Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Thames Path 02 - London Eye to Kew Bridge

Sunday 15-Jun-2012

The second leg of our upstream journey produced some lovely sunny weather.

Thames Path 02 - the walkers
Alan, Andrea, Bill, Mary, Mark (me).

One thing about walking through London is that you cannot move for historic buildings.
At one point we passed a mooring with a number of cormorants which caused me to declaim the Christopher Isherwood poem:

    The common cormorant or shag
    Lays eggs inside a paper bag
    The reason you will see no doubt
    It is to keep the lightning out
    But what these unobservant birds
    Have never noticed is that herds
    Of wandering bears may come with buns
    And steal the bags to hold the crumbs.

We passed through Battersea Park and Wandsworth Park which are Grade II listed parks. I knew buildings could be listed but it was news to me that parks could be as well. According to English Heritage there are 1,601 registered historic parks and gardens.

Thames Path 02 - Wandsworth Park

Lunch was at The Boathouse right by Putney Bridge where we joined by Ros for part of the afternoon segment.

Thames Path 02 - Lunch at The Boathouse

The remainder of the walk took us past the splendid Victorian engineering of Hammersmith Bridge designed by Joseph Bazalgette.

Thames Path 02 - Hammersmith Bridge

We passed through Barnes and over the river to walk the north bank for a while. Then back over Chiswick bridge for the final stretch to our end point at Kew Bridge and the train home.

Distance this leg 22.6 km
Previous leg 21.3 km
Total so far 43.9 km 

Thames Path 02 - the walkersThames Path 02 - Houses of ParliamentThames Path 02 - Battersea Power StationThames Path 02 - Battersea Dogs and Cats HomeThames Path 02 - Peace Pavilion, Battersea ParkThames Path 02 - Inlet at Battersea Reach
Thames Path 02 - ComorantsThames Path 02 - Wandsworth ParkThames Path 02 - Lunch at The BoathouseThames Path 02 - Hammersmith Bridge, detailThames Path 02 - Hammersmith BridgeThames Path 02 - The Terrace, Barnes
20120715-thames-path-02, a set on Flickr.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cleaning the Wandle July 2012

This month the venue was Beddington Park and the theme was Himalayan Balsam - an invasive species which smothers indigenous plants and causes river pollution through soil erosion. See the Managing invasive non-native plants booklet from The Environment Agency. It was also the month for the annual picnic.

 Wandle July 2012 - Himalayan Balsam 01

It took me so long to cycle down from Wandsworth Town that all the waders were gone leaving only wellies and so I was, again, land based. Given the recent rainfall the river was in full flood and, for a while, there was doubt as to whether anyone would be going in the water on safety grounds.

Wandle July 2012 - Himalayan Balsam 02

In the end it was deemed safe enough so the waders harvested whilst I and the other bank-siders gathered up and carted away.

Wandle July 2012 - Volunteers and Trugs

Much of the gathering was done using garden muck buckets and old, industrial plastic barrels cut in half and fitted with tow ropes. By the end we had a fair old pile of Himalayan Balsam and the river looked a lot clearer.

Wandle July 2012 - Himalayan Balsam 03

As it was the annual picnic we worked a longer morning session and called it a day at one-thirty so we could have our picnic lunch.

Wandle July 2012 - Picnic lunch

Amongst the volunteers was Derek Coleman co-author of the newly published "River Wandle Companion and Wandle Trail Guide" so I snapped up a copy and got it autographed.

 Wandle July 2012 - Derek Coleman

On the way back I was amused by a pair of nesting moorhens who had incorporated an old chair into their nest (or maybe it had washed up against their abode).

Wandle July 2012 - Moorhens

A cycle home followed a soak in the bath...