Showing posts from November, 2015

Tolworth Brook

Ever wondered where all the gunk thrown into  Tolworth Brook ends up? What stops the leaves and rubbish ending up in the sea? Well meet the council staff who work  on a constant rolling programme, raking out the debris and piling the 'muck' on their truck.    They take the rough with the smooth and enjoy being followed by grey wagtails as they uncover their invertebrate food. Occasionally  they may act as saviours to tumbled-in wildlife, such as a family of fox cubs, which went to Wildlife Aid, Randalls Road, Leatherhead earlier in the year.  The council are able to close the 'gates' along the various stretches to isolate any build-ups of garden rubbish. This makes identification of  regular deposits easy to identify so the perpetrators can be 'visited'. This stretch of the brook is found at King Charles Road as it crosses into Alexandra Park, Berrylands and onto its confluence with the Hogsmill at Elmbridge Meadows. See the left hand page tab  or

Tolworth Court Moated Manor

There are several posts on Tolworth Court Farm Fields (Local Nature Reserve), but until now a portion of the site known as Tolworth Court Moated Manor (TCMM) across the busy A240 has only been mentioned in passing.The south west boundary of TCMM is Kingston Road (A240) and the south eastern boundary is the fence-line running along the River Hogsmill. Old Kingston Road forms the north west boundary and Kingston University playing fields border the site to the north east. The site is roughly square with an area of approximately 2.7ha. The moated island on which the manor complex would have stood is on the very edge of the site to the south. The north and east arms of the moat are still in evidence, the latter having been excavated and is managed as a pond.  A barn, near the gated entrance, has a relatively new roof but no walls and has a Barn Owl box installed by Lower Mole Project. The boundaries are largely fenced with earth bunds along Kingston and Old Kingston roads installed

Autumn at Seething Wells

Common Pochard Filter beds almost at capacity                     Numbers of duck will be increasing  from now and all through the winter months. This week several species  were widely distributed and not just confined to three or four of the filter beds. My records show that December through to February can see the greatest numbers of tufted duck and actually achieved a total of 43 birds during the winter of 2013. Yesterday there were already twenty five birds. This was followed by five Common Pochard, which is a fairly recent visitor and a personal record for this site.Too early for visiting lapwing, but as soon as the night temperatures start to fall, they will come into roost and will be seen at both extremes of the day. The site is characterised by its Dabchick (or little grebe) and it was a bit of a shock to see them in winter plumage after such prolonged sunny weather!

Kingston Cemetery

Members of the Kingston Biodiversity Network (including the recently appointed Biodiversity Coordinator, Marina Pacheco) met with Howard, the Superintendent of Kingston Cemetery to discuss ways in which the biodiversity of the site can be promoted. In particular, the formation of a comprehensive nature trail was discussed.  This is the culmination of several years of recording at the cemetery including: the flora, initially identied in the London Ecology Handbook 1992; breeding and winter birds; monitoring of bats, by members of the London Bat Group; as well as identification of the fungi.  Meadow Coral Comprehensive data collection has resulted in the conclusion that the cemetery is worthy of a higher nature conservation designation (it is currently a Site of Local Importance  and perhaps should be a Site of Borough Importance). Fungi identification resumed two weeks ago and will continue for the remainder of the year. Two species not previously found in the cemeter