US social scientist Kenneth Boulding : ‘If you believe exponential growth can go on in a finite world, you are either a madman or an economist’.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

3/2/10: Clandestine ops in Erith

OK folks, this post contains some pictures and wildlife records from a Metropolitan Site of Importance for Nature Conservation. But it's a former landfill site, fenced off and supposed to be out of bounds. In reality loads of holes have been made in the fence and that rather useful Google Earth thingy shows the place covered with trackways. I couldn't resist a bit of a look because when I was about 11-13-ish and my Dad had an allotment (site long-closed) next to it, it was still an old quarry and I used to go down there to find newts in the ponds. I won't name the place, but if you're squeamish, look away now. And I'll wait for a heavy knock on the door .....

Before we get to that, here are pictures of a Gorse-covered bank at the foot of Birch Walk, behind warehouse-type retail outlets on Fraser Rd - there's a lot of Buddleia got in there too - and a patch of Wood Sage.

There's also some Hart's-tongue Fern on what appears to be a filled-in arch over what may have been a bridge over a railway line out of the quarry. This is an infrequent plant in these relatively dry parts.

Site X (there was plenty of evidence of other people having indeed been on here lately, including trailbike tyre tracks) was dominated by Hawthorn scrub, with quite a lot of Roses. There was a large swathe of Spanish Broom (Spartium junceum) in one area, and another plant with a smaller specimen growing under it, some considerable distance away. This non-native must have got here as seed. There were also a number of Pyracantha shrubs. 3 Fennel were sprouting close to one another. Dried seedheads indicated the presence of Wild Carrot, Black Knapweed and Teasel.

Animals seen included a Fox and - as firsts for me in the local area for some years - a Goldfinch and a Chaffinch.

Spanish Broom on a former landfill site in Erith

Pyracantha is established here too

Fennel re-sprouting here early in the season

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