Welcome to the website of the Friends of Foots Cray Meadows.
You be be aware of the arrival overnight of a number of caravans and vehicles on the Stable Meadows at Leafield Lane. Thankfully they seemed to be on route and moved off in the morning. I would encourage us all to report these incidents to London Borough of Bexley Contact Centre 0208 303 7777 and please encourages others to do so, this will indicate the level of public concern.
The comments below about the 'you choose' survey is part of a campaign by the Friends of Foots Cray Meadows to save the Parks Budget from further excessive cuts. This incident makes it all the more important to action.
Thursday 28th August 2014
What does "You Choose" mean to the Friends of Foots Cray Meadows?
What do the Meadows mean to you?
The Borough of Bexley is asking you to prioritise where you think the council should be allocating their budget. But it seems clear that they are going to reduce the Parks Budget. www.bexley.gov.uk/youchoose
We really urge you and as many friends and family members that you can make aware to comment in some form on this review. This is the only chance residents have to make their views known before a decision is taken.
In fairness there are several areas to assess but don't forget that less than 2% of the whole funding is spent on Open Spaces and Parks which will be having their budget and funding reduced. Some of the things that will be hit are:
Instead of having dog waste and litter bins emptied three times a week it will be reduced to once a week.
What will this mean? Smelly full bins, untidy fields where the wildlife has rummaged through them.
Although you are asked to clean up after your dog's when they foul the grass and pavements the appointed waste bins will only be emptied once a week.
Dropped litter and picnicker's rubbish will not be picked up by the contractors
Although the majority of people clear up after their visit to the Meadows some do not and overflowing bins will make matters worse.
Woodland Management will be compromised as contracted tree surgeons budget will be reduced.
Graffiti and vandalism issues will not be dealt with quickly. Cleaning and repairs are likely to take much longer, as staff would have been reduced and those that remain would not have sufficient time or resources. In fact benches and other facilities that exist now, once damaged will not be repaired or replaced.
Keep the daytime Park Ranger/ Security Patrol. We will lose the only remaining visible and effective dedicated park patrol service.
Do you want to see the general current good condition, the beauty and peacefulness of the meadows to deteriorate rather swiftly.
No. Well complete the survey now http://youchoose.yougov/bexley or before 12th September. Do not Delay together we can make a difference!
Margaret Dodd - Treasurer Friends of Foots Cray Meadows
For Pictures of the Third Foots Cray Meadows Fun Dog Show go to the Fun Dog Show Page
Return of the Winter Lakes on the Meadows
The sun is out and a few April showers, Bluebells and some glorious spring conditions so it may be surprising that the groundwater flooding has returned to the Meadows. But the water table is high the aquifer full and the natural springs in the Cray valley must be at full force feeding into the Cray as they have done forever and why humankind settled along the valleys.
Whilst there is an obvious overflow from the lake at five arches. This is almost certainly as a result of the high groundwater levels keeping the river in full flood as we have seen throughout the winter. Foots Cray Meadows are a flood plain and meadows beside rivers do flood. This flooding and any risk to properties will be monitored by the authorities and the Environment Agency Flood warning publish updates. The closure of the footpath is an inconvenience especially as it is a key pedestrian route from North Cray to Schools and the railway at Albany Park but excess water belongs on the Meadows and hopefully away from people's homes. I was with Bexley Council today and we will be looking at immediate options to reduce the overflow with the Environment Agency in the next few days. In the meantime do enjoy the nature from the expanding lakes on the Meadows this spring.
Michael Heath FFCM and Thames21 24th April 2014
comment firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
EA Flood warnings
Late last year The FFCM Committee was advised of suggested Council cuts to the Parks and Open Spaces Budget for next year and possibly beyond. This will have a serious impact on the upkeep of the Meadows. As a Friends Group we are focusing on Foots Cray Meadows, although other parks and open spaces in the Borough will also suffer from these cuts. We promoted the issue and our concerns through a special edition of our newsletter (See link). Whilst many of you did comment through the consultation it appears that the budget has been approved and this will affect our parks and open space service .
So as the Meadows spring into a new season we must retain the tinge of concern for our open space because of the huge budget reductions facing Bexley's Grounds Maintenance (Public Realm) and strategic development (Parks & Open Spaces) Teams. This is ultimately how the infrastructure of our open spaces and parks are maintained. Yes Friends groups like ours make a difference and can and do work with the Local Authority to seek improvements. But without continued investment and commitment to maintaining our natural environment the past achievements of our parks teams will be irretrievably lost and Bexley will become a less pleasant place to live and work in. Our thoughts on this will have been made during the recent budget consultation but with Council Elections in May we should continue to raise the importance of the Boroughs Open Spaces for nature and people, you may wish to challenge the extent of the reductions to our Parks Service; why not?
See Events Page for things to do.
Image by B Riches
go to the events and activity pages for details of spring and summer events
join us today please complete and send us the Membership Application form; available from the membership page click here .
Above three Images raised water and ground water levels Five Arches February 2014