Community Projects

Kingston' s Apple Story

Once a common sight within the landscape, the traditional orchard habitat is now under serious threat and for this reason the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) now includes Traditional Orchards in its list of priority habitats. Threats to old orchards include neglect, intensification of agriculture and pressure from land development. Particularly in urban areas, an orchard managed for biodiversity can be a proxy for ‘a mini wood pasture’, a most important habitat.

The grass will be left longer and not mown becoming a haven for reptiles, wildflowers and an assortment of fungi. A rare lichen- golden eye lichen -which was believed to be extinct in the UK was recently rediscovered in a Herefordshire orchard. These sites are hotspots for biodiversity and have been shown to provide a refuge for over 1800 species.

Kingston's Apple Story published by Sampson Low 

I can provide a programme of walks and talks on a range of topics with a range  of partners. Talks are uaually available in the winter months outside of the normal survey season. These include:

  1. Bat Ecology and Bats and Lighting
  2. Bat Walks
  3. Longworth Trapping
  4. River Corridor Surveys

Richard Jefferies in Tolworth
Yesterday for the first time in 150 years- Richard Jefferies exited his blue-plaqued villa at Woodside, 296 Ewell Road, opposite the former St. Marks school, which was built on Tolworth Common during his 5 year  residence. Here he wrote, ‘The copse adjoining the back gardens of Woodside was visited by pheasants which sometimes strayed into the neighbours’ gardens. Stone-chats perched on the furze bushes of Tolworth Common. He was considered to be the first to observe how successfully wild flowers had adapted to railside land and embankments, where they could flourish undisturbed, bordering the line ‘like a continuous garden’: ‘Driven from the fields by plough and hoe, cast out from the pleasure-grounds of modern houses, pulled up and hurled over the wail to wither as accursed things, they have taker, refuge on the embankment and the cutting.There they can flower and ripen their seeds, little harassed even by the scythe and never by  cattle.