Conservation & Restoration
Bradbourne Residents Association (BRA) already had discussed certain renovation ideas with local residents, current and potential users of the park and various professional organizations whose expertise would be required. Then, in the summer of 2012, it conducted a survey of visitors to the Park. The result, some 175 returns representing the views of a significantly larger number of people, with many suggestions for repairs and improvements, led BRA to update its list of Provisional Aims for a Park & Lakes Restoration Project.
These are as follows:
- Dredge the lakes, repairing and re-pointing or adding metal sheets to the wall structures. Rebuild the areas of the lakes which have suffered bank recession. Repairs to the islands/nesting areas. Repair the clay lining.
- Carry out the necessary tree maintenance, following tree survey recommendations. Dangerous trees, trees surrounding the lakes and on the islands being priority 1. Some self-seeding trees which hamper the growth of other more valuable trees to be removed.
- Update the pump technology, to include a mobile application to instigate the night sequence.
- Replace the brick edging to lakes with original stone work.
- Repair and replace fences and bridges as necessary (including the fence between the swan enclosure and residents garden).
- Improve planting on-site, introducing a wider variety of planting/foliage (remove some shrubs not indigenous or attractive).
- Replace the park keeper’s shed with a more secure option to house a boat or other equipment such as gazebo for lake events.
- Replacement of the fence on Bradbourne Vale Road with a stone wall and laurel screen.
- Replace bins and the addition of 2 extra bins.
- Replace the broken benches and introduce picnic benches.
- Re-introduce fish and improve the biodiversity of the water.
- Re-introduce swans and other varieties of ducks and develop a duck management plan. Introduce a floating duck house and improve the duck/geese/swan habitats.
- Repair pathways and ramps to bridges to improve access for wheelchair users. Paths to comply with wheelchair regulation width of 1.2m and have edging, improved appearance and extended lifespan. Addition of missing path to the bridge of lake 3/2.
- Signs and visitor information for the park to be improved.
- Live feeds from the nesting area and water to the website.
- Engage in learning skills, offering educational opportunities to local schools, youth organisations, scouts, guides, etc.
- Other various minor additions: Lakeview box, Duck feeder distributer, etc.
It should be noted that the Provisional Aims listed above are merely those proposed by BRA and will be subject to further discussion with Sevenoaks District Council, the owners of the Park.
In 2006 an ecology study was carried out and over 15 birds were identified at Bradbourne Lakes, some visiting, some full time residents such as the ducks. The more interesting specimens were the Egyptian Goose (Alopochen Aegyptiacus). Pale head and chest with dark eye patch and pink legs.
A large relative of the shelduck, the Egyptian Goose is an ornamental species. Originally from Africa, it was introduced to this country three centuries ago and is mainly found in East Anglia.
Likely to be seen only near park lakes in small numbers or in pairs, it has double quacking call, often uttered on the wing.
Clutches of eight or nine eggs hatch after about four weeks and the downy chicks are similar in marking to the shelduck chicks, usually only a few survive.
Egyptian Geese are often seen perching in trees and sometimes roosting there. This species draws attention to themselves in the Spring with noisy displays and fierce territorial fighting on the water or ashore.