Sunday, 27 July 2014

SLM Weekly Digest 18-7-14

This is the Weekly Digest of Save Lea Marshes a group of local people trying to keep the marshes and other green spaces as a priority area for wildlife and for people to enjoy such a space.  Welcome to new people on the mailing list.
On line discussion and news circulating this week includes:
PETITIONS CAN WORK - sometimes it feels like a losing battle when petitions seem to be ignored.  However, this week two glimmers of hope.  Firstly, Climate Change Denier, Owen Patterson gets blasted out of the Department for the Environment, perhaps influenced by the 65k plus petition organised by Greenpeace.  Not wanting to rest on laurels (or other shrubs) Greenpeace are urging people to email the incoming Minister Liz Truss, to meet with chief climate change scientists.  You can add your voice at  Secondly, the Government has curtailed its plan to privatise the Land Registry, having received a petition of over 100k signatures.  As mentioned in previous digests, this could have not only been a possible privacy threat to property owners but also be detrimental to environmental campaigners.  We will await to see if this plan re-emerges in the next Tory Manifesto.
GIVE IT A TRY - on the subject of campaigning we would like to urge everyone on our mailing list to write a letter of complaint to the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA) about its plans to put a hoggin path on Leyton Marsh.  When the London Borough of Waltham Forest, voted through planning permission on 1 July, it was mainly on the misunderstanding of the Planning Committee thinking that this would provide better buggy and wheelchair access for users of the marsh.  SLM disputes this, not because we don't want to welcome all people to the marshes but because this particular path is not a "through" path - it is a path to moorings which the LVRPA have effectively privatised.  We are also concerned that a substantial amount of habit will be cut back and the current earth path will be replaced with the hoggin - a combination of clay, gravel and sand, not that good for wheeled vehicles or to walk on but harmful to the ecosystem in an area that is a "site of special scientific interest and a site of metropolitan importance for nature conservation and as such should be protected.  So we urge you all to write to Shaun Dawson, CEO of the LVRPA at  to stop them from putting this path down.
LVRPA TRUST ANNOUNCEMENT - We have heard that the chair of the new Lee Valley Leisure Trust - a body specifically formed to deal with the sports, recreation and leisure facilities of the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority  (in essence, with apologies to Vegans - the meat on the bone).  The Chair will be Del Goddard, Director of Urban Futures, a regeneration company and former Cabinet Member for Regeneration.. at the London Borough of Enfield.  He was, until recently, Enfield representative on the LVRPA.  Four other board members are due to be appointed.
BOLLARDS - SLM has contacted Hackney Council about the loosening of the bollards at Hackney Main Marsh.  This is where a group of Travellers drove onto the marsh and did some damage earlier in the year.  We don't want to see more vehicles drive on to the Marsh.
GLYSOPHATE - an SLM member has complained to the Canals and Rivers Trust about suspected use of Glysophate on Kings Head and Princes of Wales Bridges.  Response is awaited.
49 - this is the significant number of people that the LVRPA consulted about the proposed Rubbish Sculptures on Leyton Marsh.  No one in SLM who has attended the Forum or Workshop meetings, seems to have been asked.  An SLM member sent an FOI about the openness of the selection process for the artist.  We are told that this is part of an on-going process of work, that the artists confidentiality has to be respected and that financially this can be sanctioned by officers without being expensive enough to go through committee.  Never-the-less it would have been nice to have seen some democracy in inviting tenders at work.
MAKING TRACKS - two items of railway related news.  Firstly, an SLM supporter and Local resident has written to the London Borough of Waltham Forest about the delay in the plans to revive the old station on the Lea Bridge Road.  Apart from funding, there also appears to be a problem with Japanese Knotweed on the old station platform... Secondly, we have been informed by a local blogger from South Tottenham that major track work and a junction from the planned Crossrail 2, could affect the marshes and a local park.  The Consultation Process is open until 25 July. see  This looks alarming!
BUTTERFLIES - the charity Butterfly Conservation hopes that thousands of participants will take part in the Big Butterfly Count - spending 15 minutes in parks, gardens etc. over the next three weeks to log sightings.  It is reckoned to be a good year - so get out there and spot.
AND BEES - Go on to the BBC IPlayer and listen to the programme aired this week on Radio 4 A Letter to the Bees if you missed it.
Waltham Forest Civic Society (aim:  "To preserve the best and improve the rest in Waltham Forest"), will be having a meeting, with speakers and discussion to look at the scope for increased community ownership of pubs, other buildings and green spaces.  This will be taking place on Thursday 24 July starting at 7.15 at the Hare & Hounds pub, 278 Lea Bridge Road, E10 7LD  Please bring a pen - there will be an opportunity to sign a petition for the pub itself to become a community asset.  There will be good food on the menu too.
The campaign to try and get London's green space registered as Greater London National Park is holding an informative coffee morning at Camley Street Natural Park, 12 Camley Street N1C 4BW on 27 August at 10-12 midday.  There will be a further campaign meeting in September.  For further information contact Daniel Raven-Ellison  RSVP to attend. 
Our friends at Friends of Belair Park tell us of a Great North Wood Walk happening on Sunday 3 August running from 12 - 4. p.m.  This is being jointly organised by London Wildlife Trust and Friends of One Tree and others.  Meet at Honor Oak Park.  Further details see 
In the sole interest of promoting better mowing regimes in the Lea Valley Area - I am adding in that the LVRPA are organising a three day event which includes a scything workshop (£5 and needs to be booked via, and other free events over three days, such as picnic from 1st-3rd August see www.h-a-y-s-t-a-c-k-s.net08456770600 

Next SLM meeting - the next scheduled meeting will be substituted for an SLM team to take part in a quiz at the Crooked Billett in Hackney for fundraising and social purposes.  We'll confirm the date of the next open Monday meeting but it will probably be 11 August at Princess of Wales in Hackney.

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