On the 20th September, 19 Cisco volunteers ventured to the Tolworth Court Farm Local Nature Reserve, it was fantastic to see familiar faces returning to volunteer with us as well as some new faces too! As with all our volunteer sessions, we kicked the day off which a nature walk, where we talked about yellow meadow ants, honeybees, woodpeckers and kestrels – all of which can be seen across the site.
14 Sept 2017. At the Kitchen Garden in Marble Hill Park - also known as the 'Model Market Garden', in tribute to the market gardens that were abundant here a century and more ago. With about 70m of fence left to paint inside and out we did not really expect that the job could be done in a single day. But a super-focussed team from Cisco made this a reality by completing the job - and they showed every sign of enjoying themselves whilst doing it. We now have a fence that looks smart and is better protected against the elements and fungal growth that would shorten its life.
During the last two weeks of August the Lower Moles, working with the Kingston Environment Centre and the Environment Trust helped to lead a project to repair and improve the footpath that follows the Hogsmill River in Elmbridge Meadows, which currently is almost impassable in winter months especially to those with mobility issues.
2 Sep 2017. Twenty Duke of Edinburgh students joined volunteers from Headstart and Kingston University on Saturday to fight back the invasive bamboo near the pond on Kingston Hill campus and to prepare the ground and sow wildflower seeds in the meadow. Our host was Sivi Sivanesan, with Kingston University Biodiversity Action Group.
The August sun was on full display on Saturday 26th, as volunteers made their way to the Raeburn Open Space Local Nature Reserve. This 5-hectare area has suffered much neglect in recent years, however this is all set to change with Thames Water Funding the Environment Trust to help restore the site and engage the local community.
After a few days of unsettled weather the sun was shining on Friday the 4th of August. This was very fortunate as we had an army of 47 volunteers making their way to the Raeburn Open Space and Elmbridge Meadows to help tackle the infestation of Himalayan Balsam that dominates the banks of the rivers. The volunteers were from the three-year Cisco apprenticeship programme and were all very enthusiastic about getting stuck in.
On Saturday, the 8th July volunteers looking to learn about the wonderful world of dragonflies (otherwise known as Odonata), joined us for a workshop led by London Wildlife Trust’s 'Water for Wildlife Project'. We at the Environment Trust and Kingston University are helping to deliver this project throughout the Kingston Borough.
Emerald and large red damselflies flickered around the car park to the Raeburn Open Space, as volunteers from Unilever in Kingston arrived to carry out some conservation work on this hidden away local nature reserve.
When most people think of Tolworth minds most likely spring to Tolworth Tower, I would imagine very few think about our Moated Manor. This medieval site dates back to 1086 and was one of the earliest settlements in the area. The building once stood in what is now aptly known as Tolworth Court Farm Moated Manor Local Nature Reserve, nestled away on the edge of Tolworth this is now a haven for wildlife.
Though it was a rather cloudy start to Tuesday the 27th of June, I was met with 21 beaming smiles at the car park of Hounslow Heath as volunteers from the Cisco internship programme arrived to get stuck in with some nature conservation work. Hounslow Heath is a 200-acre site nestled away in the heart of Hounslow, and despite the Heathrow flight path which is directly above the area transports you into a countryside environment.