Showing posts from December, 2018

Biodiversity, Air and water: Christmas letter to 48 councillors

Dear Councillors This is a friendly reminder that legally public bodies have a duty under the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 to consider biodiversity in all of their functions. I attach the London Guidance from Natural England and some footnotes as to how this is legally applied. I also attach the Kingston Good Practice Guide, which I imagine most councillors and officers have never seen. I know some of you are concerned about this, as I have met with you; some of you think that there are officers taking account of these statutory obligations (well they are not) and there are others that think that housing targets are more important than biodiversity- but then you have decided what the law is, and that children don’t need access to nature and clean air for good physical and mental health. If areas are unfit for hedgehogs, are they really fit for us; and didn’t we sign up to the London National Park City? Remember that the council -as a public body- also

The significance of names and naming

Today's radio had details of an unfortunate court case, which included the headline - grabbing news of the naming of a child 'Adolf'. Names carry powerful connotations and can be imbued with deep significance; the couple who named their son after Hitler were convicted for being members of a banned group known as 'National Action' and were sentenced  to prison for between 5 - 6 years. I began thinking of the power of bird names, either because they are inherently beautiful, have evocative songs such as the skylark, or because of their rarity. Lapwing Seething Wells   When we hear 'Peewit' we mean the Lapwing  or the  bird in the photograph - currently one of only six - but from an original flock of 200 regulars only ten years ago, at the Seething Wells filter beds, and now amongst the rarest bird in the borough. Richard Jefferies writing on "Nature Near London," (1888) noted that 2,000 lapwing overwintered on Tolworth Court Farm. I wonder if th

Green Lane Community Orchard Planting

  Months of preparation for a new community orchard culminated yesterday with  participants - expertly schooled by the Orchard Project - planting trees and fruit bushes. After digging suitable holes, tree roots were dipped into  a mycorrhizal application of beneficial fungi designed to colonise the  roots and create an early mycelial network within the soil,  increasing nutrient and water uptake. The trees were surrounded in protective cages and three fruit bushes - a gooseberry, red currant, white currant or a black currant - were planted around the base. Photo A. Irving Amongst the trees planted were: a cider apple Tremlex bitter - and apples Newton Wonder , Cor Blimey, cherry Merton Glory and Lapins , a  fig, and a medlar var: Nottingham; a self fertile tree, the fruit of which, should be harvested during October. Pomegranate is becoming more popular in our changing climate and ours was covered with a sheet to protect from the frost during the next few months. It isn'