During the month of November, Teddington and Richmond locks are opened for maintenance removing the artificial control on the river, this means that the tidal effects on the Thames river are more pronounced along the banks at Richmond. This enables the Environment Trust to run our annual river clean up where volunteers can access the river bed at low tide, so that we can pick up the litter that has accumulated over the year.
Though it was a drizzly grey morning on Saturday the 11th of November, volunteers braved the rather dank conditions and came along to the 5.5 hectare Fishponds park. This park has three ponds, areas of grassland, a more formal garden area, and is home to a whole range of species including smooth newts, stag beetles and a regionally scarce plant called corky-fruited water dropwort which is a member of the carrot family.
It was a glorious Morning on the 28th of October, as we joined the Friends of Manor Park at their inaugural volunteer day, to help them do some fantastic nature conservation work. Over 60 volunteers joined throughout the day to improve the area for both wildlife and people.
Great spotted and green wood peckers were soaring with their undulating flight patterns, through the sunny skies above the Raeburn Open Space as volunteers arrived to get involved with some local conservation action.
It was a blustery morning on Saturday the 21st of October, before the volunteers arrived on site for a busy days work Sivi the Biodiversity and Landscape manager for Kingston University and Scooby the dog helped to prepare the University’s sports fields in Tolworth for the volunteers arrival
The leaves were full of autumnal colour on the morning of the 4th of October as 20 pupils from the local school Radnor House arrived at the woodlands at Orleans house. The day marked the schools, ‘Make a Difference Day’, in which the pupils undertake a range of social action tasks in the local community. And this group was very excited to help improve the woodland for the wildlife that lived there.
‘Plop’ a sound that was once frequently heard along the banks of the Hogsmill, as a startled water vole lunges from the bankside into the relative safety of the river. However, in recent years our river has fallen silent from these splashing sounds as our water vole population has collapsed. Water voles were once common across the United Kingdom, though they are now the fastest declining mammal in Britain.
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.