Showing posts from April, 2013

Gadwall and Little Grebe

Filter beds looking south-west This April photograph shows just how delayed the vegetation is this year. Pussy willow was amongst the few seasonal flowering plants this weekend. The water levels are holding well and the filter beds are filling up with water.  Loafing male gadwall This means that the duck are returning, and a pair of gadwall and little grebe were present, along with resident coots and tufties. There are no sand martins or swallows in our area just yet, but these can be expected any day.

Site designation: features and constraints:

There are a number of constraints present when deciding the future of the Filter Beds due to it's designation as a Site of Borough Importance Grade 1. Some of the natural features are included in the the following citation:   Site Reference:           KiBI08   Site Name:                    Seething Wells Filter Beds   Summary:                     The remains of the old Surbiton Water Works, next to the Thames, frequented by                                          wintering wildfowl and other birds seeking refuge from the comparatively exposed                                          river. Plant species usually associated with the North Downs grow on the chalk                                          grassland on the concrete basin walls.   Grid ref:                         TQ 173 675   Area (ha):                      5.36   Habitat(s):   Chalk grassland, Marsh/swamp, Pond/lake, Ruderal      Site Description:   The remains of the redundant Sur

Leg o' Mutton Reservoir

On a cold Sunday afternoon, a group from the Friends of Seething Wells met with members of the advisory committee for the Leg o' Mutton Reservoir, Lonsdale Road at Barnes. This site has site a similar history to the Portsmouth Road Filter Beds, in as much as it was originally owned by Thames Water and is situated alongside the river Thames. After the reservoir was made redundant in the 1960’s, housing was planned for the site, but was fiercely opposed by local residents at several public inquiries. The council purchased the reservoir in the 1970’s and it was managed as a public space until the 1990’s, when it was designated as a Local Nature Reserve. A boundary line of imposing hybrid black poplar trees are thought to be about 170 years old and bat boxes have been erected at a height suitable for noctule bats, which are regularly recorded there along with Pipistrelles and Daubenton’s bats. Herons nest in a large plane tree as well as on ‘tern rafts’ and several specie