ANGER MANAGEMENT – CORY’S PLANS INFURIATE CROSSNESS CAMPAIGNERS

The comments by Friends of Crossness Nature Reserve on Cory’s detailed plans for its proposed four storey data centres next to Crossness Local Nature Reserve are reproduced below, along with the personal opinions of Site Manager Karen Sutton (whilst her employer Thames Water is objecting to aspects of the second incinerator scheme, it has not expressed a view on the data centres). These are similar to those submitted by Bexley Natural Environment Foru that were posted a few days ago.

There is significant anger and frustration at Cory’s lack of meaningful consultation with the Friends Group, the failure to provide any adequate ‘mitigation’ for the loss of habitat for species that are nationally, regionally and /or locally rare, the pathetic ‘green wall’ and ‘green roof’  provision, the massive visual impact and  the ‘fake views’ in which Cory’s artist’s impressions provide only very misleading images of the finished project. The authors slam much of what is in Cory’s detailed plans as a ‘tick box’ exercise. The authors call upon Bexley to withdraw outline planning permission due to Cory’s failure to meet the Council’s conditions that are supposed to be satisfied before final approval is granted. 

Download the PDF file .

Download the PDF file .

 

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‘Cory’s detailed Erith Marshes data centre proposals will not prevent serious biodiversity loss’ – BNEF

Bexley Natural Environment Forum has responded to Cory’s detailed proposals for two huge four-storey data centre buildings on Erith Marshes at Norman Road, adjacent to Crossness Local Nature Reserve, which set out how it intends to comply with the conditions imposed by Bexley Council’s planning committee when it granted outline permission. The Forum’s submission is provided in full below. To help others submit comments, we are working on a summary version which will appear on our Facebook page shortly. Comments should go to developmentcontrol@bexley.gov.uk by August 17th with 15/02926/OUTM02 in the subject line.

If Cory cannot meet those conditions, the development should be rejected. Important Open Mosaic habitat, found to be of at least London level importance for invertebrates will be in large part destroyed, known rarities such as Shrill Carder Bee are not catered for, Skylark nesting and Barn Owl foraging habitat will be lost and not replaced, non-native plantings of limited wildlife value will be made and the hugely negative visual impact cannot be ‘mitigated’ away. The Forum therefore finds that Cory’s scheme will still result in a significant biodiversity loss, contrary to the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework and the Bexley Local Plan, and fails to meet a number of the conditions.

It has made it clear to the Council that if Cory cannot provide empirical evidence regarding any claims of no biodiversity loss or net gain, that it expects Council Officers to do so (putting the supporting data in the public domain) if they re-state them as the Council’s own position. It has also said that seeking to ‘off-set’ the biodiversity damage outside of Bexley would be in contravention of the Council’s policy of protecting and enhancing biodiversity within the Borough’s own boundary. 

The company has yet to submit a Biodiversity Management Plan and the Forum has written to the Council raising concerns that this in itself would appear to be in breach of a condition setting out deadlines in the planning process.    

There was a time delay in Cory’s documentation appearing on Bexley Council’s planning webpages. The Council has extended the deadline for comments to August 17th accordingly, but only after badgering by campaigners.   

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Opportunity for volunteering at Lesnes Abbey for Veterans

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Activities for children at Braeburn Park Nature Reserve

An event put on by our friend in conservation, Sara.

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Bexley RSPB 40th anniversary concert is a big hit.

Group stalwart Ralph Todd reports on the recent very well attended Bexley RSPB 40th anniversary classical music concert with Sidcup Symphony Orchestra, and provides a copy of the programme notes:

Download the PDF file .

Download the PDF file .

 

 
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Maiden Lane development by the River Cray – chance to comment

A planning application has been submitted for housing right next to the River Cray, a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation and a key wildlife corridor supporting protected species. The deadline for comments and objections is Monday 10th June 2019. Whilst the site has previously been used for industrial purposes and the developer has listened to some of the comments about biodiversity made to its own public consulatation, several grounds for concern remain, and readers are encouraged to submit their views on these matters. A sample submission is provided below. Despite the fact the developer tries to play the effects down, most people will agree that putting up a four-storey apartment block – and a number of other dwellings – very close to the river, is going to have a lasting and very negative impact on the countryside feel of the Cray and its environs downstream of Maiden Lane bridge. The ecology survey included only one day of fieldwork, in the middle of January 2018, and is consequently poor to lacking in important detail. The carbon emissions and car use considerations of any new development are also increasingly important.

