Posts made in February, 2016

Vote for the Father Thames Trust at Your Local Tescos

  Tesco has teamed up with Groundwork to launch its Bags of Help initiative in hundreds of regions across England and Wales. The scheme will see three community groups and projects in each of these regions awarded grants of £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 – all raised from the 5p bag charge. The Father Thames Trust has been successful in reaching this voting stage to fund two exciting new Thames Landscape Strategy Projects: ‘Shires on the Avenues’, and ‘Hurst Park Wildlife Area and Towpath Improvements’.  Shires on the Avenues – following the successful trial last summer, that saw the re-introduction of heavy horses to manage the Ham Avenues, we are hoping that thanks to the Tesco’s funding we will be able to continue and expand the work.  To get to this stage we have successfully been awarded £8k to carry out the following: The public open spaces around Ham House are criss-crossed with an historic network of avenues forming a nationally important landscape.  Laid out in the C17th, the avenues provide the structure to the landscape and provided wonderful long views, magnificent recreational opportunities and an important natural habitat.  Over the years the avenues have been degraded by litter, scrub and self-sown trees.  At their centre was the Great River Avenue – a 2 mile feature that includes formal avenue, woodland ride and protected sight lines.  This scheme will realise the restoration of a significant section of the avenue, a lost woodland ride.   Restoration would considerably improve biodiversity, increase recreational activity and reduce anti-social activity by improving access.  Volunteers will work alongside a team of heavy horses that are based nearby at Richmond Park to carry out scrub clearance and create habitat whilst the heavy horses will harrow the ride and move cut material to push back the encroaching vegetation. The visual link between Richmond Hill and Ham Lands will be restored. Along The Thames Path, horses and volunteers will manage scrub which has blocked views to the river. Coppicing and hedge laying will allow more light onto the towpath and increase vegetation diversity. Voting for this project will take place in the following stores: BARNES EXPRESS, HAMPTON HILL EXPRESS, KEW GARDEN EXPRESS, ST MARGARETS, TWIK EXP, EAST SHEEN EXP, MORTLAKE EXP, RICHMOND KEW RD EXP, TWICKENHAM LDN EXP, RICHMOND METRO, RICHMOND EXPRESS, TEDDINGTON METRO, BOW METRO, WHITTON METRO This voting stage will put us up against 2 other community projects in this area and your votes will rank the projects and put us in the running for receiving further funding of £10k or £12k With the extra funding we will be able to carry out the following: £10000 – Important views from the Great River Avenue and along the Thames Path are blocked by self sown sycamore and suckling elm.  This tree growth is also an identified barrier to use as it gives the impression of a neglected and lonely space – particularly for women and the elderly.  £10k would allow the hire of a tree contractor to remove some of the larger trees that are beyond the scope of volunteers.  Cut material will be moved by the shire horses and used to make habitat piles and a dead hedge. £12000 – The woodland ride section of the Great River Avenue moves to a formal sight line passing through open grassland between the wood and the Thames.  The path connecting the two sections slopes down for 2.3m at a steep angle. This section has suffered heavily from erosion and is a barrier to many users. With this extra funding the project will be able to hire a digger to...

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