Environmental management 2014
At the request of local residents, Richmond Council’s Community Links Team organised two volunteer work days with local residents and Councillors along Isleworth Promenade, Twickenham on Friday 1st and Sunday 3rd August 2014.
These volunteer work days were managed by the Thames Landscape Strategy (TLS) and South West London Environment Network (SWLEN). We would like to thank all the volunteers who participated and the passers by who stopped to offer moral support.
The volunteers were a mixture of interested residents; Elizabeth, Gerhard, Ilana, Janet, Mr & Mrs Jordan and Richmond upon Thames Mayor, Her Worship Councillor Jane Boulton, Councillors; Alex Ehmann, Ben Khosa, David Marlow, Geof Acton (and guests) and the Conservative Party Parliamentary candidate for Twickenham, Dr Tania Mathias, who is also a Councillor in Richmond upon Thames.
Vegetation that was obstructing the path, which included the invasive plant Himalayan balsam, were cleared. These plants can grow to 2.5 metres in one year (see photos in link below) and each plant produces up to 800 seeds which can float along waterways, these were removed before they could seed more plants.
The balsam out competes the natural flora, including the lovely purple loosestrife (purple cone shapes flowers), so they don’t receive enough light. Purple loosestrife is an important pollinator and doesn’t grow as tall therefore not obscuring the view of the Thames.
Volunteers also reopened up a couple of vistas to the bend in the Thames and view of Isleworth Ait. The trees that are growing through the embankment are actually damaging it, one of the species growing is the nice sounding but invasive Tree of Heaven. Some of these were removed where they where growing into the path at a pinch point.
What next for Isleworth Promenade?
South West London Environment Network is a charity that enables and empowers people to protect and improve their local environment. We /looking-for-a-group/are interested in working with local residents to establish a Friends of Isleworth Promenade.
Friends of Parks groups are resident-led groups that are now very popular (examples) and working in partnership with the Council can bring about improvements for their park or green space. This could be through consultation and dialogue about what improvements residents would like to see, through to the group deciding to undertake a more active role, such as running conservation volunteer days and or raising funding for additional facilities over and above what is already provided. Where parks have ‘friends groups’, these tend to get more resources and facilities allocated to them as the friends groups lobby for their park.
Having a friends group for Isleworth Promenade could make a real difference.
Local residents don’t have to just be from Richmond Borough, Isleworth residents are welcome too.
If you would like to be involved in establishing a friends group then please contact us by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 020 8892 0590.
Photos on SWLEN’s Facebook page and we have also established a Facebook page for the Promenade volunteering days.