From white snow to snow white at Footscray

The Thames21 Cray Riverkeepers team had a well-attended review of the past year and planning ahead meeting at Kelsey’s farm cafe on February 3rd.

The day started off with snow on the ground, but by the time the event ended the sun was out and it had all melted.

Gorse in flower in the Kelsey's farm hedgerow on the North Cray Road. (Photo: Chris Rose)

Gorse in flower in the Kelsey’s farm hedgerow on the North Cray Road. (Photo: Chris Rose)

Cray Project Officer Michael Heath presented statistics summarising another successful year’s work – including the number of person-event-attendances and bags of recyclable and non-recyclable materials collected – which he emphasised was very much down to the efforts of the assembled volunteers.  A lot of work has been done on river restoration at Footscray Meadows in concert with the North West Kent Countryside Partnership

A new feature for what is an annual meeting, was a welcome presentation by three pupils from St. Pauls Academy, Greenwich, led by geography teacher Gordon Davis, telling us what benefits they felt they had gained from working with the river-keeping team, including transferable skills that will enhance their CVs, a greater appreciation of the environment and enjoyment.

Volunteer Site Manager Chris Rose gave an update on Thames Road Wetland, including the colonisation of the site by Harvest Mice, and passed round a nest.

Discussions were held about projects for the rest of the year.

Some group members then went off for a spot of wildlife-watching. Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers were seen. A relatively confiding snow white Little Egret rather unusually landed on the mown grass near the Five Arches bridge, before moving into the river where it fished in a Reedmace patch for a while. 4 Mute Swans and 16 Tufted Duck were on the lake. There were a large number of Mole hills on the meadows.

Mole hills on the meadows by the iconic bridge (Photo: Chris Rose)

Mole hills on the meadows by the iconic bridge (Photo: Chris Rose)

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