Ruislip Lido

photos courtsey of
Harrow Times https://www.harrowtimes.co.uk/watfordnews/18496730.trespassers-jump-fences-closed-ruislip-lido/

Following many messages from residents, Cllr. Puddifoot has announced that the Lido Beach will be closed, once again, from Monday 1st June.

No date, or criteria for any future re-opening, have, as yet been confirmed.

Wildlife in and around Eastcote.

It is a very busy time at the moment for our feathered friends. Watching house sparrows and starlings visit their nests under the eaves of my roof has become one of my favourite pastimes. Constantly flying in and out, to feed their chicks; do they ever rest?

The best part is when you spot a fluffy baby bird, just about to fledge. I consider myself very fortunate to have them here, since both birds are red-listed as a species of high conservation concern.

The UK house sparrow (the other species of sparrow in the UK is the tree sparrow), has declined by around 70% from 1977 to 2008.

It’s not all bad news though – more recent surveys suggest that numbers are once again on the increase in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In terms of identification, male house sparrows look a little smarter than the females, with their black bibs and white cheeks.

As for the starling, research shows a decrease in numbers by about 66% from the mid seventies. In the summer, their glossy black plumage shimmers with a purplish-green wash. They also have yellow beaks. In winter their plumage is spotted with beige.

Starlings are known for murmurations – when large numbers of starlings flock together – diving and swooping, forming immense patterns in the sky.

Today, the best places to see murmurations are in more rural areas such as Middleton Moor- Derbyshire, Brighton’s derelict west pier and Gretna Green in Scotland.

Have you got sparrows or starlings in your garden or street?

Indoors Activity

Why not join in with the RSPB bird watching challenge – https://www.rspb.org.uk/fun-and-learning/for-families/family-wild-challenge/activities/go-birdwatching/.

Outdoors Activity

Or, make a home for starlings – https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/give-nature-a-home-in-your-garden/garden-activities/createacosystarlinghome/

Diana Williams, local resident who helps with ‘Classroon in the Woods’

Wildlife in and around Eastcote.

It’s spring….
…….and Ruislip woods is full of wood anemones and bluebells.
The woods anemones arrive first, beautiful and delicate white, star like, flowers that open wide in the sun and off a sweet-smelling scent. Large sections of the forest floor are covered with them; which is amazing given that this plant is very slow to grow – six feet in a hundred years!
The wood anemone is also the county flower of Middlesex – when the suburbs were built, woods, such as Ruislip woods, were by-passed and preserved allowing the wood anemone and other plants to continue to bloom.
Don’t touch this flower though, it may be beautiful, but it is also poisonous to humans.
The bluebells create their own carpets, but can also be seen amidst the wood anemones – an artistic and joyous splattering of white and deep blue. Nearly half the world’s bluebells are found in the UK, and conservation organisations have worked hard to protect the English bluebell from the Spanish bluebell. The Spanish bluebell, which is lighter in colour with flowers on both sides of the stem, grows more quickly and therefore can out-compete the more delicate English bluebell. It takes 5 to 7 years for a bluebell colony to establish and, akin to the wood anemone, please don’t pick them – they are not poisonous, but it is illegal to do so.

Outdoors Activity

What Spring flowers have you noticed growing in your area? See if you can find some of the attached spring flowers

Which is your favourite? You can paint or photograph it and email to webteam@eastcotera.co.uk and we will put them up on our website.

Alternatively you can use the photo of wood anemones and bluebells to create your own picture. Try using different media to create your own style.

Indoors Activity

Try making some of the flowers you see using materials such as tissue paper/card/paper and wire.

If you need help with this there are plenty of tutorials on the internet such as: https://www.firstpalette.com/craft/folding-paper-flowers-8petal.html

Diana Williams, local resident who helps with ‘Classroon in the Woods’

Eastcote House Gardens is open

Yes, Eastcote House Gardens is still open including the Walled Garden.

However when the Council Green Spaces team are working in the Walled Garden they lock the entrance gate to ensure social distancing whilst they work. Generally they plan to work, at various times, in the Walled Garden, on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays.

Eastcote War Memorial Gardens

This picture was taken on 25th March (during a permitted outdoor walk),

it is great pity that by the time this health emergency is over most of the radiant colours will have faded.

I have thanked LBH Green Spaces and FEHG for producing such an uplifting display.

Stay safe.

Jeff Duley
Eastcote Royal British Legion

Shopfronts

From time to time, here is some planning content that provides a design and a critical appraisal framework.
The now archived document ‘Shopfronts’ from London Borough of Hillingdon has some good guidance on Shopfront Design.
In section 8.5 Advertisements Advertisements are defined as the fascia, lettering, any signage within the ‘signable area’ and above this in the upper floors of buildings, and posters and advertising materials affixed to windows.

Fig 1 Shows Acceptable Examples of corporate lettering
adapted to suit its position.

Development on Greenbelt land

The London Green Belt Council  is a grouping of more than 100 organisations with a concern for the Green Belt around London.

They have asked us to encourage you to sign a petition asking Government to cease all new developments on Greenbelt and Greenfield sites across the country:

Government housing policy is forcing councils to meet aggressive house building targets. This directly causes new developments on Greenbelt & Greenfield. Many councils believe the targets are unrealistic. According to CPRE 460,000 homes are currently planned for greenbelt & greenfield sites.

Loss of greenbelt & greenfield sites for housing negatively affects the environment, releasing carbon from the land & losing that land’s ability to capture new carbon. Wildlife and plant life already under stress, are displaced & loss of green spaces has a negative effect on communities.

The petition is here