View of Thames

You can see a lot more than an urban landscape if you take a walk along the Thames. I recently walked from London Bridge to Greenwich which is about 7 miles. You can chose to take the northern or southern pathway. If you don’t want to do a linear walk you can use the Greenwich Clipper to take you from one bank to another.  Alternatively you can cross the river at Greenwich using the foot tunnel.

I’m not sure if it is an Olympic legacy or not but the planting along the Thames pathway and other open spaces is particularly sympathetic.   The use of grasses and wildflowers means that even this late in the year there is colour and interest for bees and other insects.  Along the southern bank particularly around Greenwich Peninsula reeds have been used and are a reminder of the original ecology. Bow creek, which is further east, was an osier bed which is a type of willow used for basket making.  If you visit now you will see along the creek bank the wildflower meadow has been cut and is being dried for hay.  It is remarkable that one of Britain’s longest established method of conserving grass can be seen in the middle of a city landscape.  Over 95% of Britain’s wildflower meadows disappeared and Bow Creek is a good example of how new ones can be created.

I read in the news last week that Britain could be facing a repeat of the impact of Dutch Elm disease among its native ash trees.  A fungus is spreading across Europe that is killing ash trees and last week the Government launched a consultation on the immediate ban of imports of ash trees in an attempt to stop the disease reaching Britain.  By 1990 most of the Elm trees in England had been killed off. .So I am delighted to report that on a recent walk along the north Thamespath I spotted a very rare sight indeed.  In Montgomery Square, Canary Wharf, an avenue of elm trees has been planted.  Well worth making a detour to see these rare trees.

At South Bank Marina I spoke to George, a local fisherman.  The Marina is situated close to the old boundary between Kent and Surrey which is now the boundary between Southwark and Lewisham.  George was telling me that the area is good for sea bass although they are small.  Unlike the carp.  He was keen to show me the  picture of a 26 pound fish that he had caught recently in this very spot. George and his mate were also telling me that the indigenous Wels Catfish is also found along this part of the river.