(Above: developer’s own artist’s impression of its proposed four storey building right next to the River Cray bank).

The planning application, reference 19/00941/FULM, is for the demolition of existing buildings, rebuilding of the existing Barn to provide 35 residential units (Use Class C3) as Affordable Homes (Shared Ownership and Affordable Rent) comprising 22 x 2 bed flats, 1 x 2 bed house, 7 x 3 bed houses and 5 x 4 bed houses and provision of car parking, cycle parking, landscaping and associated infrastructure.

Comments can be sent to DevelopmentControl@bexley.gov.uk Include the application reference number in the subject line. Or you can register to comment online. Detailed documentation about the plans can be found here:

https://pa.bexley.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=PPZSYZBEFMR00

Bexley Natural Environment Forum is submitting comments on this application, but the more people do so the better. While the BNEF document is awaited, this personal submission provides a ‘crib’ for the sorts of things that those who follow ‘Bexley Wildlife’ might want to look at:

COMMENTS ON PLANNING APPLICATION 19/00941/FULM

BELLWAY LONDON PARTNERSHIPS. PROPOSED MAIDEN LANE, CRAYFORD, DEVELOPMENT.

Chris Rose BSc (Hons), MSc.

15 Thirlmere Rd, Barnehurst, DA7 6PU. chrisrose@gn.apc.org

My personal interests/expertise are that I volunteer with Thames21 along the River, managing habitat and clearing litter/fly-tipping and I am volunteer Site Manager of Thames Road Wetland at the other end of By-way 105. I have done considerable amounts of wildlife recording in these and other parts of Bexley.

My views and concerns about this proposal are as follows:

CLIMATE/ENERGY/SUSTAINABILITY

  • There is a climate crisis. A number of local authorities have started passing motions to this effect. The UK has a problem with the massive stock of existing, very energy inefficient housing. We should not be adding a further anchor-drag to the business of cutting emissions harder and faster by building any more net emitters. All developments in the Borough should henceforth be zero carbon. The developer presents a far less ambitious target.
  • I am pleased to see a commitment to solar panels which appeared to be lacking in the developer’s own public consultation exercise.
  • Given that the site is adjacent to a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation and an important and designated wildlife corridor, the lack of green/brown/living roofing is disappointing and out of kilter with the Council’s ‘direction of travel’ on ‘green infrastructure’ as detailed in its emerging ‘Preferred policies’ document. There is no statement to suggest that all available roof space will be covered in solar panels, indeed it appears to be the case that apartment block panels would have to be raised up on frames to achieve optimum angles to the sun.

CAR DEPENDENCY

  • Even Bexley Council (in its recent ‘growth strategy’ and Preferred policies documents) now recognises that cars are a serious land-use issue. At most there should be just a few car-parking spaces for visitors and none for residents unless for properties specifically designed for disabled users. This site is a modest walk to a railway station and close to several main bus routes. Given that the developer proposes 46 non-disabled car parking spaces it could probably fit in a few more houses if they scrapped those. I very much doubt that there aren’t enough potential purchasers of a car-free home in Bexley, London or the UK to fill up the proposed amount of accommodation. The dynamic around the assumption that we will carry on being dependent on personally-owned cars needs to be changed. Even the car industry can see the writing on the wall on this.  

