Monday, 26 May 2014

SLM Weekly Digest 25/4/14

This is the Weekly Digest of Save Lea Marshes (SLM) - an open group of local people in the Lea Valley area dedicated to keeping the greens truly green for the benefit of ensuring there is a future for our wildlife and a healthy living environment for local people to enjoy and learn from.
Well, if we can take our minds away from the "cliff-hanger" in "The Archers" yesterday - will Tom truly ditch Eco- Kirsty at the altar and leave the pigs behind as he "finds" himself - or is it really a ruse to get more listeners ... we will find out tonight!  However, down our way in the marshlands instead of the Glebelands, there are other stirrings.  What's fallen off the Fergusson Tractor (Archer's listeners will know what I'm talking about), this week.
ICE-RANKLES - we've been discussing a complaint from a Hackney resident, close to the Lea, about that dammed annoying hum from the Lee Valley Ice Rink.  The thing that is well past its sell by date and shouldn't be there on Metropolitan Open Land in the first place.  More complaints are likely to come from future residents of Essex Wharf, which are going to be really close.  SLM is following up on this issue.
OH MOW!  The LVRPA has recently cranked out some "feedback" from its last two "Workshops", concerning the mowing regimes on Leyton Marsh and Coppermill Fields.  Firstly from the 14 December 2013 meeting: where they will be following the majority of principles of the London Wildlife Trust (LWT) recommendations, that the land will be "scarified all over and seeded to encourage a flora diverse sward" (in layperson's terms the land will be raked and planted with diverse wildflower seeds).  If this doesn't work then the alternative will be to "strip away some of the turf and re-seed".  Now, dear readers, contrast this with the statement that:
"Both the LVRPA and the London Borough of Waltham Forest are satisfied that the STRI (the company that got the contract for laying the turf), adequately delivered the works that they were contracted to deliver."  I am loathe to ask that if this is the case, why, according to the LWT survey, is there such a lack of floral diversity currently existing on Leyton Marsh.  Lack of fulfilment of promise made by the STRI cannot be directly due to the natural occurrence of weather alone.
The LVRPA goes on to say( in justifying its mowing schemes, which currently include mowing in June), that under the Park Development Framework, Leyton Marsh is identified as an "events" space and it is felt that allowing a longer swathe (of grass)is in conflict with this amenity.  However, whilst they propose increasing the amount left longer as meadow grassland, this does not really solve the conflict with local people's desire to see the space left to nature.  The main event is the LVRPA's own annual "countryside" event (though it has been known to host church events, which arguably could go elsewhere).  This also highlights another potential problem re. the LVRPA's new Trust, which may see this site as commercial rather than pastoral.
Feedback from the February meeting (keep up it is only the end of April ..), we read that "June cuts will be replaced by a combination of special early cuts.  This will provide a mosaic of grassland habitats benefiting a wide range of flora and fauna .. to provide a buffer to the Walthamstow Marshes SSSI.   This is opposed to the current June cut that "removes the maximum biomass to produce .. diversity i.e.. to provide overwintering for invertebrates ".  Confused?
CAMPAIGNS -  Get your ire in gear for the following:  A Glyphosate Consultation Survey is being organised by PAN European see, with forms that need to be returned to DAR   This is the stuff, that SLM have been campaigning to get of Hackney pavements and housing estates.
Fracking - anyone who saw the desolate scenes of Fracking in America on the news this week and was horrified, think of what this means to a country as densely populated as Britain and to certain ancient forests that are on the list.  Do not sleep, Mr. Cameron is trying to change the law so that fracking can take place without permission and deal with trespass (that's lawful campaigning to
 us).  Greenpeace wants at least 200,000 signatures for its campaign see 
London Cycling Campaign are also wheeling out a campaign timed for the local elections for safer cycling in your postcode area.  In E5 it is getting a safer Lea Bridge Roundabout for cyclists.
Save the Top of the Hill is a campaign being supported by our friends at Belair Park.  The latest newsletter runs a story about how a Chinese entrepreneur's plans to restore Crystal Palace, would effectively eat up most of his personal wealth.  The message is beware all that is Crystal is not gold - the likelihood of this edifice being built on MOL land masks the deeper intentions of development and shopping malls.  You are urged to raise this matter with your M.P.  A threat to one piece of MOL land in this current climate is a threat to all.
MUSHROOMS - a programme aired last night on BBC4 about the fascinating and diverse life of spores -  called "The Magic of Mushrooms" is well worth checking out on the IPlayer 
First up is the E List Walthamstow event as part of the "Eat or Heat" Spring Fair.  This will take place tomorrow Saturday 26 April at St. Mary's Welcome Centre, opposite St. Mary's Church, Walthamstow Village from 12.00 to 8 p.m.  SLM will be there along with a wide diversity of organisations active in Walthamstow ranging from E15 Pop Up to The Mill to The Vestry and music and other community groups.  Its a chance to find out what others do, and to chat and get to know each other.
On 18th June, at the Buffalo Bar, 259 Upper Street, N1, the Orgreave Truth & Justice Campaign in association with Philosophy Football (who have also got a special T-shirt out), are hosting a fundraising event for the campaign.  A variety of music, poetry and comedy acts on offer, including Attila the Stockbroker and speakers such as the NUM's Dave Douglass and Jack Monroe, the culinary campaigner.  Advanced booking essential £9.00 (or £20 in solidarity), with 100 per cent of takings going to the campaign. 
Hackney Hustings - the "Hackney Citizen" are hosting a "Question Time" panel event this Sunday 27 April at the Arcola Theatre in Dalston to question local candidates see  Booking essential
Next SLM Meeting is at The Princess of Wales, Lea Bridge Road, 7.00 on Monday 5 May - somehow, we've landed on another Bank Holiday but at least we'll be near the river bank ...

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