Church House Lake Nearly Empty

Lake in Church House Garden, on 7th August 2022

The lake is normally replenished by winter rainfall, but this did not happen this time. Indeed the Met Office have advised that the annual rainfall in London and the south east has been the lowest since at least 1935!

With the continuing lack of rain, the lake in Church House Garden is very nearly empty. Any fish in there have long since died, and the birds have moved to desperately find some water elsewhere.

We have been seeking advice how this lake, and the wider park, can longer term be made more resilient to the ongoing climate change.

Free Events in Church House Gardens this Saturday

A couple of very interesting events will be taking place in Church House Gardens this Saturday 30th July. They are; all day Poetry, and Skateboard activities. These are FREE but you will need to book beforehand to take part in associated workshops. See posters for full details.

Events poster

To find out more about Church House Gardens and the facilities that can be found there CLICK HERE.

Great Expectations in our park

There will be several chances to see a performance of this Charles Dickens classic in Church House Gardens this week. This will be held in the atmospheric Ampitheatre, and performed by a local theatre group. Further details can be found below.

You can find out more about Church House Gardens and its Ampitheatre HERE

CHG Lake at record low levels

Church House Gardens lake extremely low.
Lake in Church House Gardens today

As a result of the extended period without rain the level of the lake in Church House Gardens is at an extremely low level. This puts the local wildlife in the lake, including the ducks etc under great stress. This fed by a spring as well as surface water, both of which are extremely depleted at present. With pressures on water supplies for other uses is unlikely that this will be replenished in the near future. We will just have to hope that significant rainfall will happen soon, and so gradually resolve this issue.

This situation was not helped by the very low rainfall over the autumn/winter. Paul, one of our members, has been monitoring the lake level since 2012. He reports that it was this low for a prolonged time in 2012, after ”one of the ten most significant droughts of the last 100 years” (Met Office). Paul also mentions that lake levels were also very low for brief periods in 2013 and 2018. So the lake and its wildlife has recovered before, and so we trust that it will do so again this time.

This lack of rainfall is also impacting local river levels e.g. Ravensbourne, with resulting potential pollution problems.

With the impacts of climate change increasingly being felt we desperately need to make our spaces and their environments more resilient.

Storm Impact on Parks

We all love our trees and how they enhance our public spaces. So it is sad when we lose any of the. Sadly several have either been brought down or badly damaged, as a result of Storm Eunice. A couple of examples are shown below.

Wild Cherry in Library Gardens

There was also damage to a large Cedar as well as a new tree sapling, in Church House Gardens. All these trees have been reported. Some will survive, if badly damaged. Hopefully the others will be replaced in due course by new ones. However it will inevitably take many years for them to again become mature specimens.