Monday, 20 October 2014



This is the Weekly Digest of Save Lea Marshes.  We are an open group of people from the Lea Valley area campaigning to keep the marshes open and green for the preservation and nurturing of wildlife and the enjoyment of people.  More about our work can be found on our

As we are now in the season of mellow fruitfulness, what is in the SLM basket this week?


This week’s dominant issue continues to be Hackney Marshes North Pavilion and the two car parks.  If you have already objected to Common Land Consent being given for “works to Hackney Marshes” and the building on current green space, please apply to attend, speak or send in a written submission explaining why you this the proposed loss of common land is not justified.  The inquiry will be held next year (no date at present) but you need to confirm your attendance by 15 October.  If you wish to speak, you will need to give a rough idea of how long you would like to speak for. There is still time to do this, if you haven’t already. Email: (all details on our website too)

We do not have a date for the Hackney Planning Committee where the issue will also be discussed but expect this to be soon.

Meanwhile opinions are still being aired on the issue. Jules Pipe, Mayor of Hackney has “piped up” by responding to our petition whilst not mentioning the two car parks planned (!) and directing people to the Council's justification here:   The letters page of the Hackney Gazette (p.18) features letters from Dick Caylor of the Camden Sunday Football League, who assumes that all other users are dog owners who litter the pitches and from Johnnie Walker, Chairman of the Hackney Football League, who now declares that he agrees with SLM on some points (hurrah!).

We've done our maths which proves the requirements of the sporting bodies and sports people can be accommodated on the existing footprint, with very little loss of useable space, not incur further destruction of the marshes and also be less intrusive on open views of Hackney Marshes.  We have never disputed that the old changing rooms are a disgrace and need to be replaced with modern facilities. We oppose the unnecessary large car parks planned on East and North Marsh.

ADDING UP ADIDAS – Few people who have gone across the marshes or travelled along Homerton Road could have failed to spot that the award winning “Rusty Box” has been covered by a huge orange and black sponsorship hoarding for a famous sports company, previously in the news for its use of sweatshops. The hoarding received permission on the basis it would be of far smaller dimensions and have faced the other side of the building - the car park!

The multinational has got in there ready for a big sports tournament this Saturday 11 October on East Marsh. Interesting questions have been raised regarding the reinstatement of East Marsh – does the sports tournament indicate that the reinstatement is complete?  If so, shouldn’t this mean that the car park then becomes unlawful according to previous arguments about the LLDC lease?  Hmm...

COUNTRY LIFE/STRIFE – it is a pity that the Lea Valley Regional Park Authority’s annualCountryside Live event designed to educate children from local schools on countryside life and care of nature, leaves Leyton Marsh looking such a mess afterwards – holes in the ground, litter and marks where stands and fences have been.  Not the picture that features in the current Hackney Today extolling its virtues.

Monday 13th October – Sustainable Hackney is organising the “Big Green Pow Wow on Air Quality and Transport Planning and Policy for Hackney”.  It will be held at the Arcola Theatre at 7.30 p.m.  Even if you can’t attend the meeting, you have until the 24 October to comment.  Details can be found via the Hackney Council Website and on Sustainable Hackney.

Saturday 25th October - 11am- 3pm Mabley Green Users host a 'Make Grow Do' Launch with local ecologist Annie Chipchase including a tour of the Tree Nusery and introduction to permaculture and forest gardening. Looks like an event not to miss ( if you can get over the sponsorship by the Olympic Park body, sigh).

The campaign to get London to be the first National Park City (mentioned in previous digests) is gathering pace.  There will be a major conference “Reimagining London:  What if we made London a National Park?” will be held on 24 February from 10.30 to 16.30 at the Purcell Room on South Bank.  Early bird tickets are available now on EventBrite.

We hear via our friends at Belair Park that the London Wildlife Trust (LWT) will be organising two Fungi Walks on Saturday 18th October and Sunday 9 November at Sydenham Wood, South London.  These are not foraging walks and will be led by experts.  Booking in advance is essential via or telephone 0207 252 9186

The next SLM Meeting will be on Monday 20 October, 7.30 at The Princess of Wales pub.  All welcome.

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