BIODIVERSITY

  • The Ecological Report refers to an ‘initial’ walkover on 31/1/2018 but as far as can be ascertained this was the only date any fieldwork was done, which is exceptionally poor  and unacceptable. It is no surprise that most of the bird species that use the area were not identified, that reptiles and amphibians were not found or adequately surveyed for, that no Bat detector work was done to assess the importance of the river corridor for Bat foraging and that no invertebrate surveying was done.
  • The reality is that this By-way 105 part of the Cray is a known Bat foraging corridor. I have had them flying around my head along the by-way before. I am extremely concerned about the proximity of the proposed housing to the river and its orientation in respect of light spillage. The Ecological Management Plan implies no light spillage beyond the development site boundary, which I find impossible to believe, and whilst the Energy and Sustainability document talks about sound insulation, it doesn’t say anything about stopping light escape.  There is also the key issue of the spectrum of lighting used. This at least has ben recognised. There has been research done on this with amber lighting shown to be more bat-friendly. Negative impacts on Moths have also been found. Macro-moths are in serios decline, particularly in south-east England.  On summer evenings you are also going to get noise pollution of a usually tranquil area from open windows.
  • In this regard it would be better to set buildings back against the northern margin of the site, rather than close to the river.
  • It is stated that a Water Vole survey was done and that there were no signs of any. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, it has to be assumed that this too was only done on 31/1/2018, when the river would have been high due to winter rain and this fact, plus direct rain effects, are more likely to have washed away Water Vole field signs. There are Water Voles along By-way 105. I have seen them since the 2003 record date mentioned. I saw one at Thames Road Wetland on 28/2/19. They have been found along the Cray as far as Ruxley Gravel pits at least with a feeding station photographed at the latter location earlier this year. I would be very surprised and alarmed if they had suddenly vanished from along 105.
  • Bexley usually imposes a 5m buffer for Water Vole. The diagram in the Ecol Man Plan indicates different planting plans for different width ‘buffer zones’, but it is not clear to what extent this width might be compromised by existing or proposed buildings. It should be Bexley’s ‘standard’ 5m wherever there are no existing buildings, and ideally more than that. It is not entirely clear whether the developer’s ‘buffer zone’ includes its unspecified ‘ground cover’ shrubs, which may not provide suitable Water Vole habitat. The whole width of any ‘buffer zone’ should provide suitable habitat for Water Voles and other native species currently occupying this stretch of the river.
  • The suggested provision to residents of information about wildlife sensitivity and appropriate responses to that is welcome, as are references to wildlife-permeable fencing, but the latter makes it even more important  that steps are taken to prevent domestic cats that new residents may bring in catching and killing the protected species of Water Voles and Grass Snakes along the riverbank. There is no reference to how this is going to be achieved
  • I welcome the fact that proposed cutting back overhanging trees along the river, even though they are not adjacent to the site, has been left out of the formal planning application. The stated reason for this was to allow local residents on Barnes Cray Road to go down the river in their boats. The reality is that no one goes boating down there as in winter you have to lie down in the boat to get under Maiden Lane Road bridge, and in summer the water level is often below that of the top of the array of rocks under the bridge. Thames21 already does some selective pruning so we that can get our boat down the river for removing litter, and this does indeed necessitate lying flat on/amongst the pile of accumulated rubbish in the boat on the way back up to our yard. There is far too much of the wrong sort of ‘tidying’ of the local environment and I do not support the idea of corporate interests sending in the chainsaws.
  • I am disappointed to see continued reference ‘strengthening’ the riverbank vegetation with additional ‘planting’. In my view – as pointed out in the response I wrote to the developer’s own consultation, there is no need for this, and a proper appreciation of local ecology seems to be lacking. There is already a lot of Sedge, of Lesser Reedmace (the less common of the two Typhas on the Cray) and a nice swathe of Marsh Marigold adjacent to the proposed development site.

River-side vegetation will soon fill any bare areas, providing material of local provenance without the developer having to do it (though the fact they are now talking about using plants of local provenance at all indicates some progress in their thinking ….). As I said before, if the applicant wants to do something useful regarding vegetation on the lower Cray it should forget about ‘planting’, and instead help bash the Himalayan Balsam that has now got a foothold here, and the Giant Hogweed on the other side of the river opposite its land – and/or encourage residents to join Thames21 in doing so.  

  • As Biodiversity Officer of the Bexley Federation of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners I have surveyed almost all the allotment sites in the Borough for reptiles and amphibians. Grass Snakes and ‘Common’ Toads, both Biodiversity Action Plan species (which kinds of species the existing Core Strategy specifically says it wants to conserve), and considered to be in decline, are present on the adjacent Crayford Way allotment site. It is likely from what plot-holders have said that Grass Snakes breed here. No feature of the development, including for any emergency-only vehicle access at the eastern end of the site, should compromise the ability of Snakes to commute between the river and the allotments, but instead should improve connectivity.
  • Installation of Bat boxes on buildings would be appropriate, but could be compromised by the wrong sort of lighting regime. In respect of the proposal for bird next boxes, House Martin nest cups should be installed, and Swift nest boxes and if practical (Swifts need a clear 5m drop and Swift call ‘lures’ should be used to bring them in). Both species forage around the river and there is a modest House Martin nesting colony not too far away at Sherwood Crescent by Perry Street Farm. I was told third hand some time ago that there had once been HM nesting on Maiden Lane, but I have seen no formal records of this nor have I seen any doing so over the last decade.

