Ruislip: What is it good for ......?

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  • I suspect that they know about it already, there is a map of known infestations on the forest research website. But I will drop them a note anyway. :-)

  • I did - there is no way Pizza Express would have allowed a flat of the type I lived in above any of their restaurants.

  • I've pondered adding this to the annals, partly because there are no pictures,
    partly because of the moral quandary, on several levels it poses me.

    Wandering through the Glory of the Ruislip Woods National Nature Reserve last week,
    I walked up the slope, southwards from the Lido through Park Wood,
    the most visited of the four woods, as it has residential housing around three sides of it.

    Emerging from the woodland onto the east-west bridlepath,
    which is wider than the others,
    as this was also the route of a line of electricity pylons that were removed in the '80s,
    I came across an extended family of south east Asian origin.
    In the sunlit grassy edge of the bridlepath the older members of the family were bent double and picking the topmost shoots of Bracken!

    The Countryside & Wildlife Act chimed in my head, along with the old adage
    of 'take nothing but memories & photos'. Taking anything from an NNR is an offence,
    but this was nothing like the family seen taking logs recently.

    We have to try and manage the bracken to prevent it crowding out other shorter plants,
    so in a way this family were helping us meet the Management Plan.

    Fortunately a younger member of the family, who was not stressing his back by bending double,
    answered my question. Yep they were Chinese, and yes the 'older generation' remembered eating bracken in China. I enquired as to whether they knew that bracken, not just UK bracken is a known carcinogen, especially the young shoots known as 'fiddleheads'?
    Yep, it was not eaten raw and had to be cooked for a long time to make it palatable.
    The Young man was not certain if the bracken shoots would be cooked with salt, or bicarb or some other readily available kitchen chemical.
    Satisfied I had met any implied Duty of Care, I bade them a safe journey home and continued towards my own.

    I can remember reading an article many years ago about a region of Japan, that had abnormal levels of mouth, toungue, and oesophogeal cancers, but hardly any incidence of smoking. Researchers finally tracked it down to the local habit of pickling bracken fiddleheads as a 'green vegetable'!
    Here's the wiki for bracken
    Here's what the Hong Kong authorities say,
    Here's the isolated carcinogen,
    and here's a Dane who thinks they taste of 'asparagus with almonds' and is finding the carcinogen above in the water supply.

    Please don't take anything from a National Nature Reserve,
    please don't eat any bracken.

  • Yes,
    the Ruislip Riviera has long been a favourite haunt for Londoners.
    I think it was @skydancer upthread who linked to a website proclaiming
    the Lido Beach the closest to Central London,
    of course, entry to the Lido is free.

  • From The Independent

    David Simmonds, the MP for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner, said in an email to a constituent that he believed Mr Cummings should resign.

    “Whilst the facts of Mr Cummings' situation are disputed and there are ongoing investigations, it is important in my view not to engage in trial by media,” Mr Simmonds said.

    “However, I have conveyed the strength of feeling locally to relevant colleagues, and my own view, through the appropriate channels, that Mr Cummings should step down.

    “I would of course welcome an independent investigation to establish the facts, something which any constituent finding themselves in difficulty would be entitled to ask for.”

  • appropriate channels,

    David Simmonds, was until adopted as the Tory candidate to replace the unlamented Nick Hurd,
    in November 2019, the Deputy Leader of the London Borough of Hillingdon Council.
    LB Hillingdon encompasses three parliamentary constituencies,
    the aforementioned, Ruislip, Northwood & Pinner, David Simmonds CBE,
    Hayes & Harlington, represented by the Rt. Hon. John McDonnell
    Uxbridge & South Ruislip, intermittently represented by the Rt. Hon. Boris Johnson.

  • I fully realise that wherever two, or more, forumengers gather,
    (appropriately socially distanced irl, or through social media),
    the question on everybodies lips has been:
    'When, oh when,
    will we get an update on the OCGW infestation in Ruislip's Famous Mad Bess Wood?'
    Wait no longer!

  • For newcomers to the thread,
    OCGW is Oriental Chestnut Gall Wasp.
    The little critter lays her live young in the leaf axils or buds of Sweet Chestnut, severely reducing the amount of pollen and nectar produced, which affects both farmed and wild bees and other nectarphilic species, and can lead to the death of both mature trees and sweet chestnut coppice.

    I’ve since re-visited MBW and every shoot of sweet chestnut I could see has evidence of at least one, if not a dozen galls.

    I asked if there were better definition maps of sightings/reports for both north west London and Greater London. Luckily there are and the blue text indicates links to the pdf files. As of March 2020 we, (the NNR), were pretty much surrounded!

    Currently there are too many variables, (including wind speed and wind direction) to predict the spread of OCGW in the UK, but on the Continent where it has been a serious pest of sweet chestnut for far longer the best estimate is 6-12 km per year.

    Forest Research were unable to confirm the person or department within DEFRA that is considering the release of the OCGW predator Torymus sinensis Kamija.
    I’ll see if I can find out whether MBW would be a suitable release site.

  • Excellent work, keep it up!

  • On the off-chance that anyone would read this thread and decide to celebrate
    'Magic Monday2' with a trip to the Ruislip Lido beach,
    I have just been informed by a Ward Councillor,
    that following a considerable number of residents comments,
    the Ruislip Lido beach will be closed from Monday 1st June.

    Please still visit Ruislip Woods for the coolth & sunshade from the tree canopy.

  • Hey @mespilus can you cycle in Ruislip Woods? Was just thinking I've ridden past it a lot but never in it/through it.

