The Whitley Pump

The view from Katesgrove Hill

Category: Sustainability and environment (page 1 of 8)

Reading Borough Council consults on its budget for next year

Reading Borough Council (RBC) is consulting on its draft budget for the next financial year and a three year capital investment programme. The consultation will close for comment on Sunday 19 January.

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Review of 2019 at the Whitley Pump

The MERL’s new yarn bomb

Thank you to all our readers and regular and occasional contributors for making it a wonderful year on Katesgrove Hill. We hope that you continue to enjoy reading or contributing to the Whitley Pump in 2020.

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Whitley garden wildlife in October and November

Mouse

Mouse. Photo © David Turner

My Whitley garden was burgled in September, leaving me with very little equipment with which to record wildlife. Fortunately, I still have one working camera which I move about the garden each week and, of course, I have my trusted Fuji camera permanently strapped to me!

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Whitley garden wildlife in October: the vandalism special

David Turner’s monthly diary of Whitley wildlife was interrupted one night in September when somebody stole some of his garden monitoring equipment and vandalised the rest. Nobody was hurt, and both Bubbles the hedgehog and the fox family were left unmolested, but there could be no further wildlife photographs from mid-September.

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Electrical vehicle ‘lamp post’ chargers now in Reading

EV charger on East Street lamp post

EV charger on East Street lamp post

Reading Borough Council (RBC) have installed fifteen electrical vehicle (EV) charging points on lamp posts on public roads in Reading.

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A walk into the Wilds of Coley

Coley Meadows (Adrian Lawson)

Coley Meadows (c) Adrian Lawson

On Sunday 17 November there’ll be a walk from Waterloo Meadows Children’s centre into the marshes of the Coley water meadows. We’ll meet at 10am, and we’ll expect to return by 1pm.

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Whitley garden wildlife in September

Hummingbird hawk moth

Hummingbird hawk moth. Photo © David Turner

Temperatures reached a balmy 29ºC for a few days in September, although the average temperature was 19ºC. The weather dramatically changed on 22 September; it became very wet and remained wet but mild right through October.

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An oral and social history of Katesgrove

Waterloo Sunrise. Picture courtesy of Mike Cox

In the 1990s, Mike Cox from the Friends of Waterloo Meadows co-edited and co-researched a book about the history of Katesgrove as part of the Katesgrove Community Book Project.

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Whitley garden wildlife in July and August

Fox vixen with a rat. Picture (c) David Turner

The late summer weather in my Whitley garden varied from warm to very hot indeed, with the occasional very wet day. The sun helped increase the numbers of butterflies, bees, insects and moths, of course. One of my photograph highlights for July was the vixen fox with a huge rat, striking a superb pose.

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Katesgrove Community Association plans a trip to the Smallmead Recycling Centre

The Katesgrove Community Association (KCA) will be touring the Smallmead Recycling Centre on Thursday 10 October.

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Two years on, what has changed on the scenic route to the Madejski Stadium?

Sustrans signpost on Waterloo Meadows

Reading were at home to Sheffield Wednesday for their first game of the 2018/19 season. It was a fine day, so we decided to see what had changed since 2017 on the scenic cross-country route from the Whitley Pump to the Madejski Stadium.

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Heritage Open Days events 2019 in and around Katesgrove

Heritage Open Days (HODs) are celebrating their 25th birthday with an extended programme of events over ten days from 13 to 22 September. There are over 40 participating venues and events in Reading this year and you don’t have to go too far from the Whitley Pump for some of them.

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‘A Walk for Stanley’ by Peter Driver

The weir at Fobney Island

In July 2018, the multi-disciplinary artist Peter Driver set out on a three day pilgrimage from the Stanley Spencer Gallery in the village of Cookham to the Sandham Memorial Chapel at Burghclere. A Walk for Stanley is a travel diary that captures the journey in photos, sketches, woodcuts, sonnets and prose.

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Friends of the IDR respond to the RBC transport consultation

The Black History Mural and the IDR

The Whitley Pump asked Reg Vastern-King, chair of the Friends of the IDR (Inner Distribution Road), what he thought about the Reading Borough Council (RBC) consultation on transport strategy; he was not impressed. “I just don’t understand,” he said “how can you carry out a transport strategy consultation which does not even ask how you feel about the IDR?”

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Whitley garden wildlife in June

Jay with a monkeynut. Photo (c) David Turner

June was a very warm month; during the rainy days of mid-month the temperatures still held at a warm 20°C. On 1 June, the temperature reached 28°C and was the hottest day of the year so far.

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Wild about south Reading!

You can celebrate Reading’s nature, as well as the people and groups who contribute to it, at a series of events across town starting in late July.

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Whitley garden wildlife in May

Lucky escape for the squirrel. Photo: David Turner

May was a very bad month for predation in my garden, with cats catching blackbirds, pigeons, starlings and squirrels. I do get annoyed, but I would never harm a cat; it’s just a natural instinct on their part, and there is very little I can do to stop it.

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‘The Art of Trees’ at the Turbine House

The Turbine house at Blake’s Lock, part of Reading museum and next door to Bel and the Dragon, is worth a visit on its own; it’s a lovely spot and I could easily gaze out the windows at the waters of the Kennet flowing over the Borough weir.

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Whitley garden wildlife in April

A Whitley fox. Photo :David Turner

April temperatures in my Whitley garden reached as high as 30ºC and as low as -5ºC, the hottest and coldest ever recorded for that month; the average temperature for the month was 17ºC. We also experienced an afternoon hail storm at the beginning of the month that briefly covered the garden in what looked like snow.

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Councillor Deborah Edwards’ mayoral year in south Reading

Southcote councillor Deborah Edwards attended a considerable number of events in south Reading during her mayoral year. This is a pictorial record of just a few of them that the Whitley Pump was able to cover.

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