Landscape, Streetscape & Habitat Restoration

Landscape, Streetscape and Habitat Restoration

LANDSCAPE AND GARDEN RESTORATION

The Arcadian Thames has more historic parks and gardens than almost any other location in the UK. Many of these historic places however had fallen into disrepair and were in need of restoration. The Thames Landscape Strategy has acted as the catalyst for an ambitious restoration programme across for a range of different open spaces including formal gardens, historic parkland, grand avenues and informal public spaces.  Whilst the TLS has managed many of these restoration programmes directly, much more has been achieved through  the wider  action of partners – the TLS stimulating these programmes and co-ordinating activity at a landscape scale.  Activities include:

  • Preparation of landscape restoration masterplans
  • Assistance with partner landscape restoration masterplans
  • Re-opening of lost views
  • Avenue restoration
  • Historic landscape restoration
  • Preparation of historic garden management plans
  • Garden restoration

 

 

STREETSCAPE ENHANCEMENTS

The TLS has championed the enhancement of the ordinary public open spaces that connect the main historic sites clustered along the Thames.  These include intimate spaces such as Ranelegh Drive, bustling promenade walks and historic  waterfronts such as Richmond and Kingston Riversides.  Working in partnership with the four boroughs much work has been carried out to improve these spaces focussing on the following themes:

  • streetscape surfacing
  • lighting (to improve both the appearance of light columns/lanterns and the light source itself – for people and nocturnal wildlife)
  • repair and enhancements of historic walls, railings and steps
  • placement of litter bins
  • repair of benches
  • access improvements
  • enhancements that aid mental mapping and legibility
  • planting and street trees

 

 

HABITAT CREATION AND FLOODPLAIN RESTORATION

The historic network of parks, gardens, towpaths and avenues of the Arcadian Thames forms the capital’s largest interconnected wildlife corridor that stretches from Inner London to the Surrey Hills and beyond. This mosaic of habitats supports a diverse range of resident and migratory species. The TLS has worked at a landscape level with a diverse variety of partners to enhance these riparian habitats and green corridors implementing a range of local and national initiatives.  Increasingly, measures to restore natural floodplains are being explored linked to the London Rivers Action Plan, the London Biodiversity Action Plan and the Water Framework Directive.  Measures have included:

  • Enhancement of Green corridors
  • Naturalisation of riverbanks
  • Reedbed creation and management
  • Sand martin, owl and bat box installation
  • Enhancement of backwaters and other wet habitats
  • Re-introduction of meadowland
  • Pollarding and coppicing of riverside trees
  • 4km of native hedge planting layered in a traditional way
  • Tree planting – over 5,000 native trees planted
  • Restoration of Floodplain channels at Home Park
  • Measures to re-introduce productive landscapes

 

 

Achievement and Success: Landscape restoration, biodiversity and streetscape

Landscape restoration, biodiversity and streetscape achievement include:

