Showing posts from December, 2015

Goldeneye at Hogsmill Sewage Works nature reserve

A male Goldeneye duck was seen by several members of the Surbiton and District Birdwatching Society from the bird hide  at the Hogsmill Sewage Works lagoon between 26.12.15 - 28.12.15-almost a garden tick for me.  Males look black and white with a greenish black head and a circular white patch in front of the yellow eye. Females are smaller, and are mottled grey with a chocolate brown head. In flight, birds show a large area of white on the inner wing. First nested in Scotland in 1970, and since then birds have been attracted to nest in specially designed boxes put up on trees close to water. In winter, birds from Northern Europe visit the UK.

Monbiot on Flooding

During November, the speaker planned for the indoor meeting of the Surbiton and District Birdwatching Society (SDBWS) was ill and a replacement was sought. Luckily for me, that replacement was Mark Avery, the former director of conservation at the RSPB and campaigner against driven grouse moor shooting amongst other things. It was Mark who inspired me to start keeping a blog from November, 2011 as I was a regular reader (and sometimes contributor to his). He also wrote 'Blogging for Nature' which was a guide written in 2011 with tips as to how to keep your readers interested. His talk to the SDBWS was based on his campaigns, one of which included our stupidity in losing the once super-numerous passenger pigeon and lessons for the future as our farmland birds disappear. It is his campaign on driven grouse moor shooting that is commented upon here as grouse moor 'management' has been picked up by George Monbiot, as part of the reason for the terrible floods in the no

The scene from Beverley Park

Two areas of green space along the eastern borough boundary and abutting the Beverley Brook are: Beverley Park; and the Beverley Park allotments.  The park has a friends group, which meets every Thursday morning (according to a notice on the fence).  Beverley Brook is a SINC or a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation  in Merton,  site reference MeBII05. See the separate post on the left hand menu with further information about the brook.  Some habitat creation can be found along the boundaries especially with the railway lines.  There is scope for further habitat creation and the adjacent  ‘Old Emmanuel (Blagdon Road) Sports Ground’ has been deemed suitable to ‘create new/restore relict flood plain’. Stands of Japanese knotweed were noted on both sides of the river, including some encroachment into the Park. This will need specialist attention to prevent spreading to other areas. Our visit found evidence of badgers using the pathway along the brook.There are   oc

The 'fat bit' of Chessington Wood

Dumped spoil or hoggin for a road? felled and logged Pond Last year, I wrote a post on the southern portion of Chessington Wood, which is in public ownership. However 9 acres of the northern portion along with a 'paddock', formed  part of the Barwell Court Estate until the recent sell off. It has always been  impenetrable with heras fencing erected to ensure non-entry. There is quite a substantial emphemeral pond, which is marked on the OS map, with a prostrate oak growing through it. Planning permission (now lapsed) was granted in 2005 for the erection of 7 stables, hay barn and 40m x 20m sand-school.There are signs that the field leading to the road will soon have a road link to the A244 and trees are being felled and burned in the woodland (much like everywhere else in the greenbelt at the moment).

Development and increased flood risk -10 reasons to be concerned

1 Eden Street Redevelopment, 2 (not to be confused with) The Old Post Office (TOPO) redevelopment, 3 The Cattle Market Redevelopment, 4 New student block opposite Wilko, 5 Sury Basin Redevelopment opposite Sainsburys, 6 Thames Side Wharf (behind John Lewis), 7 Redevelopment of the Hippodrome. 8 Gough House 9 Swan House, 10 The Dairy Crest Site The massive Eden Walk Regeneration plans have virtually no water attenuation plans despite being in Flood Zone 3: Page 13 of the flood risk strategy states that 'resistant/resilient techniques will be incorporated into the development in line with the current recommendations from DEFRA 'Flood Resiliant Development.' This will take the form of  demountable risers/barriers on the shop doors and some of the ground floor residences. see the application here: Eden Walk Development Application Number 15/13063 Developers: British Land Finance Deloitte The Kingston Residents Alliance have selected some very interesting pic

Seething Wells Filter Beds

small pumping station The path has been swept, the rubbish  cleared, the brambles strimmed, the building secured and the graffiti removed: so is a planning application  imminent? 2 duck and a lapwing

Sixty Acre Wood Chessington

Sixty Acre wood formed part of the Barwell Court estate up until earlier this year. This majestic ancient woodland, borders Fairoak Lane in Chessington. The initial woodland compartment west of the National Grid Sub-station is known as Jubilee Wood (this should not to be confused with the council owned Nature Reserve, of the same name, which is east of the sub-station).  A National Grid wayleave is present throughout these  woodlands and managed by UK Power. The wayleaves are coppiced on a 3-5 year rotation offering a rich habitat mosaic and are important for viviparous lizards. sweet chestnut coppice Charcoal burner  The woodland  slopes down a steep gradient towards plantation woodland at its western extent (at the Surrey county boundary along the A3). It is predominantely hazel and sweet chestnut coppice, managed in traditional ways.  A woodsman operates near the CWoA overflow car park and cuts hazel faggots and operates a charcoal burner. Sixty Acre wood offers

Flood risk Lower Marsh Lane

Where are the borough's flood defences? Well according to Strategic Flood Risk Assessment commissioned by the council in 2008 (Jacobs) our main flood defences are the Hogsmill Sewage works, Beverley Brook and the Manor Park and Berrylands Railway Embankments. Jacobs noted that housing should be avoided in Zone 3a (1144 houses currently). There are 57 properties identified in Zone 3b, which is floodplain (Town centre). The Jacobs report presumably went onto inform the Core Strategy 2011, which underpins our Local Development Framework for the borough. The two main policies of interest are: Policies CS1, CS2, DM1-DM4 2 Manage and reduce fluvial and surface water flood risk in the Borough by ensuring flood risk strategies are kept up to date, guiding new development to areas of low risk where possible and requiring mitigation measures such as Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems. Where development is required within flood risk zones such as Kingston Town Centre, mitigation measu