VISUAL IMPACT

  • The countryside feel of this part of the river will be destroyed by this development, if it is approved. The key consideration is the effect on the view from the London Loop/By-way 105 and I do not agree with the ’objective’ assessment of the Landscape and Visual effects document that the impact will subside from moderate to adverse in year one to moderate to neutral in year 15. The 4 storey apartment block is too large/tall and close to the riverbank to be acceptable and will hugely and permanently alter the character of the area to something more akin to walking along a central London canal edged by tall new-build or warehouse conversions. Visual character will be important not just to locals but to the many people who use By-way 105 as part of various long-distance footpath walking routes.

ENDS.

Chris Rose.

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Mayor of London tells ministers to block second Cory and other new incinerators in London

A public inquiry into a second waste incinerator on Erith Marshes in Belvedere is imminent.

GLA PRESS RELEASE 21/5/19 ‘Stop allowing new toxic waste incinerators in London’ Mayor tells ministers

· Sadiq: Another polluting plant ‘the last thing we need’

· Capital currently has three incinerators – with two more set to open

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan today called on the Government to stop permitting the building of ‘archaic’ polluting waste incinerators as he outlined his opposition to a proposed incinerator in Bexley, which is set to raise harmful NOx pollution levels. Sadiq strongly believes that burning waste in incinerators worsens London’s already toxic air quality and hinders boroughs from reaching recycling and waste reduction targets. London has the highest incineration rate (54 per cent) in the UK for management of local authority waste, yet the lowest recycling rate (30 per cent).

The focus must be on reducing waste, particularly plastic, and protecting residents from pollution. The Mayor is encouraging boroughs to help residents to recycle food, and stop buying needless plastic bottled water, which should help to reduce landfill and mean that only truly unrecyclable waste (e.g disposable nappies and composite packaging materials that combine card, plastic and foils which cannot be separated) would need to be incinerated.

There are already three incinerators in the capital – Bexley (in the same location as the proposed site), Enfield and Lewisham. Another is being built in Sutton and is due to open this year, while a further plant has been approved for development in Enfield, both of which were approved by ministers during the previous mayor’s terms.

City Hall has heard from worried Bexley residents and MPs who strongly oppose the plans and are concerned about the impact on the local area. The plant would emit more than four times as much harmful NOx as the existing local incinerator and the Crossness sewage plant combined. It could also emit arsenic, nickel and other metals that could damage the health of residents and workers both nearby and across the river.

The Mayor has reviewed the application by waste management company Cory and disputes claims that the incinerator will generate low-carbon heat and power and meet his minimum CO2 requirement for energy from waste facilities, which aims to reduce carbon emissions and help tackle London’s climate emergency. There is also insufficient evidence to make the case that there are enough homes and buildings nearby that could use heat generated from the new incinerator. The existing incinerator facility (Riverside Resource Recovery Facility) on the site has demonstrated more than enough capacity to supply sufficient heat for existing and proposed homes and workplaces in the surrounding area.

The Mayor does not have powers to stop the incinerator because final approval for the facility lies with the government. The Mayor is a statutory consultee and will oppose this application through representations made to the Planning Inspectorate, which will make a recommendation on the application to the Government. Today he outlined his opposition in a report to Secretary of State for Business, Greg Clark.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “London’s air is a toxic air health crisis and the last thing we need, in our modern green global city is another harmful waste-burning incinerator polluting our city. Emissions from incinerators are bad for our health, bad for our environment and bad for our planet. Instead of granting permission for an unnecessary new incinerator that will raise pollution levels in the boroughs of Bexley and Havering, the Government should focus on boosting recycling rates, reducing the scourge of plastic waste and tackling our lethal air. I am urging ministers to reject this proposal.“

ENDS Notes to editors

• The Mayor’s policies focus on significantly reducing waste and achieving 65% recycling municipal waste by 2030. Approving another EFW incinerator would jeopardise achievement of these goals.

