Archive of the old TLS newsletter – WATERMARK
This publication was relaced by the Annual Review and Webstite
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 re-grade the slope to within accessible guidelines. The shire horse team would smooth the new accessible slope with a harrow.
Hurst Park Wildlife Area and Towpath Improvements – we have been carrying out management along the Hurst Park riverside for many years with the Swingbridge volunteers. This project will take us beyond on-going management and help us to create new habitats and improve the viability of the riverside of the park for wildlife, community engagement and floodrisk.
The £8k project we are guaranteed includes continuing our partnership with the community narrow boat Swingbridge II, the proposal sets out to create a magical new wildlife area on the small compost area between East Molesey Cricket Club and Hurst Park. A native hedge that was planted 5 years ago will be layed and gapped up to create a formal boundary for the site and self sown sycamore removed. The site would be planted to encourage several specific insect and butterfly species – homes and feeders will be installed that schools and local children could learn from (through the existing TLS Outreach Programme). Some cut timber would be shaped and installed on site to aid interpretation. We would also design and print a leaflet to interpret the site and the kinds of wildlife that they could find in the park, on the River and in their own gardens. The adjacent riverbank in front of this area (1000m) would also be improved with this funding. Working with volunteers and Community Payback (Swingbridge ll) encroaching vegetation will be managed and habitat improved. Dead elm and sycamore will be coppiced and native species encouraged.
With £10,000 the extra £2k would enable the TLS to put together a formal education programme working with local schools and youth clubs that would provide additional benefits to the existing outreach arrangements. Working in partnership with the Hurst Park Residents Association 4 activity days would be arranged during which time the young people will be able to come down and participate in formal learning activities and volunteering. These will be detailed to increase understanding about their local environment whilst helping to reduce the perception that this part of the park is ‘not for them’. Ownership of open space by young people is important – this scheme would foster this.
If we are successful in receiving the full £12,000 we would also be able to pollard a set of willows in the park in order to increase their lifespan and make them safer and easier to manage in the future.
Voting for this project will take place in the following stores:
WEST BYFLEET EXPRESS, QUEENS RD WYBRDGE EXP, KNAPHILL 15 HI ST EXP, WOKING GUILDFO RD EXP, CHOBHAM STATION R EXP, HERSHAM MOLESY RD EXP, WALTON HERSHAM RD EXP, BROOKLANDS EXTRA, EAST MOLESEY METRO, HURST PARK
Bags of Help offers community groups and projects in each of Tesco’s 390 regions across the UK a share of revenue generated from the five pence charge levied on single-use carrier bags. The public will now vote in store from 27 February until 6 March on who should receive the £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 awards.
For more information go to www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp.
Totally Thames TLS Events September 2015
As part of the Totally Thames Festival 2015 – the TLS is organising and taking part in a series of projects and events throughout September
Shires on the Avenues 7 – 11th September Volunteer Opportunity. Conservation work alongside the shire horse team on the historic Ham Avenues. 9.30 am – 3.30 pm.
Thames Alive! 11th September 9.15 am On the foreshore outside the Bell and Crown pub Strand on the Green. Organised by the Zoological Society of London come and find out what lives in the river. Not to missed!
The Great River Race 12th September. Come and watch London’s river marathon or volunteer at the Ham House finish. Volunteers are needed to help supervise the children’s area, sell programmes, assist with boat recovery, marshalling, litter picking, traffic marshalling and issuing race certificates. 12.00 pm to 7.00 pm. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org Volunteers are all invited to the after race party!!
Richmond Park Open Day 13th September. Come and visit The Royal Parks (and ours!!) Richmond base at Holly Lodge between 11.00 am and 4.00 pm. Donations of cakes (baked or bought) are needed to sell in the TLS tea tent to raise much needed funds. 10 am – 5.00 pm. Please contact Becky email@example.com if you would like to donate some cakes.
Walks in the Home Park Water Meadows at Hampton Court Palace 19th September Free guided walks through the restored Home Park Water Meadows in partnership with Historic Royal Palaces. Start at Kingston Gate at 10.00 am, 12.30 pm, 3.00 pm. 1 ½ hours round trip.
