Countryside in the Town Centre!

IMG_2339.jpgJust two minutes from the busy Bromley High Street you could think yourself in the countryside! Part of Church House Gardens, called Dickerson’s Copse after the late local conservationist Gordon Dickerson (1932-1987), is currently full of cow parsley.

IMG_2338.jpgA common hedgerow biennial plant, it is part of the wider umbellifer family which also includes carrots. It normally flowers for May only and so we will soon lose its frothy white flower heads for another year. A good reason to take a trip to this bit of the ‘countryside’ now!

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Queen’s Garden: Green Flag inspection

We had an inspection visit, last Friday, in response to the application for a Green Flag award. It was a rather cold and damp, in great contrast to the weather just a week before. However the inspection seemed to go well and we await a decision in a couple of months. Besides the two inspectors, representatives of our Friends group as well as idVerde (the parks maintenance contractor) were in attendance. We later met two members of The Glades management team.

Heritage Visit to Bromley Palace Park

129DC1BF-B779-4532-9427-FD1B0A949A41On Wednesday we had a very useful site visit with staff from Historic England, an official government heritage organisation. Along with representatives of our Friends group, Bromley Council and idVerde, they discussed how to best restore the listed features currently at risk. These Grade 2 listed features are; Ice House, Pulhamite Rockeries, Ha-Ha and Folly. With significant developments planned for this site it is vital to protect these heritage assets. Historic England will be now be liasing with Bromley council as the site owners, and the Friends group will continue supporting this important initiative. This part of the extensive Civic Centre is an important public park, designated as an Urban Open Space and also now a Local Green Space.

You can find out more about this park and its heritage features on our page Bromley Palace Park (aka Civic Centre).

Churchill Quarter: Public Consultation

Consultation notice

Please attend later this week & have your say on this high density multi-storey building development in town centre, right next to Library Gardens. Let us know your comments on these plans.

We remain opposed to this development, in its current form with up to 14 storeys (i.e. higher than Bromley Central Library), because of its impact on the adjacent public green spaces. To see more  please go to our Library Gardens campaign page.

Pollution on Ravensbourne

Polluted Mill Pond 29 July

Pollution on Mill Pond 29 July – photo by Kari Silvester

Kari Silvester and some other members continue to monitor pollution incidents on the Mill Pond, in Glassmill Lane. Many of these are due to mis-connections of waste water outlets in parts of the surrounding areas. Kari has been liaising with the Environment Agency (EA) on such incidents. The latter have identified this as a misconnections ‘hot spot’ and are working with Thames water to identify and eliminate them.

Kari has recently recede this brief EA report –

I just wanted to give you a brief update, my colleague and I were out in the Bromley area on Friday and, with the help of Thames Water, discovered a source of pollution to the Ravensbourne river near Bromley South station. Due to data protection I
cannot provide further details but as this location was upstream of Glassmill Pond you should hopefully see an improvement to the water quality there, although the Environment Agency and Thames Water still have a long way to go in locating all the sources of pollution leading to this point. It is good news nevertheless and please let us know if you have any questions.

If you spot any such incidents please telephone the Environment Agency on 0208 474 9439

Plant Concern

IMG_1713A member of the public has expressed to the Bromley Times concerns about the planting of Ricinus communis planting (see above), which they considered is poisonous. in Library Gardens.

Idverde, in partnership with the Council, have used this plant as a bedding plant for many years as indeed many organisations do across the country, including the RHS as we understand it.  Councillor Smith’s quote below, to the Bromley Times, outlines more about how this plant is used in a Bromley context.

Councillor Colin Smith, Executive Councillor for Environment said, “This plant has been used in Bromley for many years and is used extensively as a decorative plant in many areas across the country, with the plant removed at the end of the season when the particular display is finished which is entirely normal and safe practice.   If left in situ, in common with many other bedding plants, they could grow to a substantial size, which would make it unsuitable as a bedding plant but it could also be at that stage that the plant may produce seed and this is when there may be associated risk, long after the plant has been removed as a bedding plant.”

Pond Refurbishment Starts

August 1 2017 003

Friends members cleared the water, mud and stones out of the pond, with some help from the local idVerde team. In doing so they chad carefully relocated some six smooth newts found in the mud. A small but long crack was identified as the reason for the slow leak in this pond. This and other cracks would be repaired as soon as possible; and then refilling and restocking with suitable plants to make it attractive again for frogs, newts, etc.

This concrete lined pond is found, where the entrance hall of the former Church House was located. This building was very badly damaged by bombs in 1941. Only the faintest outline of this building can still be found on the ground.