|Getting into the festive spirit, the gang posed with santa hats on before they set to work!|
Our last biodiversity event of the year proved overwhelmingly popular as lots of students, local residents and Environment Trust volunteers turned out to help rid our grassland of invasive rhododendron. 'tis the season of goodwill and this lot certainly did their good deed for the day at Kingston Hill.
A new venue, and a new task, but the same old gutsy determination from our volunteers was evident on Saturday as the ditches at Tolworth Court sportsground were given a new lease of life.
|George puts his back into it, digging down to find the watercourse|
When volunteers turned up at the Kingston Hill pond on Saturday they not only cleared it of overgrowth, but transformed it and the surrounding area into a healthy and supportive habitat for all sorts of wildlife.
Chris led the charge as volunteers dug out overgrown sedge
On Friday 18th October our Middle Mill eel trap monitors joined volunteers from other trap sites around London at London Zoo for their annual Eel Forum to discuss this season's results and plans for the future.
|Joe Pecorelli thanks all volunteers for their work this season|
It has been a long-standing mystery what the fruit trees at Dorich House actually are, but thanks to a bumper harvest and some RHS expertise, four varieties are a mystery no more!
|Name that apple!|
As the seasons turn, so does our attention...to preparing our community garden for winter. A tea party was the order of the day to celebrate this lovely growing space on campus and get a few gardening tasks ticked off.
|Have you discovered our community garden yet?|
A few packs of wildflower and bird seed were the beginnings of a fun, creative and welcoming volunteering taster for new international student arrivals on Friday morning. This resulted in 187 seedbombs, 41 bird feeders and 12 friendships being made.
|New students bond over bird feed!|
It was the day we had been waiting for since the start of this year's ZSL eel monitoring project in April. Yesterday, biodiversity volunteer Juliet found not one, but three yellow eels in our trap at the Middle Mill Halls of Residence!
|Our first eels of 2013! |
Photo courtesy of Juliet Dukes.
Glorious sunshine bathed our gang of seven Volunteers' Week newbies as they tried their hand at conservation volunteering for the first time with this fun-in-the-sun invasive species removal event by the Middle Mill Halls of Residence.
It is that time of year again - the Himalayan Balsam invading our riverbanks was due for its annual clearance, and timed to perfection, we teamed up with KUSU Volunteering to combine it with their end of year social for 2013 - an indulgent summer picnic!
|A weeding work party at the Hogsmill river!|
To mark the first Kingston University Biodiversity Action Group Volunteer of the Year award, we felt it was only right to recognise the outstanding dedication and leadership one Kingston University staff member has shown to a conservation project on campus over recent years.
|Kingston Hill beekeeper Tina Corr (far right) and other award winners at this year's KUSU Volunteering Awards Ceremony at Dorich House.|
A crowd of 21 nature-curious volunteers explored the Kingston Hill campus on Saturday for all forms of flora and fauna in our annual Mini-Bioblitz. A delightful day of wildlife discovery was had by all!
|The finds from our pond drew a crowd...|
Armed with bat detectors and a keen sense of anticipation, volunteers from Kingston University and the local area awaited sunset for the start of Monday night's bat walk along the Hogsmill River. And they were not disappointed as bats-a-plenty swooped in and feasted on insects.
|Ready for the off, eager bat walkers gather at Knights Park.|
|Continuing our partnership with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), a total of 11 volunteers turned out before Easter to be trained to check our eel trap ahead of this year's checking season. Right on our doorstep, volunteers will collect valuable data from the Hogsmill river and inform future conservation work to help this critically endangered species.|
|The daffodils signal the start of spring - not long now til our first check of the eel trap!|
|Let's see what has survived from last year's planting...chives, strawberries, oregano - a great start!|
Many good souls turned out for our annual litter pick in and along the Hogsmill River last week. KU students and local residents teamed up and collected an impressive haul of discarded and lost items during our afternoon session.
|Volunteers get stuck in, eager to clean up our local waterway.|
The final rhodo bash of the season was a great success this weekend. Flurries of snow, thick gloopy mud, an inquisitive fox and a bus stop all featured in our fun, physical fight against this invasive species at Kingston Hill.
|Kavitha enjoys cutting this rhodo down to size!|
Hundreds of deer, beautiful scenery, glorious sunshine and a knowledgeable guide made our Deer Trek in Richmond Park a wonderful way for staff and students to spend a Sunday.
|Striding out under a beautiful blue sky, KU staff and students finish Health Week on a high.|
Volunteers braved the chill on Wednesday to help the fruit trees in the delightful orchard at Dorich House prepare for the coming year.
|Lewis from The London Orchard Project talks 'apples and pears' to a keen audience at Dorich House.|
A delicious selection of locally produced honeys was available to try at the Kingston Hill campus. What a treat for a lunchtime! It was a sure-fire way to put a smile on anyone's face on a Monday!
|Molly was beaming when she tasted the honeys on offer!|
An eager team of 25 helped plant 200 hazel whips at Kingston Hill campus this weekend, but not satisfied with that, they got stuck in to a list of other woodland management tasks with equal vigour!
All hands to the spade! Volunteers make light work of planting our hazel whips.
We invited the Environment Trust for Richmond Upon Thames to help clear our woodland of invasive rhododendron this week.
|Saad gives our bash event the thumbs-up after sawing off a rhododendron branch.|