  • The implementation of major landscape improvement works at more than 36 sites; across four local authorities, including two historic royal palaces, two SSSI sites and ten registered historic landscape sites.
  • Worked with 20 strategic partners, with 15 core funding partners, and more than 180 community groups and special interest societies.
  • The first TLS implemented project in Feb 1995 was enhancements to King Henry VIII‟s Mound in Richmond Park, provided a viewing area to enhance the keyhole vista to St Paul’s Cathedral and the panoramic view to Windsor Castle. This set a precedent for the partnership working.
  • In 1997 restoration of lost Lancelot „Capability‟ Brown vistas at Syon Park and re-instatement of the historic Kew Meridian to the King’s Observatory demonstrated the commitment to enhancing the landscape across private grounds for the public benefit would be supported.
  • Production of landscape restoration masterplans for the Ham Avenues and the Old Deer Park- both by Kim Wilkie
  • Restoration of the Ham Avenues involving scrub clearance, new tree planting, timber fence replacement carried out by local volunteers, school pupils, inmates from HMP Latchmere House and Feltham young offenders institute– ongoing.
  • Construction of two sand martin banks at Eel Pie Island and Richmond Park – 2008 and 2012
  • Restoration of Hunter’s Pond – 2005
  • Restoration of the Hampton Court Avenues including the Long Water Avenue- Historic Royal Palaces 2006
  • Major landscape enhancements at Bushy Park and Syon Estate- Royal Parks and Syon Estates – ongoing
  • Production and phased implementation of the Hurst Park Management Plan – ongoing
  • Garden Restoration of many locally important sites
  • Celebrated the 100 year anniversary of the 1902 act to protect the view from Richmond Hill by launching and subsequent implementation the London’s Arcadia project. This £5.4M project, part funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, saw the implementation of 7 major landscape projects on and below Richmond Hill. It engaged volunteers in environmental improvements and awareness raising for a total of 105,000 hours. Delivered workshops to 5695 pupils at 31 schools in Richmond and neighbouring boroughs. Worked with over 4000 family members in activity days. Provided 45,000 education and walking leaflets to the community. Delivered 25 targeted projects to vulnerable and hard to reach groups. Engaged with the public at 23 community events, producing 7 new learning resources by working with 12 partner delivery organisation – 2001 – 2009
  • Development and installation of bat friendly lighting on the Warren Footpath linked to the restoration of the Ham Avenues and habitat improvements around Ham House that collectively support the Bat super highway linking the feeding grounds along the river and its towpaths with the roosting sites within Richmond Park.. This demonstrated that interconnected landscapes can be managed in a holistic way.
  • Undertaken demonstration projects such as the Albany Reach, East Molesey riverbank restoration project. The project to re-introduce 350m of naturalised river bank was completed in 1998. It has continued to be improved, providing better habitat for wildlife and an aesthetically enhanced environment for people to enjoy views across the river to Hampton Court Palace.
  • Restoration of the Home Park Water Meadows – ongoing
  • Assistance in the restoration of Marble Hill House Gardens- with English Heritage – ongoing
  • Preparation of a garden restoration masterplan and part implementation at Canbury Gardens – ongoing
  • Major enhancements to Waterman’s Park – 1996 – 2002
  • Advised on the preparation of Kew Gardens Landscape Masterplan and World Heritage Site Management Plan
  • Advised on the preparation of the Hampton Court Landscape Management Plan
  • Restoration of the Richmond Promenade pocket parks including Bridge House garden, bandstand Gardens and Rotary Gardens- 2003 – 2009.
  • Restoration of Petersham Lodge Wood- ongoing
  • Restoration of Cholmondeley Walk – 2003
  • Restored the historic wharf by the White Cross pub at Richmond riverside- 2005.
  • Followed a holistic approach to landscape maintenance; using traditional timber tree fences rather than plastic guards, using volunteers to control weeds around newly planted hedges, pulling Himalayan balsam by hand rather than spraying, using willow spilling for riverbank stabilisation, allowing native plants to grow in rural areas but controlling them in formal urban areas, and provision of dead wood loggeries in rural areas when bank side trees are removed.
  • Orleans house garden was restored to a Regency flowery woodland in the grounds to complement the historic art gallery by volunteers who also maintain the grounds – ongoing.
  • Re-opening of the view to Marble Hill House and Orleans House from the river by the removal of scrub on the towpath boundary by volunteers – 2002.
  • Publication of the Brentford a Waterway Town! Masterplan- 2010
  • Reed bed planting by Twickenham towpath – 2007.
  • Species rich wildflower meadow planting in 14 locations.
  • Hedge laying, carried out by volunteers in 16 locations including Petersham Meadows, Ham Avenues and Nightingale Lane.  Introduced fruit trees into hedgerows to encourage local food production.
  • Streetscape enhancements to Twickenham Embankment – 2010
  • Streetscape enhancements to Isleworth Promenade – 2005
  • Streetscape enhancements to Brentford Creek – 2012
  • Putting the Thames Back into Kingston started in 2006. This included new landscape works such as lighting, footpaths, cycleways, street furniture and signage, with improved links from the town centre to the river. It also included a programme of community events such as the Kingston Festival of the River, carried out in partnership with Kingston Town Centre Management to promote the riverside as a vibrant place to visit.
  • Streetscape enhancements to Kingston Riverside- ongoing
  • Tree planting on Thames Path at Richmond Road Isleworth – 2005
  • Conducts a continuing programme of river related environmental monitoring, such as the work undertaken during the “draw off‟. This programme incorporates invasive species monitoring with the Zoological Society of London and Marine Conservation Society. As it utilises a network of volunteer groups it also leads to greater awareness of the issues regarding river pollution and invasive species problems.
  • Co-ordinated monthly bat surveys between Twickenham and Richmond
  • Works with London Biodiversity Action Plan partners to deliver projects that address local and regional priority habitat and species specific improvements. These include creating new reed beds, supporting bat populations and planting Black poplars within the Thames floodplain.
  • Contributed towards major strategic plans such as Water Framework Directive Thames liaison panel, Thames Estuary Flood Risk Management study and Tidal Thames Habitat Action Plan Working Group.
  • Published the Restoration of the Lost Floodplain report to guide TLS project work
  • Incorporated increased flood risk due to climate change into the projects being delivered. For example, the Hammerton’s and Douglas boardwalks which provide dry routes away from the towpath. These traditional oak built boardwalks have been designed to allow them to be raised in height as the level of flood increases

