On Wednesday 18th April 14 volunteers were back at Berrylands Nature Reserve to continue with the restoration of the river. This was another day of wearing wellies and waders, though fortunately this time we were accompanied by beaming sunshine!
Our contractors Aquamaintain helped to fill in the berms with soil and the volunteers trimmed coir geotextile to secure the soil to the berm. This was completed to stop the soil from being washed away during periods of high river flow.
We were delighted to welcome Rt Hon Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, to see the continuing improvements at Raeburn Open Space, pictured here with host Cllr Kevin Davis, Leader of the Royal Borough of Kingston Council and local ward Councillors. Visitors were shown around by Elliot Newton, Nature Conservation Manager and Tim Little, Chair of the Environment Trust. See pictures by Tim Little on flickr.
On Saturday the 10th of March we were back at Kingston University’s Kingston Hill campus, to crack on with a final session (for the immediate future) restoring some ancient woodland. We have been working to remove invasive rhododendron over the past year, which is an invasive species that takes over woodland.
Thankfully the rain held off on what was a rather chilly day on Kingston Hill, as 32 volunteers Duke of Edinburgh and University volunteers arrived to get stuck in with some outdoor work.
A cold front brought in some rather chilly Siberian air, which brought a frost to the morning of the 22nd of February. However, this did not deter 13 volunteers to join us for a day of conservation work with the support from London Wildlife Trust.
With the river restoration works imminently about to begin, we cleared some bramble scrub which will mean that the contractors can move in with heavy machinery in which will remove the concrete banks to re naturalise them, making it a better habitat for wildlife.
On the 24th of February volunteers from around New Malden including the Ahmadiyyan community, came together to help remove some bramble to free up the native trees that have been planted in the past. We continued the good work of the Lower Mole volunteers who worked on the site earlier in the week.
The Bramble also acts as a litter trap, so by clearing some of this scrub, we hope that this will discourage litter gathering along the lane.
The 23rd of February marked the inaugural conservation day for the Friends of Latchmere recreation ground. We supported them in running a session which saw the planting a new native hedgerow that will provide new habitat for nesting birds, invertebrates and small mammals.The Friends group procured 100 whips, which included species such as field maple, hazel, blackthorn and hawthorn.
‘The Wood’ is a beautiful little nature reserve, nestled just behind Surbiton station. This secluded patch of woodland is also connected to the Richard Jefferies bird sanctuary, named after a nature writer born in 1848 who lived in Surbiton for some of his life.
This little patch has fantastic potential to be a haven for wildlife, with badger sets and woodpeckers calling from the canopy.
It was a beautifully crisp morning on the 17th of February, there was not a cloud in the sky above, green woodpecker calls were reverberating around the site as cheerful volunteers arrived for a day of volunteering with the Friends of Manor Park.
The day had two aims, one was to continue litter picking from around the park and one was to create a new woodland path through the eastern copse, which separates the cricket field from a tussocky grassland meadow which is speckled with yellow meadow ant hills.