Showing posts from December, 2011

Seething Wells: Surface Buildings and Structures

see also subterranean features November, 2011. WHARF   The Pump House: This is the largest structure on site and is designated a Building of Townscape Merit. It has a pyramidal slate roof, used by roosting bats from time to time. There is no roof void and the slates are backed by wooden planks and plasterboard. Internally there is one main room, partitioned into 6 small rooms and a larger operational area. There is a deep shaft containing 2 wells below the building and 4 wells between the building and the Portsmouth Road. In the literature they are known as’ deep wells’ and sometimes ‘deep chambers’ of which there are 24 on site. During 1998-2000, they were covered with cast iron plates, which had rotted and it was sometimes possible to watch bats emerging from the ground.Thames Water replaced the hatches with heavy duty, steel hatches during the end of 2001 (before the Inspector’s site visit at the last Pubic Inquiry). The wells are vertical brick built shafts, ranging betwee

What they say about Seething Wells

At the Core Strategy hearings September, 2011, the Planning Inspector heard various arguments about the the Filter beds and in his report to the council received last month  Kingston Core Strategy Inspector's report to the Council November, 2011   he say's the following...... Representor's said that the Thames Water Filter Beds had not been correctly shown as being within Metropolitan Open Land (MOL) on Figure 9 and the Proposals Map; that the implication of the CS was that development would be permitted there; that the details of a proposed public footpath should be later resolved taking account of biodiversity and nature conservation interests; and that the environmental safeguarding of the Filter Beds had not been clearly stated. I agree with these concerns, as did the Council at the hearings, and because of them the CS would be unsound due to lack of clarity and effectiveness. The Council’s suggested changes (CC9) would correct these unsound matters in the CS. And pr

Seething Wells from the Thames- Boat Trip

An intrepid crew braved the 8 degree temperatures to record  heritage and other  features along the river wall of the Filter beds. There are many niches used by wildlife, which will be tidied away if the marina and moorings are developed. This includes the old barges, which provide multiple opportunities for nesting birds, as well as shelter, night roosts etc. The river wall is a solid mass of ivy berries, indicating the abundance of pollinating insects, which must have been busy during the autumn. In turn, this will provide food and shelter through the winter for thrushes, blackbirds, blackcaps and wood pigeons .  We saw wrens, robins and a foraging tit flock as we cruised along the wall. Spanish broom and ivy along the river wall Thames. It may look untidy to us, but this is what  ecology looks like, these are ecological niches. The structure, density and variety of vegetation is habitat for insect prey and pollinators and offers shelter during bad weather or from predators. L

Seething Wells Walks 3.12.11

Harwich shells exposed during recent rains 8 participants turned out for our December walk in 10 degrees of winter sunshine. The rain had removed the silt from the substrates exposing the Harwich shells  used in the filtration process. Our research group found that these shells were instrumental in locking together to prevent the mixing of the coarse grit and fine sands. Mistletoe  The  fallen leaves exposed the great balls of mistletoe within the trees at Home Park (on the opposite side of the river). A crafty fox was seen creeping along the back wall in his lovely winter coat. 16 bird species were observed, including the little grebes, gadwall duck, grey wagtails and 2 passage green sandpipers (photographed below by one of our participants Susanna Ramsey). There was no sign of the lapwing coming into roost as it probably needs to be much colder before they begin to form their winter flocks 2 green sandpipers Photo S. Ramsey