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 ‘Green-fingered’ volunteers spruce up The Chase

Thursday 22nd October 2020 09:27

Volunteers sow wildflowers seeds along The Chase in Merton, London

A patch of Thames Water land in Merton has been turned into a haven for wildflowers by a group of green-fingered volunteers.

On Friday October 9, 23 volunteers from the local community sowed wildflower seeds along The Chase Path in Dundonald Ward.

The event was organised by Thames Water in partnership with Councillor David Dean.

While maintaining social distancing the volunteers worked in pairs to seed 200 metres with a wildflower species mix containing 22 different species, including Oxeye Daisy, Poppy, Chamomile and Yellow Rattle.

The public access land sits on top of Thames Water’s Kingston Pipetrack which houses a wastewater pipe that services the area. The Chase is a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation and is leased to Merton council as a foot and cycle path.

A few days before the event, Thames Water prepared the ground and split the area to be seeded into three metre strips, to make it easier for the volunteers to rake the area and sow the seeds.

Claudia Innes, biodiversity strategy manager at Thames Water, said: “At Thames Water we care about the communities and the environment we work in and it’s important we improve the biodiversity of our sites for the benefit of our customers and local wildlife. It was great to see so many people from Merton take part in the event and I look forward to seeing all the wildflowers in bloom when spring arrives next year.”

Councillor David Dean added: “I am always trying to find ways to enhance the locality; to make the area more beautiful and improve the environment. We are lucky that Thames Water has a lot of land in the vicinity and has been willing partners to protect the local ecosystem. The Chase is a well-used walkway and by sowing a wonderful wildflower meadow over a large area, schoolchildren, walkers and cyclists, along with the bees and butterflies, are all going to enjoy the beauty of the more environmentally friendly Chase.”

In November, Thames Water will be planting cherry trees on the path and hedgerows along Bushy Road as part of the company’s planned activities for National Tree Planting Week.

From 2020 to 2025, Thames Water has committed to enhance biodiversity by 5% at 253 of its sites which have biodiversity interest.