• City Hall modelling shows that with existing and recently permitted incinerators, London has enough incineration capacity and does not need another incinerator like this to manage London’s non-recycled waste if the Mayor’s waste reduction and recycling targets are met. It would impact on achieving the Mayor’s reduction and recycling targets set out in his London Environment Strategy.

• DEFRA in its Resources and Waste Strategy have also said that additional energy from waste infrastructure may not necessary be required if the Government’s recycling and landfill reduction targets are met. Government are also considering a incineration tax if their polices for cutting waste and increasing recycling are not effective

• Waste incinerators are well regulated by the Environment Agency, who will set emission limits based on the current best available techniques for emission reduction. However this does not mean that there are no impacts on pollution and people’s health. The health impact of any pollution source depends on where it is, how much pollution there already is in the area and how many people live within the pollutant “plume”.

• The development consent order for the proposed incinerator includes the applicants assessment of impacts on local air quality as part of their environmental assessment.

• For many pollutants, such as NO2, the health impacts are independent of the type of source: NO2 from an energy from waste plant is just as harmful as from a diesel car. There is, however, a growing body of evidence that the impacts of particulates may be influenced by the source and composition of the particles.

• The evidence on the health impacts of Energy from Waste plant is continually evolving. The GLA has commissioned a review of the current available evidence on the local impacts of Energy from Waste on people’s health in London so that we can fully understand the problem and Public Health England are working with Imperial College London to research the impacts of waste incineration across the UK.

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Crossness news – incinerator, Water Voles, birds, butterflies, bees, bugs and upcoming events …..

Karen Sutton provides an update from Crossness LNR at Erith Marshes about the latest issues, wildlife and public events at the site ……..

Crayford Marshes success, and Cory’s plans that will impact Crossness Nature Reserve:

Back in 2016, many of you who opposed the Cory Data Centre plans on the Cory Fields at Crossness – the Save Our Skylarks campaign – may recall a tandem development threat to nearby Crayford Marshes where Roxhill were proposing to build a ‘Strategic Railfreight Interchange’ scheme on Green Belt-designated open land and subsequently threaten the breeding habitat of Skylark and Corn Bunting. Many of you will remember completing petition letters alongside those for the Cory development. Following a lengthy Public Inquiry examining the scheme, the Secretary of State has just announced that he has refused the scheme! This is an amazing result and demonstrates that there can be successes where wildlife-threatening planning applications are concerned. Unless successfully challenged in the courts, this decision is final and is of course fantastic news for those of us that value our diminishing open spaces and associated wildlife.

Unfortunately, we lost the case for Cory Environmental to build on the Cory Fields (Borax Fields) at Crossness back in 2016, where at least two pairs of Skylark appear to be breeding again this year, so we will unfortunately see the development of two, four-storey data centres here, but the Crayford Marshes result does give us some hope in the fight against Cory’s most recent plans to build the ‘Riverside Energy Park’ (REP) (another waste incinerator squeezed between their existing Norman Road waste incinerator and Crossness Nature Reserve) immediately north of the West Paddock and east of Sea Wall Field.

Save our Skylarks demonstrators lined up for a photoshoot with Cory’s existing incinerator in the background.

Due to the size of the REP proposal, this also goes before the Planning Inspectorate who has begun examining the case. The hearings start at the beginning of June, and on 4th June, the Examiner will undertake Accompanied Site Inspections, including a visit to Crossness NR to look at the impacts. On the evening of 4th June, the first Open Floor Hearing is scheduled to take place at 18:30 at the Belvedere Community Centre, DA17 6AA. This will be an opportunity for the Friends of Crossness Nature Reserve to attend and voice their concerns to the Examining Inspector so do please go along and have your say. The 5th June will see an Issue Specific Hearing on Environmental Matters which takes place at 10am at the Slade Green Community Centre, DA8 2EL.

Again, the fact that the Roxhill development was declined at Crayford Marsh, does give us hope that the Cory plans will also be rejected, so all objections to this scheme are incredibly valuable.

