News & Views
Orchard Apple Day
On 21 September 2019 we hosted our second ever open day at the Chattern Hill orchard, tucked away in a little-known part of the Bedfont Lakes estate known as 'south-side'.
Thanks to everyone who joined us for this really cheerful day picking your own apples, pressing fresh apple juice and learning about the wide range of apple varieties in this beautiful heritage orchard.
We were delighted by the even bigger number of locals who joined us this year. It was fantastic to meet so many interested people, show you all around this orchard and enjoy the very bountiful apple harvest with everyone!
BLCV nominated for Best Volunteer Team Award
The Bedfont Lakes Conservation Volunteers (BLCV) team were pleased to receive a nomination in the Runnymede and Spelthorne Volunteer Awards for 2019.
The BLCV team were nominated in the category of Best Volunteer Team for their work supporting Bedfont Lakes Country Park.
Each year the awards recognise and celebrate the dedication of volunteers who have made a positive impact in their local communities across a range of causes.
This year’s awards ceremony was held on 4 June 2019 at Royal Holloway, University of London.
Hounslow Joint Services Open Day 2019
On Saturday 20 July 2019 Bedfont Lakes Country Park hosted Hounslow's 2019 Joint Services Open Day.
Hundreds of people of all ages from the local community came and met their local police, fire brigade, ambulance and London Borough of Hounslow services teams, including the Bedfont Lakes volunteers and park ranger teams. Thank you to everyone who visited the Bedfont Lakes Lampton GreenSpace 360 stand to talk to us about our conservation efforts and see the animals. We hope we'll see you again soon!
Being held in Bedfont Lakes Country Park, the open day also made a very fitting culmination to Love Parks Week (12-21 July), a week dedicated to celebrating our local green spaces and finding out about the work done every day to protect and improve them. Because parks have huge benefits to all ages and abilities of the community, they matter to us all. By visiting and supporting Bedfont Lakes, you help to preserve this invaluable resource for future generations.
Rejuvenating the Chattern Hill Community Orchard
From Autumn 2018 to Spring 2019, BLCV teamed up with The Orchard Project to learn how to restore and maintain a historic community orchard that is part of the Bedfont Lakes estate.
The volunteers learned how to correctly manage the orchard, with training led by orchard expert Bob Lever and The Orchard Project's Jack McCrickard. Workshops covered winter pruning, tree planting, tree care and mulching. Significant work was done to identify and map out the many varieties of apple tree growing in the orchard.
The orchard site is significant in Hounslow’s history as a fruit, vegetable and flower growing region during the 19th century, prior to much of the land being sold for development due to increased demand for housing. The same story is seen across the country - around 60% of England’s traditional orchards have disappeared since the 1950s. Mature orchards have significant biodiversity value by ‘greening’ the urban environment and creating habitats for wildlife.
BLCV celebrates 10 year anniversary
Bedfont Lakes Conservation Volunteers (BLCV) celebrated 10 years since the group's formation with a tasty picnic shared between present and former members as well as park rangers Gareth, Sean and Laurence.
The event was held on Saturday 21 July 2018, ten years and one month after the group's formation in June 2008. Those who couldn't attend were definitely missed.
Thank you to everyone who has put in their efforts over the years; big or small, it's always amazing how much a team can achieve together.
We'd also like to say a huge thank you to all the Bedfont Lakes Country Park rangers who've worked with us over the decade!
Park receives the Green Flag Award 19 years running
We are delighted to announce that Bedfont Lakes Country Park has been awarded a Green Flag Award in 2018, maintaining its Green Flag status since 1999.
Bedfont Lakes Country Park is one of 11 parks and green spaces throughout the London Borough of Hounslow which have won the award this year.
The Green Flag Award celebrates the UK's very best parks and green spaces and serves to recognise an international standard in park management and the value of these recreational outdoor spaces for the local community. In the scheme's 22nd year, a record-breaking 1,883 Green Flags have been awarded to green spaces large and small across the UK, almost 100 more than in 2017.
Parks are not the only green spaces to have received Green Flag status this year, with a number of more unusual spaces including allotments, university campuses, shopping centres, War Memorials and burial sites.
The other winners in the borough are Beaversfield Park, Boston Manor Park, Chiswick Back Common, Church Road Allotments, Dukes Meadows, Inwood Park, Lampton Park, St Dunstan's Park, St Johns Gardens, and Turnham Green.
R.I.P Bob Bonsey
In January of 2018 we received the very sad news that Bob Bonsey, a treasured and long-standing member of the group, passed away peacefully on Saturday 13 January 2018.
Bob was always the first to lend a hand to a fellow volunteer, particularly good at watching over the newbies, and always loved to tend a good bonfire.
A tree has been planted in Bob's memory in the park, as well as a bench installed which commemorates him and his favourite view in the park, within the Private Nature Reserve.
He will be fondly remembered by us all at Bedfont Lakes for all the heart, time and care he put into the park.