Showing posts from January, 2017

Belted Galloway herd and Surrey Wildlife Trust.

    We visited Pond Farm, Wisley and Ockham Common, close to Wisley village off the A3. This site is managed and grazed by the Surrey Wildlife Trust and their herd of Belted Galloways; who appreciated their top-up of hay after the recent snow fall.   Surrey Wildlife Trust run an exceptional service delivering a grazing programe tailored to suit most sites. They match the temperament of the cattle with the level of use. Category one, sites are those in the most urbanised areas, requiring cattle to be habituated to dog incursions. However, no herd should ever be expected to cope with illegal dogs running out of control on a nature reserve and sensible control of animals on leads may be required. The off to Priest Hill LNR and public open space along the Banstead Road (parking in Beverley Close) to see the 22 strong herd in the snow. On the heels of the cattle was  a flock of c20 meadow pipits hopeful of tid-bits grazing would reveal. This would be a great model for Tolworth Cou

Wassail: Hook to Tolworth apple walk

    We held a wassail this weekend - paying homage to fruit trees along our way - as well as local figures important in Kingston's Pomology or apple story. Our walk began in Hook, close to the former home of the founder of the heritage apple 'Colonel Yate', which was raised by nurseryman W H Divers of Surbiton (c1905); we continued to look for apple references as we traversed Orchard Gardens, Apple Grove, Cox Lane towards Tolworth Court Farm.  En-route we visited Causeway Copse (now know as Bullwhips- when did the council change its name?) where wild Malus species have been recorded according to the London records centre (Greenspace Information for Greater London or GIGL). We left votive offerings or 'gifts' - in the form of small pieces of toast - traditional, particularly in cider growing regions. In the eastern fields at Tolworth Court Farm we found bird species associated with  orchards, such as  redwings,  often found searching for any remaining win

Vegetation clearance at Seething Wells

Bulldozing of vegetation and leaving it in opposing piles is not a great way to manage a Site of Nature Conservation Importance.     Exposing the subterranean chambers and other features of industrial archaeological importance; usually occurs when a planning application is in the pipeline.      For the time being the filter beds are  still home  for  the heron, fox and  lapwing  along with many other species seen today: redwings, robins, blackbirds, song thrush, pochard, tufties and gadwall.