Return of the Water Voles (and subsequent temporary disruption):

Many of you will remember that we suffered an unfortunate pollution incident in December 2017, and that last year saw a massive clean-up operation. In order to protect the Water Voles residing in our ditches and reedbeds, we began a rescue operation that saw nearly 60 Water Voles captured and taken into captivity while the clean-up took place. Some of these Voles were released elsewhere as part of other conservation projects and where the Crossness Voles would help diversify the gene pool, while others underwent a captive breeding programme for future release back to Crossness. I am pleased to report, that following the results of surveys to be undertaken this week, the Voles will be released back in to the Protected Area week beginning 20th May.

Following the results of the above-mentioned Water Vole surveys in the Protected Area of the nature reserve, an altered strategy has now been proposed. It seems that the few remaining Water Voles that evaded capture at the time of the pollution incident, have done incredibly well and there are field signs everywhere! This could indicate that they have reproduced and there is a larger population present, or it could be that fewer Voles have simply expanded into the more widely available habitat. With the uncertainty of which scenario is at play here, and the fact that Water Voles are very territorial, it has been decided that only 15 Water Voles will be returned to the Protected Area, and that a hard-release option will now take place (as opposed to the soft-release previously mentioned). All Voles will now be released directly into the reedbeds on one day (it was decided that if there are many territorial Voles already present, they will harass new Voles in pens and so a hard-release is now a better option for their welfare). We are investigating the possibility of releasing the remaining Water Voles at another of our Thames Water sites on the north of the Thames.

So there will be a lot of activity on Monday (20th May) when there will be the Water Vole ecologists, plus a number of Thames Water and Environment Agency personnel around, so I apologise now for the disturbance to visitors. On the same day, the Water Vole fencing that is currently bounding the southern section of the Protected Area, will be removed. Again, a bit of disturbance, but it will be nice to see this removed finally!

Work coming up:

I don’t have dates yet, but at some point soon, there will be some flushing through of culverts on the Southern Marsh and at the bottom of the Nature Reserve. As a separate contract, there will also be a small boardwalk installed by the pedestrian bridge at the Bridge Meadow (east) end of Crossness Southern Marsh to deal with the section of path that repeatedly floods (where stepping stones are currently placed).

This work will start on 28th May, so expect some minor disturbance as a result of this.

Wildlife highlights:

The reedbeds are once again alive with the sight and sound of Reed and Sedge Warblers, which is always nice. A Cuckoo is still being seen and heard in the Protected Area, and I’m really pleased to report that Bearded Reedlings appear to be breeding again. Two birds have been seen taking nest material to different locations. This is particularly good news, because they bred for the first time in the Protected Area reedbeds in 2017, but then the pollution incident would have prevented them from returning to the same area to breed in 2018. Flocks were seen frequently in the Island Field reedbeds around the period of the rare Penduline Tit presence, and breeding therefore hopeful, but it is really good to see confirmed breeding activity of this wonderfully attractive species.

Male Bearded Tit at Crossness, February 2019. Photo by Jean Bufton.

Lapwing appear to be breeding again on the West Paddock following breeding success last year. In the past week or so, there have been some interesting sightings here. As well as two Lapwing on nests, and a Little Ringed Plover in the paddock, two Redshank have been seen displaying, and last week even saw a Knot and a Whimbrel!

Bees and butterflies are busy. A Green Hairstreak butterfly was seen last week, and some of the scarce Brown-banded Carder Bees were recorded at the end of April. I saw my first dragonfly of the year on 30th April, but it was too high and distant to identify it. At that time of year, it was most likely a Hairy Dragonfly, but I’ve also been reliably informed that Vagrant Emperors have been reported here and there in the UK since 20th April, having been pushed up by a Saharan dust storm.

I also saw a Mottled Shieldbug, a scarce and rather large species, first recorded in the UK in 2010 and found in the London area. It seems to be establishing itself in south London particularly, so it is rather fitting that it has now been recorded at this south-east London reserve. There’s also tonnes of mating Hairy Shieldbug around too.

Mottled Shieldbug (Rhaphigaster nebulosa) at Crossness. First found in the UK in the London area in 2010. Photo: Karen Sutton.

