Butterflies, along with much else of our natural world, is finding it extremely difficult with threats from climate change, agricultural intensification, etc. It is increasingly important therefore to provide suitable habitats in our parks, where possible. So it was with great interest that three of our members (Chris, Julie and Jeff), along with members of other Park Friends groups, yesterday attended an introductory butterfly course at High Elms Country Park yesterday. Led by Steven Lofting (idVerde/RSPB) we learnt how to tell them from moths, as well as their life-cycle, habitat requirements and the many current habitat threats they face. We then had a practical session walking through an adjacent flower-rich meadow. Here we tried out our newly acquired skills, identifying eleven species of butterflies.
We left the course each inspired to search for butterflies in each of our own parks, and where possible to make them more butterfly friendly (not to mention other insects, etc).
There continues to be pollution of the Mill Pond, in Glassmill Lane, Bromley. so the water has become cloudy khaki coloured in appearance. This has been reported and Thames Water have been tasked to investigate. There is some suggestion that this may be related to a burst water main in the Masons Hill area earlier today. We await any further news. The appearance has been made worse by the current very low flow rate on the River Ravensbourne due to the recent lack of rain. Any significant rain should eventually disperse this downstream and into the Thames.
There have been many previous pollution incidents here. These are often the result of incorrect waste connections in either domestic or business premises. Thames Water along with the Environment Agency are working to identify such incidents and identify the culprits.
A Public Notice was recently published in the News Shopper in which Bromley council has announced its proposed sale of part of the grounds of the Bromley Palace Park (aka Civic Centre) for development. This despite there being no planning application, or indeed any details of what would be built, so we the public are therefore a unable to judge whether this sale is justifiable. This ‘back door’ sale is very similar to the earlier attempt to sell off park of Library Gardens for the Churchill Quarter development. In this latter case campaigning pressure made the council withdraw their public notice of sale – at least for now. It seems that the council have not learnt!
So our Friends group have sent in a letter of objection, copied to the Bromley Town ward councillors. The palace site contains several Grade 2 listed features and indeed one of them, a Folly, is within the land to be sold off to private developers! This area is a highly valued public green space of great importance to both our group and the wider Bromley public. How the council deal with it should properly reflect this. We hope that members of the public will support us in this.
While it is great to see responsible dog owners walking their pets in nearly all of our parks, there are some areas in which dogs, other than assistance dogs, are unwelcome. This is to ensure that in these ‘dog free’ areas wildlife, along with people, especially young children, can remain safe. For example children can get an infection from dog waste left on the grass that they play on.
Such ‘dog free’ areas are; Church House Gardens (part) and Queens Garden. The entrances to these areas are clearly marked (as in above image). Sadly in a very few cases irresponsible dog owners ignore such restrictions and deliberately take their dogs into these areas. So doing they risk the well being of children and other park users and a possible £80 fine.
If you come across any such a miscreant, please call Bromley Council Enforcement on 0208 313 4870, or Ward Security on 0845 476180
Sadly an example of the misuse of a good new idea by a few anti-social people. Somebody has thrown an e-bike into the River Ravensbourne at the Mill Pond, in Glassmill Lane. This follows another e-bike that was dumped into the lake in Church House Gardens about the same time, but was later removed by the idVerde parks maintenance team.
The Lime e-bikes have been introduced into Bromley town centre about a week ago. Let us hope that such events do not sour this scheme.
With the new for Lime hire bikes now arrived in Bromley, we are starting to experience a new issue – bikes being left in our parks! Came across this one on Martins Hill this morning, after its hirer presumably didn’t want it any more. I can see this becoming a significant issue if they are not picked up quickly by Lime. At present I understand they only undertake to collect their bikes within 3 days. So will we end up with lots of more objects discarded in our parks, along with those occasional shopping trollies etc.? What a prospect!
These six Canada goslings have been spotted with their parents on the Mill Pond earlier today. A sign that spring really is here? The coots seem to be inquisitive but keeping a discrete distance. A couple of goslings survived to move into the main park last year. We await to see how many make it this time. More on Mill Pond campaign page………