23rd September An Equinox Walk Through the Secret Meadows Start time 6.30 pm Kingston Gate
The Thames Safari: The Highs and Lows of the River Thames 30th September. An all day walk starting at Kew, taking in one of the lowest tides of the year and finishing at Richmond on one of the highest tides! On the way, we will look at what measures could be needed to modify the landscape to take account of climate change and have a look at some fascinating aspects of the Thames Landscape. Pub lunch. Meet outside St. Anne’s Church Kew Green at 10.00 am.
For details on these events please contact Becky firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us on Facebook
For information on other events taking place across the Thames in September, visit Totally Thames
Shires on the Avenues is back
As part of our trial heritage management project on the Ham Avenues, Operation Centaur has joined the TLS, and volunteers organised in partnership with the National Trust, to carry out another hay cut.
Throughout this week, the horses and volunteer teams will be working up and down the Ham Avenues at Ham House, cutting the grass and managing the scrub. This is to maintain the character and structure of the Avenues but also to re-introduce traditional management methods to the site. Giving a taste of what the work on this, and many of the surrounding estates, would have looked like. Lots of manual labour, but also, hopefully, lots of fun for the volunteers and the public who just love to watch the horses at work.
The animals love this kind of work, and it is essential for the survival of these heavy horse breeds. For more information on the work of the horses please visit Operation Centaur
There is still opportunity to take part in this project – which is taking place all this week (7th-11th September). Contact the volunteer team at Ham House for details on 0208439 8247 or email email@example.com
Part of the Totally Thames Festival September 2015. Check out our News sections or visit us on Facebook for updates
The TLS’s volunteer programe has been running over the winter to great success.
5 days a week and 1 Saturday a month have been spent on the tidal and non tidal Thames in the TLS area cleaning up towpath, managing scrub and looking after the riverside trees.
This work is vital to the management of the Thames and ensuring the diversity and accessibility of the towpath and riverbank.
Winter Volunteer Programme
The TLS will be carrying out a busy schedule of volunteer events on the tideway this winter funded by the Father Thames Trust.
We will be carrying out lots of work to improve and manage the vital habitats of the towpath and surrounding areas in Richmond, Ham, Twickenham, Kingston, Molesey, and Weybridge.
It will be a great opportunity to get outdoors, learn about the habitats of our River and have some fun.
Work will be being carried out between November 2014 and March 2015, weekdays and some weekends.
A calendar of upcoming events is available below, if you are interested in taking part or finding out more, please get in touch.
Aeroplanes on the River! TLS Unveils a new plaque in Kingston
River Thames and Aviation in Kingston Event
On Saturday 20th September the TLS unveiled its 20th Anniversary Project in Kingston.
Working in partnership with the Kingston Aviation Centenary Project, Royal Borough of Kingston, and Canbury and Riverside Association, a new lectern was designed to show the history of Aviation in Kingston, including a map of the old factories.
The northern entrance to Canbury Gardens hosted a public event to celebrate the unveiling, sponsored by the Father Thames Trust, Creed-Miles Ltd, and the Brooklands Museum.
Brooklands very kindly provided a replica of the 1914 Schneider Trophy winning Sopwith float plane that was tested at the Albany Boat House slipway and visitors to the park had the opportunity to see a small piece of history recreated.
As well as the plane, visitors were treated to the wonderful music of the Band of the Surrey Yeomanry who provided a perfect programme of music summing up the feel and mood of the occasion including “those magnificent men in their flying machines”.
The plaque was unveiled by Sir Tommy Sopwith and other guests included the daughter of the 1914 pilot and other members of the aviation community and their families.
Cllr David Cunningham (TLS Member for Kingston) hosted the event with Cllr Paul Lynch (TLS Chairman), and David Hassard (Kingston Aviation Centenary Project) also giving brief speeches along with Jason Debney (TLS Co-ordinator).
TLS 20th Birthday Garden Party at Ham House
Despite the rain early on – the event was a resounding success and as the clouds lifted we were treated to a lovely evening.