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’.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

14/9/10: 'Moonlighting' in Kidbrooke

I'm always happy to do hands-on conservation work outside of the 'Bexley Borough line', especially when it involves a reptile-and-amphibian-rich site like the Birdbrook Nature Reserve in Kidbrooke (London Borough of Greenwich) and is only a short ride down the railway line from Barnehurst.

This interesting plot of land shows remnants of past industrial use in bits of concrete path and various cultivated plants, such as Mediterranean Broom and a collection of Sedum species. On what is a damp site in parts, with some sort of spring or drainage pipe coming in from the west end, there was a varied flora including my third London record of Crown Vetch, also Purple Loosestrife, Sorrel and Wild Carrot.

The tasks at hand, organised by Froglife, were deepening a pond on heavy clay, which occupied most of the volunteers, and restoring a bank back to its formerly excellent status for reptile basking by cutting down the thicket of bramble now enveloping it.

General view of part of Birdbrook Nature Reserve, looking south-east

Yours truly (right) posing with trusty slasher, and a London Wildlife Trust worker, after clearing a reptile basking bank of bramble top growth (photo by Sivi Sivanesen, Froglife).

I also thinned out a stooled Sycamore on the right to let in some evening sun from the west, whilst leaving enough stems to maintain an enclosed feel to the site and shelter from northerly breezes once the foliage thickens out again next year.

The adjoining path back to the railway station sported a number of species frequent in this part of London, including Geranium pyrenaicum and Spotted Medick, along with the fine fungus pictured below .......

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