Working party on Glassmill Pond

For our latest working party we chose a hot bank holiday weekend, which was probably not the most sensible. However this urgent decision was taken as at the time there was a large number of shopping trollies and scooters dumped in the pond. However Environment Agency staff had removed them before we turned up, so saving us a lot of hard work – phew!. We also decided that with the island very overgrown it was not safe to go on there. 

Working party volunteers
Working part volunteers

However we still had plenty of tasks to be done – and we achieved the following — 

  • Collected 4 large bags of rubbish, including a number of golf balls, tennis balls and two footballs
  • Cleared two large piles of undergrowth and saplings from around the weir end (see ‘after’ photo below).
  • Partly cut back an overhanging buddleja bush near the concrete ramp. This has been trapping some pollution from upstream for some time (see above images). 

Our next scheduled working party will take place on a weekend sometime in November, when we hope that the vegetation will have died back and we can safely work on the island. If you wish to get involved please Email. You can find out more about Glassmill, and our project to refurbish it HERE.

Royal Connections

Queens Garden off Kentish Way, as the name suggests, has royal connections. The former White Hart Field was donated for a public park to commemorate the 60th year of Queen Victoria’s reign in 1897, and officially opened in 1900. Since then the anniversaries of our present sovereign continue to be marked, this time in trees!

Planted to mark the 70th anniversary of reign of Queen Elizabeth II

Over the years Bromley council have planted a tree to mark various royal milestones. Those for 1992, 2002, 2012 and of course 2020 can be found here, along with one for the Queen and Prince Philip’s wedding anniversary in 1997. Each tree has a plaque recording the event.

Elm ‘New Horizons’ planted in 1992

There are also others commemorating other non royal events. So the next time you visit Queens Garden why not see what you can spot!

Glassmill refurbishment project update

As part of our ongoing project to bring this historic mill pond back to its earlier glory, we continue to work with other parties to greatly enhance its historic and ecological value. Led by Thames21 this project also involves amongst other stakeholders; Bromley council (as site owner), Environment Agency, Thames Water, and of course our Friends group.

Last Friday, Thames21 staff met up with Friends at the site, off Glassmill Lane, to carry out an important survey of the pond. They measured those features required to refine the design of the renovated pond, and for an important food risk assessment.

This flood risk assessment, and approval by the Environment Agency to dredge and reuse the silt as part of the new pond design, is critical to this project being viable. This decision is complicated by some of the silt samples previously found to contain medium levels of pollution. To read about the background to this pond and its refurbishment go HERE.

Look what I have found – Ha Ha!

Ha Ha! revealed

In Bromley Palace Park (aka Civic Centre Grounds) you can find a number of Grade 2 listed features; Ice House, Cascade & Fernery, mock Medieval Folly plus a Ha-Ha! The latter originally consisted of a wall & ditch to keep livestock in the adjacent fields, out of the parkland around the Bishop’s Palace. 

The fields and associated animals have long since gone, and have now become the many houses and gardens on the ‘Palace Estate’. However the wall of the Ha Ha! still remains. Recently the undergrowth has been cleared away and the brickwork exposed again as seen below.

This and the other listed features are on the Heritage England list of at risk buildings etc. They are working with Bromley Council, the site owners, in order to restore and protect them for future generations.

You can find out more about this site at Bromley Palace Park (aka Civic Centre).

Mill Pond Pollution

Yet again the Mill Pond in Glassmill Lane has been polluted, this time with either petrol or light diesel oil. This was spotted on Saturday morning and reported to the Environment Agency. Thames Water staff have now fitted booms to contain the problem, both at the entrance to the pond, as well as downstream just inside Queens Mead.

An earlier pollution incident

This incident is particularly worrying as it comes when ducks etc are starting breeding. Already several moorhen chicks have been lost. This also greatly impacts smaller invertebrates living in the water or silt. In the absence of any rainfall it is to be sincerely hoped that this pollutant will soon dissipate. This part of the Ravensbourne is sadly recognised by Thames Water as a portion ‘hot spot’, with illegal dumping and domestic plumbing misconnections. They are having some difficulties locating many of the sources of such pollution.

The Mill Pond is currently the subject of a plan to upgrade this historic pond. Led by Thames21, with support from the Friends of Bromley Town Parks & Gardens, Environment Agency, Thames Water, etc. it is hoped that funding for this can be agreed in the coming months. In the meantime you can find out more about our plans at http://bit.ly/2hrtoyp

If you wish to get more immediately involved in volunteer days at the Mill Pond please contact chair@bromleytownparks.org.uk