Be snap happy this spring

At last, it’s starting to get a bit warmer and those endless grey, dreary days appear to have given way to bright spring mornings and lighter evenings.

AT LAST, it’s starting to get a bit warmer and those endless grey, dreary days appear to have given way to bright spring mornings and lighter evenings.

And as the daffodils and crocuses finally come out to play, so things are livening up on the river, too.

To start with, my good friend Jill Stephens and her colleagues from Spelthorne Civic Pride are organising a litter-pick this coming Sunday (March 28) along the banks of the Thames at Laleham and would welcome any volunteers willing to lend a hand.

If you’d like to help keep this beautiful stretch of the river looking pristine, just show up at the first car park past Ferry Lane on Thameside, Laleham at 10am.

Jill says: “We’ll provide plastic bags, gloves and litter pickers for everybody who turns up along with a coffee and a hot cross bun at the end which will be at around 1pm.” Sounds like a good deal to me. The Civic Pride people do a huge amount of good work to keep our borough looking lovely and usually manage to pick up between 50 and 100 bags of rubbish between Ferry Lane and Chertsey Lock. Just imagine what the place would look like if they didn’t do this on a regular basis…

IF YOU’RE interested in photography but would like to learn a bit more about the art, why not sign up for the next Richmond Venturer photography day which will take place on Thursday, April 1? The trip – which is aimed at both the able-bodied and disabled – starts from the Venturer’s home dock in Kingston and provides would-be snappers with a wide range of photographic opportunities with expert guidance from professional photographer John Frye.

The Venturer is an historic barge that has been specially converted by the River Thames Boat Project to provide access to the river for people who do not normally get the chance to visit it. It’s an excellent charity and well-worth supporting.

The cost for the day is  £110 but that includes lunch, refreshments and lots of feedback and discussion about your pictures. It’s a really good day – my wife went on the last one and has been raving about it ever since.  If’ you’d like to know more visit

FOLLOWING my article about the removal of trees on the banks at Weybridge, I was taken to task by a couple of readers who said there were ways to treat the problems affecting horse chestnut trees without resorting to cutting them down.

I raised the point with the Environment Agency, which has responded: “Thanks to your readers for providing this information. We take advice from the Forestry Commission and, in this case, a number of trees were removed to prevent already dead branches of diseased trees falling.

“However, we are always pleased to hear from members of the public and would be happy to discuss this further with your readers if they would like to get in touch.” The best person to contact initially is Sarah Sharpe who can be emailed at

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