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.
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.
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 email@example.com
Pollution on Mill Pond 29 July – photo by Kari Silvester
There was yet another pollution incident on the River Ravensbourne, at Mill Pond, Glassmill Lane on 29 July. This appeared to be sand, like an earlier incident, and which covered most of the pond surface. This was reported to the Environment Agency (ref: 1544086) by a Friends member. The long term environmental impact of this latest incident is currently uncertain.The pollution has subsequently been moving down stream. We await the result of this latest EA investigation.
Recently there have been an increased number of such incidents, some very serious. These incidents are the result of either unauthorised mis-connection of waste water outlets (e.g. sinks), or the illegal emptying of waste into local surface water drains or water courses. The Environmental Agency, working with Thames Water, consider this a pollution ‘hot spot’, and the Mill Pond is being closely monitored by local volunteers and reported to the EA. If you spot pollution in our local rivers please report to the Environment Agency on 0800 807060
On Sunday 4th October Thames21 led the first working party of the autumn. Previously we were constrained by nesting birds. About ten volunteers cleared some undergrowth from paths and other key areas. Also the water level was temporarily lowered to increase water speed and so help to clear some silt around the weir. The next working party will take next month.
On Sunday 13th September several members, and local people, attended a site meeting to discuss comments made by various parties, including the Environment Agency, to the latest Thames21 plan for the restoration of this historic former mill pond, off Glassmill Lane, BR2.
Topics covered included pollution control, water flow & flood control, a revised weir, and biodiversity. Thames21 are aiming to finalise project proposals and estimated costs by year end. In the meantime working parties will be arranged to maintain and tidy up existing vegetation, etc pending the project implementation.