 

 

The following photographs demonstrate the variety of work completed by the Thames Landscape Strategy

 

Bridge House Gardens Richmond

riverside garden after

 

Richmond Riverside

Before

rich riverside before

After

rich riverside after

 

Twickenham Embankment

After

twickenham embankment after

 

The Ham Avenues

Before

ham aves before

 

After

ham aves after 2

 

ham aves after 2

 

St Helena Terrace – re-instatement of historic wharf cobbles

st helena terrace after

 

Re-opening of the Vista to St. Paul’s from King Henry’s Mound

 st paul's vista

 

Re-opening of the Marble Hill Vista

Before

opening marble hill vista

 

After

opened marbles vista

 

Hedge planting Ham Avenues

ham aves volunteers 4

 

Installation of new street lights Richmond Hill

lights rich hill

 

Installation of new Street Lights Orleans Road

lights orlean

 

Over 200 new Benches along the Thames Path

chol wlak after

 

Construction of over 1000m of dead hedge

volunteer 7

 

Construction of over 1.5km of specially made fencing and railing

fence making

 

The Opening of the Restored Great South Avenue

ham aves opening

 

Restoration of Cholmondeley Walk

Before

chol walk before

 

After

chol walk after

 

Restoration of Chitty Hole

chitty hole after

 

Construction of a new link between Thames Path and Richmond Bridge

bridge house after

 

Restoration of  Bridge  House  Gardens

bridgehouse garden after 3

 

Naturalisation of 400m of Riverbank at Albany Reach

albany reach

 

Re-opening of the Syon Vista to connect Syon House with the river and Kew Gardens

Syon House and tidal flood meadows

 

Restoration of Home Park Water Meadows

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

2km of native hedge planting and subsequent layering

14marchKMKviewup Hill BEST

 

Avenue Restoration

Great South Avenue and Ham House after restoration 09

Great South Avenue and Ham House after restoration 09

 

More riverside fencing!

4 Hedge work German School River Lane

 

The Restoration of the View from Richmond Hill

The grand opening

Official opening of the Restored View from Richmond Hill

 

The view before restoration

Picture14

 

Volunteers help restore the view

Picture15

Picture16

 

Picture22

 

Before Restoration

Picture13

 

After Restoration

Picture17

 

New steps

Picture20

 

Restored steps – before

Picture18

 

After

Picture19

 

The restored View

Picture21

 

The TLS Mistletoe Project

Picture29

Installation of Three Sand Martin Banks (TLS is lead organisation in region for sand martins)

Picture28

Installation of Eight Otter Holts

Picture31

 

Picture30

 

Wetland Creation

Picture12

Floodplain Restoration

Picture26

Picture27

 

Picture11

 

Reed bed Planting

Picture33

Picture32

 

The design and installation of the UK’s most bat friendly lighting!

The problem

Picture34

The solution – a revolutionary new light, commissioned by the TLS.  The light set a new standard and was used in the Queen Elizabeth II Olympic Park.

Picture35

 

Boardwalk Construction (dry routes)

The Problem!

broken boardwalk

 

 

Picture7

 

Picture8

 

Picture10

 

 

 

 

Kew Ha ha species list 2008

KewInvertebratereport 2008

KewWoodlandreport-July2008