    There's some routes to it and in it but I've never been...

  • You'd get stuck between the trees, though.

  • You're assuming the trees would stay rooted.

    Aussie: they'll be rooted alright!

  • You sure can.
    The bridlepaths, indicated on the 'You are here' maps at (major) entrances, are for use by cyclists.
    During Th'Shutdown many more people have been visiting th'Woods, and unfortunately (for the lesser lifeforms), many more (maintained) footpaths have been used by mtb'ers.
    You are unlikely to be stopped, as 'enforcement' concentrates on parking infringements.
    Enjoy yourself, be careful, and watch out for exposed tree routes.
    We have yet to determine a policy or practises to reduce erosion.

  • Well I went and rode that loop so kinda answered the question for myself. Was pretty nice actually. The stormy weather probably kept the masses away so we had a pretty clear run.

    Actually, I lie, it wasn't that loop we rode. It was this one:

  • Looks like after you went under the A40 at Hillingdon Circus you ignored/missed the sign for the Hillingdon Trail through Gutteridge Wood then 10 Acre Wood that would have connected you with Charville Lane back to the Ruislip Road.

  • Storm Alex was an unwelcome visitor to Ruislip this weekend,
    with Thames Water's (unimproved) storm water system overwhelmed
    on Saturday morning, with manhole covers lifting off,
    and a foul sewer overflowing and leaking into cellars, and one residences gas supply.
    Cadent, for the gas problem were quickest to respond,
    and Thames Water's contractor unblocked the foul sewer on Sunday afternoon.

    The one bright spot is the Natural Flood Management array of leaky dams in Park Wood
    delayed the storm water flows though this section of the NNR to the extent
    that again, (as after Augusts thunderstorms), no storm water was seen exitting
    from the southern perimeter ditch towards the River Pinn.

    We are now much better able to quantify local rainfall in Ruislip than for the cloudburst in June 2016 when extensive flooding occurred and the nearest rain gauge was at RAF Northolt.
    Working with our local council, LB Hillingdon in their statutory function as Lead Local Flood Authority, we now receive reports:

    This is a graph of the output from the (relatively newly) installed rain gauge on Kings' College pavillion and the EA's river level gauge for the Ruilip Pinn:

    'At the Kings College gauge, we recorded a total of 27mm on Friday, with a further 46mm on Saturday and 19mm on Sunday. 46mm is a higher 24 hour total than 1st October 2019 (42.5mm), and a Storm Alex total of approximately 92mm . The highest intensity recorded was 14mm/hr on Saturday, compared to 40mm/hr on 1st October 2019.'

    1 Attachment

    • 2020 10 Storm Alex rain Pinn.png
  • In the extremely unlikely events that you'd be prepared to consider Ruislip as part of London and wanted to bring this excellent post about RUISLIP to a wider audience, allow me to remind you of the general London floods thread. :)­75/

  • Oliver,
    thanks for the prompt.
    Have popped a link on the thread you suggested.

  • Keen fans of the Ruislip Woods National Nature Reserve will know that the 's' is important.
    Ruislip Woods comprises four separate woods each with their own distinctive characteristics;
    Park Wood, (now with an array of leaky dams providing Natural Flood Management to our southern boundary neighbours),
    Copse Wood, (to the west of Ruislip Lido),
    Mad Bess Wood, (to the west of Ducks Hill Road),
    and Bayhurst Wood, (to the west of Breaksprear Road North).

    Park Wood was sold by Kings' College Cambridge in 1931,
    with the £28,100 cost paid 25% by the RNUDC, (Ruislip Northwood Urban District Council) and 75% by the MCC, (Middlesex County Council).
    Copse Wood, (all that remains of the much larger Ruislip Common Wood), was expected to be further developped for housing but in 1936, 155 acres was bought by the MCC and the LCC, (London County Council), for £23,250, due to the LCC starting a 'Green Belt Loans Scheme' in 1935.
    For reasons not clearly documented, some 30 acres of Copse Wood remained in private hands.

    These 30 acres have not been actively managed, and rumour has it that the LB Hillingdon has long been trying to negotiate the purchase of this tract of land from the descendents of the 1930's owner.

    Until this month!
    The official press release is here.

    Ruislip Woods became an NNR in 1997, so this gives us 15+ months to get a management plan agreed and implemented to have these 30 acres incorporated into the NNR for our 25th anniversary.

    The green triangle underneath 'Map 1' is the 30 acres of woodland.

    1 Attachment

    • 2020 10 26 Copse Wood map Screenshot 2020-10-26 173509.png
  • That seems like a good initiative. Let's hope they put firm protections in place.

  • Well time rolled on, and an offer from RWMAG, (Ruislip Woods NNR Management Advisory Group), to help the LB Hillingdon in any way we could to have these 30 acres incorporated into the NNR,
    was 'noted', but no follow up email was received

    So, I entered into email communication with the Natural England person with whom the Council correspond. It went better than I expected, and I was able to compile this briefing document for the members of RWMAG, (Residents' Associations and User Groups), to dustribute to their committees.

    I also sent a copy to our NE contact.
    'Thanks for this mespilus, really useful to see this.'

    The residents' associations will have their December meetings next week.
    I'll be told which Councillors attended/Zoomed in,
    and we'll see of any of them suggest the LB Hillingdon Green Spaces team start the
    process to have the 30 Acres added to the NNR in time for May 2022.

  • Mate. You're a fricking hero.

    I hope you get the extension.

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Ruislip: What is it good for ......?

Posted by Avatar for mespilus @mespilus