Showing posts from February, 2012

Seething Wells Procession

  The   Seething Festival Procession 2012 was bigger than ever, with a parade around the streets of Surbiton on Sunday afternoon.    This annual event is to celebrate the fable of the goat boy Lefi,  which is based around the Seething Wells area of Surbiton.                                       Biggles the Bat Photo L. Pekarova Watch the  The Official Video of the procession 2012   see here for the coverage  on the Surbiton People website see  Biggles flying technique  and What the Surrey Comet said more to follow...........

Winter Bats

Bats build up their fat reserves in autumn by foraging at locations where insect biomass is readily available in shed loads (such as at riparian sites, standing water, sewage works). They need to sustain themselves for torpor/hibernation over the winter months, when there is little or no food available. Insects generally do not fly (or are less available) when temperatures fall below 10 degrees centigrade (or during and after periods of heavy rain). Optimal winter  roosting conditions are the opposite of those sought in the summer. Bats require cold and humid conditions. They hibernate as singles. They are not seeking warmth, but require cold conditions as they do not want to wake up to no food  as this would be high cost to their limited energy budget. Bats are very vulnerable in torpor and can take >30mins to wake up and fly. Very little is known as to the whereabouts of our London hibernation sites: some bat species are known to migrate to European caves; or use green belt mi

Thames Ditton Marina: Regeneration proposals

A letter (9.2.12) has been sent to residents of Thames Ditton Ward, regarding proposals to 'regenerate' Thames Ditton Marina  exploring the possibilities of new buildings, restaurant, offices and residential accommodation and a public consultation has been launched. It is not possible to visit any part of the site except the Shop. For Health and Safety reasons the river frontage, the Portsmouth Road embankment, the Boat yard and shed cannot be visited and so the current historical/ecological value of the site cannot be assessed. A Phase 1 Habitat Survey of the site has been undertaken, but unfortunately is not in the public domain. It should be the findings from the survey, which guide any new proposals. Without this basic information it is difficult to assess what would be appropriate. However this is an opportunity to undertake ecological improvement at this location  (e.g a relaxed mowing regime of the grass bank, rationalisation of the lighting, biodiversity roofs). Th

Site Visit: Richmond Biodiversity Partnership

Photo's C. McCormack 8 members of the Richmond Biodiversity Partnership joined us for a site tour on a cold Monday morning 30.1.12. Standing Water is a National Priority Target Habitat and also features in the London Mayors Biodiversity Action Plan. The Plan states that there should be 'no net loss' of priority habitats. We viewed some of the subterranean links to the small pumping station on the wharf , such as the main intake. see more  underneath Lambeth's Pumping Station 40 lapwings were noted feeding around the pools at FB 6. A green sandpiper was seen briefly.

Planning Application Postponement

The hearing of Planning Application  11/16502/FUL Surbiton Filter Bed Site  has been postponed to an unknown date. Kingston Council cannot determine the application without all the relevant survey information. If they determined an application, which did not fully assess the bat interest, the council could be in breach of the law. The consultants retained by the council have advised (as have Natural England, the Bat group etc) that the survey information is incomplete. This is due to the developers: a. completing only 2 surveys per year (dawn and dusk count as one); and that b. surveys were undertaken when the filter beds were not ‘in their normal state’. The applicant must demonstrate to a high degree of certainty that the development will not result in acts which could be an offence under the Habitats Regulations. This has not been done.  In order for surveys to proceed, the water in the Filter Beds must be reinstated (naturally). Members of the Bat Group have asked for s