Monday, January 30, 2012

The Kingfisher Pool

If you have arrived here looking for the Kingfisher swimming pool in Kingston upon Thames or you think this might just refer to a replacement swimming pool in Redbridge you are going to be very disappointed. The Nation is broke and we are all having to make sacrifices. That is, unless you want a new airport in the Thames Estuary at £70bn or a new model railway at £60bn.

This is about a pool for Kingfishers – the bird of the feathered variety. You may remember this post earlier outlining how Redbridge Lakes had taken advantage of the FLASH programme and you may have seen a follow up in the Ilford Recorder. So, I’ve ventured round the corner to visit and have a chat with the owner Gordon Bullock.

This is the private sector. No sooner the word and it gets done. Contrast that with the 4½ years it took to get planning permission for the lakes. As you can see from the slide show below a habitat has been set up and also a feeding raft is now floating on what was previously called the silt pit. More photos and commentary on its construction over on the lakes website. It’s very deep so the Kingfishers need a raft to feed. There’s only one hole because Kingfishers are solitary unlike Sand martins which we will come on to later. The viewing hut is in situ and there are plans to put a CCTV camera on top powered by a solar panel. Now we sit and wait. I have seen Kingfishers on the River Roding so we are quite hopeful that we will not have to wait too long.

Further round we come to a steep bank on the other side of which are the neighbours, the Wanstead Rugby Club. This has been cleared back removing all the vegetation so that mutiple holes can be drilled into the bank for Sand martins which do hang around in flocks. As mentioned earlier there are plans for a wild flower meadow and a bug hotel. Gordon is very keen on recycling and composting. However his plans for a wormery are restricted to private sector worms as they are more efficient and work harder.

Back at the club house we meet the Swans and chickens and Gordon tells me how every pitch around the lakes has been designed to allow access for those in wheelchairs, highlighting this regular visitor. However, the lack of a bus route in Roding Lane North is an accessibility concern for the elderly and infirm who do not have their own transport. I explain that the proposed 306 bus route was abandoned back in about 2004 after a public consultaion delivered a 2:1 majority in favour. That’s the public sector for you.

While I was there I took advantage of the café with a mouth-watering bacon roll and a cup of coffee – recommended. Very yummy!


  1. Hi, Ed

    I thought this Picasa thingy was going to be a video. First time I've seen a slide show that looks like an embeded video. Interesting.

    Kingfishers for Fairlop Waters might be too optimistic. The only times I've seen them, on film and in person, was flitting above rivers. They feed on minnows, which like moving water with plenty of oxygen. Kingfishers would be a great addition if the idea works. Flocks of Canada geese are rather boring and do a lot of poo.

    A bus to the lakes is essential for those of us who don't own cars. I have walked there, but don't fancy doing that with dogs pulling on their leads. The pavement is too narrow in places. There is a single-decker bus route that terminates in Barkingside. Couldn't it terminate at Fairlop Waters, so the drivers could enjoy a sarnie and go to the loo? Dog-friendly drivers essential, of course.

  2. Coxsoft,
    I have used slide shows before.
    And the post above is about Redbridge Lakes, which is in the Roding Valley, not Fairlop Waters.
    The habitat is the silt pit which takes in the surface run-off and filters it before it goes into the lakes, so there is flow ...

  3. Coxsoft - there are two bus routes serving Barkingside that are operated by single deck vehicles (167 and 462) but neither of them terminates there.