Showing posts from November, 2012

Today's letter to the Comet

Dear Surrey Comet, I was disappointed with the lacklustre Comet article regarding the Seething Wells Filter Beds, Public Meeting that was held last Thursday. It didn’t capture the buzz or the passion in the audience, nor expound some of the very exciting news that has arisen from more thorough surveys undertaken by the company employed by the developers (who surveyed a larger area, for a longer period, during 2012).  An entirely new bat species has been recorded for Kingston and one which is extremely rare nationally. This has been named as a Brandt’s bat by the surveyors, although technically it is very difficult to identify unless in the hand and more properly termed a bat of the Myotis genus, most likely a Brandt’s bat. This indicates that suitable foraging is found along this, the most darkest and most undisturbed stretch of the non-tidal river Thames in London. It raises the possibility of the species hibernating within the barge tunnel (along with two additional Myotis

Public Meeting 8.11.12

Ø    200 people attended the Public Meeting at St. Andrew's and St. Mark's Junior School Hall, 8.11.12. Unfortunately I arrived for the Q & A session and missed the preceding discussion. Several well considered questions are worth sharing.  An audience member enquired if the site could be worthy of Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) on account of the ten bat species recorded (see previous post). The features at Seething Wells are of borough (plants) or regional (bats) importance but not of National Importance.  A site can only be notified as a SSSI if it contains elements deemed to be of National Importance. A SSSI is usually notified on account of a recognisable plant community, forming a specialised suite of habitats and this would not usually be one based on artificial substrate. This was one of the reasons that Ham Lands were never considered suitable, in spite of its diverse range of plants including orchids. Most of the site was infill from bom

Seething Wells: the best site in the borough for bats with a new bat species for Kingston

10 species of bat are now recorded at the the Filter Beds site and the adjacent river side. This is more than any site in the borough, with 5 the greatest number for a Kingston site (with the exception of Canbury Gardens and riverside). A Myotis bat with the call characteristics of a Brandt's bat, was recorded along the river wall during the developers surveys. This is the first ever record of this species for the borough. The ten bat species now recorded at the site are as follows: Pipistrelle bats: all 3 of the following pipistrelle species were recorded during the surveys by EDP (acting for Hydro Properties): Pipistrelle bats are found wherever there is connecting local green space and there are  some large soprano pipistrelle roosts in Surbiton. Early registrations of this species are  associated with the northernmost  Filter Bed, and  includes occasional use of the small pumping station at Seething Wells, which the consultants do not  accept as a roost location.

No Sanctuary for Surbiton

The updated planning application for Seething Wells/Surbiton Filter Beds available to view and deadline for comments is 9 November, 2012 see here Kingston Planning Authority Join the Friends of Seething Wells on Thursday 8th November, for the first of in a series of public meetings and discussions about securing a fitting future for the filter beds. The headline speaker will be Edward Davey MP, long-time opponent to inappropriate development on the site, and there will be a chance to hear the arguments about the special nature of the filter beds and why the Friends of Seething Wells are campaigning to protect and conserve this valuable site. It will be held at St Andrew’s and St Mark’s Junior School, on Maple Road, Surbiton, KT6 4AL – starting at 8.00pm (but refreshments available from 7.30pm). Public meeting:why-hydros-planning-application-should-be-refused-public-meeting-on-8th-november/441455909245356