Community events:

We have a number of community events coming up, that you are welcome to attend. All I would ask is that you book a place please so that I know who to expect and who to cater for where refreshments are provided – thank you:

  • Sun 2nd June, 10.30-4pm – Crossness Engines Trust Steam Fair, Bazalgette Way, Abbey Wood, SE2 9AQ  – This isn’t my event, so no need to book with me for this one. Simply turn up on the day to see the world’s largest working rotative beam engine in steam, as well as new stationary engines, scale traction engines and scale steam lorries.
  • Tues 18th June, 10.30am – Crossness Southern Marsh butterfly walk – join us at the vehicle gates on Bazalgette Way (Abbey Wood, SE2 9AQ) for a walk across the marshes with Mike Robinson. Mike is an active member of the Friends of Crossness Nature Reserve scheme and has developed a keen interest in Lepidoptera. Light refreshments provided on site at the end of the walk.
  • Thurs 4th July, 10.30am – Crossness Nature Reserve butterfly walk – join us at the vehicle gates on Norman Road (Belvedere, DA17 6JY) for a walk across the nature reserve with Mike Robinson. Mike is a keen Lepidopterist and an active member of the Friends of Crossness Nature Reserve scheme. Light refreshments provided in the bird hide.
  • Fri 12th July, 21:00 – Bat survey walk with Andy Warren and Nina Egleton of Cotswold Wildlife Surveys and Derek Gow Associates respectively. This event is hijacking a formal survey that we have commissioned and so will be a little more formal than the bat walks that I usually lead. This walk will follow a transect route through both the nature reserve and southern marsh. This repeats some surveys that were commissioned last year in response to the pollution incident that we suffered, and as well as Common and Soprano Pipistrelle bats, they also picked up Leisler’s Bat, and three rare Nathusius’s Pipistrelles, so this could be an interesting, but late event. Gates will open at 21:00 for a prompt 21.30 start. It is difficult to provide an exact finish time, but I would estimate finishing around 23.30-0:00. No refreshments will be provided for this event. 
  • Thurs 18th July, 10:00am – Guided midweek walk of Crossness Southern Marsh and Crossness Nature Reserve – Primarily aimed at the many new members we’ve had of late, but regulars are welcome too – join me at the gates under the red flyover on Bazalgette Way (Abbey Wood, SE2 9AQ) for an introduction to the sites, the wildlife and the management that takes place here. Please bring a packed lunch. We will stop for lunch in the bird hide half way through the walk. 
  • Tues 6th Aug (tbc) – Bee Walk with Rosie Earwaker of Buglife. A walk across the southern marsh and nature reserve learning how to identify bee species and other invertebrates. Details, including date, are to be confirmed, but it is currently expected that this will be an afternoon event, starting at the southern marsh vehicle gates on Bazalgette Way, however these details will be confirmed nearer the time. Refreshments provided in the bird hide part way through the walk.
  • Sat 24th Aug, 10:30am – Guided weekend walk of Crossness Southern Marsh and Crossness Nature Reserve – Primarily aimed at the many new members we’ve had of late, but regulars are welcome too – join me at the gates under the red flyover on Bazalgette Way (Abbey Wood, SE2 9AQ) for an introduction to the sites, the wildlife and the management that takes place here. Please bring a packed lunch. We will stop for lunch in the bird hide half way through the walk.

Karen Sutton, Biodiversity Team Manager, 07747 43958 

karen.sutton@thameswater.co.uk

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Bexley RSPB – report of Hall Place North to Shenstone Park bird walk, 9th May 2019.

The Hall Place North to Shenstone Park bird walk on 9th May 2019 covered new ground for a Bexley RSPB  group meeting. Twenty five species were seen, including a number of over-flying Swifts.

Download the PDF file .

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Lesnes Spider ID day a success

 

Fourteen people attended the Field Studies Council spider identification workshop led by Edward Milner at Lesnes Abbey Woods back on 24th April. 30 species from 18 families of spider were found, including 7 new site records. 

Attendees at the April 2019 course look at one of th spider finds at Lesnes.

The lists of records from both this event and the previous one in 2018 are set out below, courtesy Ian Holt, the Estate Manager.  

Download the PDF file .

Download the PDF file .

Posted in Invertebrates, Lesnes Abbey Woods, Recording | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Lesnes Spider ID day a success