27 Sep 2016

September Update

LNR status, Borehole, Barrats, London Quadrant, Sellars, Green Connections 106


Bad news about the Woodland borehole.

The woodland borehole descends 200 feet into the Rotherhithe aquifer and has been supplying water to the Woodland’s ponds and streams from the beginning. Recently a new pump has been installed but whilst contractors were airlifting the silt and debris from the bottom of the bore the pressure caused the borehole to collapse, trapping the new pump which is now impossible to retrieve. Fortunately, although buried, the pump is still managing to send up a very reduced flow of about 20% of normal which is just enough for our needs at the moment. It would be a different story if the weather was hotter and oxygen in the ponds became depleted. The FRDW are in the process of negotiating for a new borehole to be drilled, using a 100mm PVC pipe, which should be good for another 100 years. Then we’ll need another pump!

London builder Barratts enhances our woodland

During the past year, Barratts have given £56,000 towards improving the feel of the woodland. They have funded the planting of wild currant bushes by TCV (Trust for Conservation Volunteers) along Waterman’s Walk, plus 30 Flowering Fruit Trees, and the delivery and erection of more Celtic stones for children to play on as well as five new, interpretation signs for mammals, insects, trees, birds & flora ~ we have been assured these are of very high quality and will not fade as the old ones did.

London Quadrant fulfils its promise of £80,000

London Quadrant, the company looking after the Quebec Way development have just placed £80,000 into the Project Bank for the SUDS (Sustainable Urban Drainage System) from the new build. This has always been a sensitive site given its closeness to the woodland. The FRDW worked closely with the developer from the very beginning to ensure that maximum attention was paid to the needs of the woodland’s flora and fauna. The result will see the installation of a SUDS system and work will commence shortly on driving a path from the site into the woodland. Buried alongside the pathway will be the new piped SUDS System which will feed all the rainwater from roofs of the adjoining development. This will help sustain a Wetlands habitat through the Ponds Linkage along Waterman’s Walk, which generally dries up through the Summer Months. FoRDW worked hard in getting the Developer to build a ‘Nature Wall’ replacement for the existing wire fencing which had separated the woodlands from the old Quebec Way Industrial Estate (Boots Factory)

Decathlon Site Developers (Sellars) pay £165,000 to the woodland.

Sellars, the company who built the London Shard have become one of the biggest developers on sites adjacent to the Woodland. Under Section 106 agreements, £165,000 has been earmarked for improvements to the woodland. The bulk of this will be spent on replacing the worn out paths ~ some 2 kilometres of them ~ in Stave Hill Ecological Park (SHEP). The work will be carried out by approved, environmentally friendly TCV contractors together with volunteers from the same organisation. This means there will be minimum impact on animal and plant life. Sellars will also spend £25,000 on refurbishing our wind turbine (we’ll be able to sell back electricity to the National Grid) plus £30,000 on solar panels for the Eco Centre. The remaining £10,000 will be allocated to refurbishing and repairing the wooden weirs in our waterways.

Moving closer to LNR status

The FRDW are working closely with Southwark’s Environmental Officer to gain coveted Local Nature Reserve status. If we do it will be a triumph for Rebekah and her team who have worked so hard to reach this goal. Watch this space.

Green Connections 106

The FRDW was one of the founders of this group which now includes the Friends of Southwark Park, the Friends of Surrey Dock Farm, Friends of Lavender Pond Nature Reserve & the Friends of SHEP. The groups aim is to bid collectively for Section106 money for use on green projects over the five sites. A recent meeting was held with British Land’s, Roger Madelin (CEO), Miles Price and Eleanor Wright. Discussions took place over linking the five sites in the future by proper green links and corridors over the next 15 to 20 years

Vandalism & Anti Social Behaviour

Woodlands users will no doubt be aware that there has been an increase this year in V&ASB. Some recent Arson Attacks on the many lifebuoys throughout the woodlands being the main worry. We have brought this to the attention of the local Police who assure us they will be doubling their efforts to patrol the woodland more often. In total nine new lifebuoys have had to be replaced. But all in all, RDW is now a very safe place to visit and enjoy the wildlife habitat and tranquil surroundings.

Chalking the Banks & Ponds.

TCV and their hundreds of volunteers have placed over 100 Tonnes of Chalk into several of the Woodlands Ponds over this year. Chalk is very good for breaking down bacteria & Algae, and also for narrowing and shaping the ponds banks and streams. It is also good for many waterside plants.

Natural Play Areas.

A lot of work has gone into improving and enhancing the Natural Play Areas, Tree Trunk Benches, and Climbing Logs, to name just two.

Rain Shelter.

We have secured funding for a small Rainshelter to be built on the raised green area close to the metal stepped waterfall, & near the children’s play area. We were approached by mainly elderly dog walkers that use the woodland on a daily basis, that have nowhere to shelter in inclement weather. We hope to have the Rainshelter Built by the spring of 2017.

Rare Birds

RDW & SHEP is fast becoming a haven for an abundance of Rare Birds to Inner London. This is a testament to the hard work and commitment of TCV and their huge army of workers, both public and private volunteers. Decades of hard work and commitment are now producing spectacular results. A huge debt of thanks is also due to the hard work of Quadron Services, our parks contractors, who we’re pleased to say have won a new contract. Please take a look at our picture gallery for a montage of just some of our fantastic bird life.