Algae at Ruislip Lido

Hillingdon Council have we have evidence of blue green algae at Ruislip Lido which can be harmful to animals and toxic to humans.  The algae is a natural occurrence in hot and sunny weather.

The advice from the Environment Agency is that landowners should assess risk, ensure adequate signage is in place and consider restricting access. Algal blooms: advice for the public and landowners – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

They can control the bloom by covering it and controlling the supply of nutrients to the water, but this is practically very difficult on the Lido.

Given the evidence of dogs and visitors accessing the water, as a precaution they have temporarily fenced off the waterline to restrict access and placed signs on the entrance / exit points around the Lido and also on the fencing.  The beach remains accessible.

They will review the position early next week.  The Corporate Communications Team are sharing updates with residents through the usual channels.

Hedgehogs

Today, in Eastcote, you have to be lucky to see hedgehogs, but around 70/60 years ago they were almost commonplace. The same is true throughout the UK. There were around 30 million hedgehogs in the 1950’s, but by 1995 this had declined to approximately 1.5 million. More recent surveys suggest that these numbers have continued to decline.

A number of reasons have been given for this: including overly tidy and totally enclosed gardens – hedgehogs need to move from one garden to another to feed, death due to increased traffic on the roads, climate change, using pesticides and more intensive agriculture with larger fields and less hedgerows.

Hedgehogs are still around in Eastcote – I have seen them in my garden recently, but we do need to take action to help increase their numbers. Below is a list of what you can do to help them; It would be terrible to lose these cute, lovely creatures for ever!

1, Make some gaps in your fence, (13 x 13cm/5 x 5”), and encourage your neighbours to do the same, so that the hedgehogs can travel the distances they need to find food and shelter and mate.

2, Plant hedges and create compost heaps, log piles and untidy corners for hedgehogs to sleep, feed and hide in.

3, Don’t use slug pellets, chemicals or pesticides in your garden. Encouraging hedgehogs to your garden will help reduce the numbers of slugs – they find them very tasty.

4, Leave out water for hedgehogs. If you have a pond, create a hedgehog escape route from it so they don’t get trapped. You can also leave out dog food for them to eat.

5, Check compost heaps and rough areas with your foot, before mowing, strimming or using a fork.

6, Always check the wood laid out for a bonfire, before setting alight. They can be attractive places for hedgehogs to go into hibernation.

Parent and Children’s Activities

You could also make a hedgehog house – see https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/actions/how-build-hedgehog-home or https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/give-nature-a-home-in-your-garden/garden-activities/giveahogahome/ for instructions.

Or create your own basic hedgehog home using a box, and black bin bags for waterproofing/covering.

Craft Activity

Get some clay and sticks to make your own hedgehog. You may not be able to put in as many spines as they have (a hedgehog can have from 5,000 to 7,000 spines), but you can still make a good likeness.

Cattle returning to Poors Field 12/05/2021

8 Sussex Brown cattle (Brown / Red in colour) have returned to graze on Poor’s Field, near Ruislip Lido from Wednesday 12 May. The cattle will be staying in the area until Sept 2021, then returning to their winter location. OWL in partnership with the Ruislip Woods NNR Management Advisory Group and London borough of Hillingdon, respectfully ask that if you are visiting the area, please:

  • Give the cattle plenty of space
  • take your litter home
  • always keep dogs under control and in sight
  • Close all gates to keep the cattle safe.

 

Ruislip Woods update

Ruislip Woods Trust and the expansion of Copse Wood – update 2nd May 2021

Until October 2020 the triangle of woodland at the top of Copse Wood, (29.1 acres) bordered by Copsewood way was in private ownership, the rest having been sold to the Middlesex County Council by Kings College in 1938. In the 1982 Long Term Management Plan for Ruislip Woods adopted by the London Borough of Hillingdon (LBH) a recommendation was made that the wood be purchased and incorporated into the public open space.

In 2013 two Trustees of Ruislip Woods Trust (RWT) contacted the owners to discuss the  purchase of the wood and eventually an offer was made which was declined. In January 2020 initial conversations between myself and one of the owners of this woodland started and after discussing it with the other Trustees we decided to make another attempt to buy the land. Having obtained a valuation, I made a new offer to the owners and we eventually agreed on a purchase price of £88,000. Following protracted contract negotiation between the parties completion of the purchase by the Trust took place on the 7th October 2020 whereupon it was immediately sold to LBH.

In Autumn 2020, the Department of the Environment set up a £40M Green Recovery fund administered by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Natural England and the Environment Agency and opened it for applications. The fund is designed to create 3000 jobs for environmental projects. LBH and Groundwork made an application and were jointly awarded £190K. The projects to be funded locally include management work in the new part of Copse Wood and the appointment of an Education officer based at the Woodlands Centre at Ruislip Lido. The overall project is entitled Natural Connections Colne Valley.

A steering group for the project was created in December and consists of representatives from LBH, Ruislip Woods Trust, Bucks County Council, Groundwork South, and the Colne Valley Park
Groundwork has set up “Green teams” to undertake the practical management and have appointed a Project Manager and Green Team Supervisor and we are waiting for news from LBH regarding the appointment of an Education officer.

The Green team started work at the northern end of Copse Wood in mid-April and has been removing invasive species such as Laurel and Holly and will be undertaking some coppicing of the Hornbeam each side of the official footpath R63.

At the 13th April 2021 RWMAG (Ruislip Woods Management Advisory Group) meeting, the guest Councillor Eddie Lavery LBH Cabinet Member for Environment, Housing and Regeneration agreed with the proposal to set up the necessary Management Plan to allow this purchase to be added to the NNR in time for the 25th anniversary of the Ruislip Woods NNR being designated London’s first NNR in May 1997.

Mark Morgan
Trustee/Treasurer/Acting Chairman to Ruislip Woods Trust

Ruislip Woods news

Hillingdon Council has invested £88,000 to acquire a further 30 acres of ancient semi-natural woodland in Ruislip Woods, to manage and protect for future generations to enjoy.

The council worked with Ruislip Woods Trust to acquire Copse Wood, which will become part of the council-owned Ruislip Woods National Nature Reserve. The nature reserve consists of 726 acres and constitutes 10 per cent of ancient, semi-natural woodland in Greater London.

Further information at https://www.hillingdon.gov.uk/article/6023/Council-protects-ancient-woodland-for-future-generations