Showing posts from October, 2018

The natural environment of the Cambridge Road Estate

    New developments around the Cambridge Road Estate have not only erased any pre-existing 'nature' but made it virtually impossible for any new colonisation, except perhaps by pigeons. There are borough policies to prevent this happening, but no one seems to know where to find them, yet alone understand them;  our officers seem too embarrassed to implement a 'no net loss of biodiversity' policy, let alone achieve the borough's aspiration of 'Net Gain'. When Natural England attempted to give our planning officers a lunchtime training session - which would have counted towards their continuing professional development (CPD) - no one actually turned up. Key: Ppip common pipistrelle Ppyg soprano pip.   This does not bode well for the redevelopment of the Cambridge Road Estate (CRE). The site is full of wildlife, demonstrated by the bird song in the early Spring mornings. Listen to these recordings on Soundcloud here: Sparrows of Willingham Way . Keep l

Sewage Spill Green Lane Recreation Ground 15.10.18

  Thames Water have done it again. There has been a significant sewage spill covering a very large area of ground. The fence warns us 'danger electricity', but not of the sewage that has recently spewed all over the recreation ground-from the surcharged tunnel of cess -all the way from Worcester Park. This is in fact, a repeat performance of the public health and natural disaster of February, 2016.     A sog  of raw stinking sewage meanders through scrub creating grey rivulets in many places, especially  towards lower ground  leading to the river. Further along a secondary footpath to the woods, raw sewage remains pooled and ecoliferous. Thames Water have set up a Heras fence cordon and attempted to clean up the site, albeit very poorly, with rag still littered around the public park. This is clearly a large scale pollution event, affecting land right up to the river. Thames Water have a duty of care to warn the public of the danger;  particularly to prevent pets

New Community Orchard at Green Lane Recreation Ground.

Earlier this year a group of us met with the council to discuss a site for a new community orchard. Of two sites - we have chosen one far removed from underground pipework - and offering some welcome shading to help conserve water - an important consideration for new trees in our changing climate. In the summer,  we measured up the 180 square metre plot at Green Lane Recreation Ground.....     and this week we joined forces with Lewis, from the Orchard Project to choose our design with plenty of mouth-watering varieties including: cherry, plum, pear and apple; as well as some to the more traditional fruits medlar, mulberry and greengage. Fringed  by a border of white, red and blackcurrants and blackberries-how does that sound? The next event will be an orchard training day in November where we hone pruning an grafting skills before a final planting date a month later. Short video explanation of pollination and grafting  Radio 4 Food programme on cider apples This is an ep


 On the face of it, its good to see things holding on  amongst the sorry debris at the filter beds. Ducks aplenty on the remaining water as well as a great number of gulls, herons and cormorants- although they are mostly the predators. Water is the basis of life, generating  food resources for birds, bats, amphibians etc. These webs are complex and involve multiple networks that take time to evolve. Deep in our common sense -we know this- we know it very well. Except for when it is destroyed. There's a sudden  deficit of this knowledge, it goes 'south' or is it 'west'? Echoes of the cyclist who 'didn't like cycling in the dark'-castigating any percieved preference over moths to people; its only fish. Assistance? direction? tenacity? call it  policy, good practice, or legislation. Therein lies the deficit. In our borough we haven't adopted any of the polices that assist. We have made redundant the borough ecology officer, we have revoked our