Showing posts from October, 2014

Fungi at Kingston Cemetery

An outstanding year with a large number of species (see below). We found at least two species, which are indicative of unimproved grassland.  At the Dawson Road entrance was the remains of a copper beech. The tree was infected by Giant Polypore (Meripilus giganteus) seen at the right hand of the stump in its advanced stages, this is a form of butt rot fungus common on Beech. Due to its location, action was taken in the interest of public health and safety. It will be replaced with Black Tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica). Beautiful range peel fungus arises from the remaining stump. Under a very old birch are three species of bolete, the Brown Birch Bolete is shown here and on the right is shown with two flies laying their eggs. In November the flies arising from the eggs will be important for birds and any bat species. Both red and yellow cracked boletes are around the tree. They have pores instead of the usual gills.  On the left is a Brown Roll Rim, which can take up lead f

London's Lost Rivers a talk by Tom Bolton

Last night the London Wildlife Trust hosted a talk by the  urban explorer, researcher and walker (in conjunction with the Friends of Belair Park) at the Belair Park recreation rooms, just off Gallery Road. This is particularly germane for the Friends as the River Effra is currently being released from it's concrete captivity this week as part of the  Lost Effra Project The Lost Effra Project was launched by London Wildlife Trust in January 2013, commissioned by Defra and the Carnegie UK Trust, to develop a community-based water management strategy aiming to inspire people to create new ways to manage the water environment in their area. Community groups are working to improve local green infrastructure to make Herne Hill and its surrounding areas more resilient to flooding and improve the natural environment for wildlife. (There are striking parallels here for us in Kingston as we too have been rethinking the Hogsmill river and South East Rivers Trust have been undertakin

Green Spaces Strategy Review Kingston Council Presentation 14.10.14

During the presentation we were informed that  the 706 ha of open space managed by Kingston Council includes: 350 ha of publicly owned open space; and  356 ha of privately owned open space in the borough (such as Six-Acre Meadow or Millais' meadow owned by Merton College).  Since 2008, there has been efficiency savings of £400,000.The budget is currently £2.2 million compared with: Wandsworth 607 ha £2.4 million Richmond 500 ha £3.5 million Ealing 947 ha £2.8 million Contracts are coming up for renewal and further savings must be made. In this context it has made us appreciate some of progress made in the borough and we are anxious not to lose these gains. We were able to make comments in notebooks  under various headings such as Biodiversity; Trees; Community Engagement etc.Under Biodiversity the list seem to be growing rapidly and  some of the comments included concern over: Dogs ring-barking trees around the borough; The unofficial landfill site at Clayton

Tolworth Court Farm

There's a new site setting us on fire at the moment and that is TCF, Local Nature Reserve. The leader of the council has announced plans to turn this into a Country Park and he told a large audience what this might entail last night at the Kingston Biodiversity Network meeting at C-Scaipe Kingston University. So the burning questions last night were: What is a Country Park ? Would this give the site greater protection? Is this a Biodiversity Offset for the Tesco's development? Why focus on something that works when there are areas of deficiency in the borough.* an area of deficiency is defined by the GLA as to not have access to a Borough Grade 1 Site within 1 km of your home (not an area devoid of fish). The plan seems to be to: Remove some of the bunds; Use an offsite building owned by the council (previously a Bowls Pavilion) as an Educational Centre for school children;  The archaeology of the site should be interpreted; and that  More should be made