees: guest blog from Russell Miller on the St Ann's Hospital application

What would you say if you only had 3 minutes to save 114 mature trees? The text below is a good start which Russell Miller relayed to the planning committee last week. Whilst councillors weren't listening, the evidenced based commentary will still be here when the natural environment and our children's future is firmly cemented under concrete. He attests: - 'However you spin it the fact is this development is bad for climate change, bad for wildlife, bad for air quality and increases car dependency. It fails local strategic planning policy objectives on Climate Change, Biodiversity, Air Quality, Walking and Cycling, Trees, as well as the GLA London Plan and Environment Strategy. 1. St Ann’s has a remarkable collection of trees, in an area of currently low (18.7%) canopy cover. This proposal’s will result in ‘the loss of 114 trees, 30 tree groups and 260.5m hedgerow’ –representing nearly a hectar

Another greenfield bites the dust: with loss of hedgerow containing oak standards, Hook.

The Hedgerow Regs. are complicated. To qualify a hedge must be >30 years old, be longer than 20m, abutt another hedge and surround open land. The Regs. could  offer greater protection for a habitat and maintain ecological function for a group of veteran oak trees than say, a TPO order. They are in essence, very different: - the latter is an amenity designation; and the other serves to protect a habitat. A dynamic system such as a hedgerow, constantly regenerating itself, can be many hundreds of years old and a good place to start to identify them, is on old maps. This is a section from an old map of the area from 1842, the red line indicates the same oaks that can be seen in the photo above (taken in 2021). The vegetation was managed grading the habitat from the veteran oak trees down to the scrub layer and was an aesthetically beautiful natural asset in our suburbs.  As far as I am aware, the council began investigating the status of the oaks ~ decade ago when a developer bought up

Thames Young Mariners, Riverside Drive, TW10 7RX Planning application 22/3139/FUL

  Application 22/3139/FUL During  April this year, we visited the expo at the Thames Young Mariners who were expounding their vision for expansion..... We fed back our views and now we are trying to match this to a planning application that has just been submitted. Demolition of existing buildings and construction of replacement buildings with associated residential accommodation, changing block, replacement staff accommodation and outdoor activity equipment including high ropes, climbing wall, coasteering course, supporting pontoons with associated hard and soft landscaping and parking. History For eighteen years, I was the volunteer wildlife ranger on Ham Lands, which crossed over into the Mariners site. Back in the day, it was considered a 'reservoir' for wildlife, especially for slow worms & badgers as well as a nesting site for kingfishers and a large stand of bee orchids. I used to monitor - amongst other things - the birds and butterflies - and a file was kept in the