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05 Aug 2011
Volunteers at Edgecombe Hall Estate cutting back
Edgecombe Hall Residents Association is
working with environmental regeneration charity Groundwork London
and the London Borough of Wandsworth to improve the estate’s green
spaces and attract more wildlife to the area. Improvements have
been funded by the Big Lottery’s Community Wildlife fund and
volunteers have undertaken many practical improvements including
clearing the pond and planting lilies, clearing brambles and
planting a wildflower meadow.
On Saturday 13 August, The Mayor of
Wandsworth, Cllr Jane Cooper attended the Wildlife Explorers Day
and cut a cake to share with residents. There were lots of fun
activities including getting up close with newts, pondskaters and
frogs during pond dipping, making bird boxes and bat boxes as well
as free refreshments.
The floating duckhouse purchased by the
Residents Association has seen the arrival of two White Campbell
ducks and a drake who will be introduced to the main pond. There
was a naming competition to name the ducks and the winners will be
announced on the day. The winning entries were: Puddles named by
Moham Chaudhry (age 8), Lili named by Donna Purvis Nantale (age 10)
and Daisy named by Ben Green (age 8).
George McKenzie has lived on the estate with
his wife since 1962, and was one of the first residents to move in.
He has been Chair of the Residents Association for ten years and
has seen the ponds fall into disrepair over time until improvements
began four years ago.
Mr McKenzie said: “I believe that people
should get involved with volunteering and keep the estate clean. My
dream is to see the ponds restored to how they used to be, the
waterfall and pump working properly and for the outdoor area to
look nice again so this can develop as a space for people to sit,
relax and enjoy.”
The ponds are an area of great historic
interest and are believed to have been built by James Pulham and
Son, celebrated Victorian and Edwardian landscape gardeners. The
Pulham family created a special stone known as Pulhamite, which
they used to create elaborate features. Pulhamite is found in only
a few sites in London including Buckingham Palace and Battersea
Park. The Residents Association are fundraising to excavate and
re-line a cascade of three feeder ponds that lead on to the main
pond, plant the edges, get the waterfalls working again and install
a pump and filter that will recycle rainwater and kill algae,
meaning that the Council will no longer need to clear algae from
the pond every six weeks.
George has been volunteering together with his
grandson Jake Lee, 20, to make environmental improvements on the
estate. Jack said: ”It’s important to get involved in the community
and do some manual labour to improve the grounds.”
There will be further volunteering sessions to
make the grounds more attractive and encourage wildlife and
biodiversity, under the guidance of Mark Patterson of Groundwork
London. Dates have been set until November and practical tasks will
include planting wild flowers, blue bells, snow drops and trees and
building a stag beetle loggery.
Click here for further information on
the volunteering sessions.
For further information contact Mark Patterson, Community
Gardener, Groundwork London on T: 07726 696 012. E: firstname.lastname@example.org