Friends Group AGM 2023
The Friends Group will be holding their AGM at the Visitor Centre, Hornchurch Country Park on Wednesday 18th October at 5.15pm. Everyone is welcome to attend. We are also looking for people to join our committee and more volunteers, if you are interested in joining the Friends Group come along to our AGM and talk to Ray Randall.
GRAVEL EXTRACTION OPPOSITE THE VISITOR CENTRE AT HORNCHURCH COUNTRY PARK.
Brett Aggregates are proposing a sand and gravel quarry at Rainham Lodge Farm – 50 hectare site in Berwick Pond Road. This is directly opposite the EWT visitors centre, on the other side of the marshes. The intention would be to use Bunds to mask the works from the view from the visitors centre. Brett owns this farmland.
2 million tons of sand and gravel would be quarried over 15 – 20 years. Approx. 150,000 tons per year. Site access, for approx. 96 Lorries per day, would be via Berwick Pond Road.
Proposed operating hours are: Mon. – Fri. 07.00 to 18.00, Sat. 07.00 to 13.00, no operations on Sun. or bank holidays. If you wish to join the fight against the quarry, https://www.facebookcom/groups/417133163937273/?ref=share
Hornchurch Country Park
We are proud that Hornchurch Country Park has been awarded Green Flag Status for the 2022/23 period. The Green Flag Award is managed under license from the UK Government Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government by Keep Britain Tidy who also administers the scheme in England. The Green Flag Award® scheme recognises and rewards well managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for the management of recreational outdoor spaces across the United Kingdom and around the world.
Green Flag 2022/23
New Interpretation Boards
The Parks Department of Havering Council have installed two new interpretation boards in Hornchurch Country Park. The first of the boards is by the concrete circle at the childrens play area. The board shows a picture of the Balfors Gun position as seen in the picture below. As you walk past the visitor centre, on the right hand side of the path you will see a part of the original perimeter tracxk.
The Balfors 40mm Gun Position
Havering Council also have two other pictures that they need to purchase interpretation boards for. As soon as they can get the funds for the boards they will be installed in the park. Below are the two pictures awaiting boards. All of these pictures were painted by the Historian Artist Barry Weekley.
4.5 inch World War 1 Naval Gun
Sunken Battle Headquarters Pill Box
Where have our insects gone ???
False Oil Beetle
Over the last 25 years the abundance of flying insects has dropped by 75%. Do you remember a quarter of a century ago, when driving down the road you would have to regularly clean your windscreen to remove the insects stuck to it? Now think about when you are driving now. I can't remember the last time I had to clean my windscreen of insects; but I can remember cleaning bird mess, dust and dirt.
So what has happened? Insects are a very important part of the life cycle on earth; they are the pollinators of our crops and prey for other wildlife. Although the reason for the decline of our insects is not clear yet, the probable causes are the loss of wild areas, the use of pesticides and climate changes.
Insects used to make up approximately two-thirds of all life on earth by weight, but they are becoming less noticeable. Something needs to be done.
What can we do?
You can help insects by:
Planting wild flowers in your garden which are attractive to pollinating insects throughout the year and letting the grass grow longer. If every garden had a little patch for insects collectively it would probably be the biggest area of wildlife habitat in the world.
Avoid the use of pesticides.
Pile up some dead wood.
Solitary bees, beetles and ground-dwelling insects all need roting wood,flaking bark and little gaps - so don't burn it, pile it up!
Without insects the world would be struggling to produce enough food. How awful it would be not to see butterflies and other insects?
Spiders, beetles, caterpillars, bees and dragonflies are beautiful too.
About our Rivers
There are many miss-connections due to people not understanding how the sewerage system works. If your house was built after 1920, then your house will be connected to two different sewer systems, the main system is the “foul water system” which takes the water from our toilets, baths, showers, sinks and washing machines. The other sort is the “surface water system” which takes water from our roofs, gutters, patios and road side drains. The water from these goes directly into our rivers or into the sea. If your house was built before 1920, you should check whether you have a duel system or combined sewer system, the combined system takes all water from your roofs and toilets and goes down the same system to the sewerage plant.
What can we do?
Rivers are the life blood of everything, if they become polluted the wildlife that lives in them will start to disappear, like invertebrates and fish that live in the river. If you see pollution in a river or stream, like soap suds or sewerage fungus near outlets into the rivers or streams, it should be reported to the local water company and the Environment Agency.
Roding, Beam and Ingrebourne Catchment Plan (RBI)
The Roding, Beam & Ingrebourne Catchment Partnership is a focused group of local stakeholders who are working together through a Catchment Based Approach (CaBA) to improve the rivers in the Roding, Beam & Ingrebourne Catchment and bring direct on-the-ground benefit to people and wildlife. The Friends Group is just one of the members of this partnership. This Catchment Plan sets out the required actions which will seek to improve the physical functioning and condition of the rivers and tributaries within the Roding, Beam & Ingrebourne Catchment, thus benefiting both wildlife and people. To see the Catchment Plan and Vision Summary, go to our Documents tab and click on the links to see how you can help move this forward.