Thursday, 30 April 2015

SLM Digest 23-4-15

This is the Weekly Digest of Save Lea Marshes.  We are an open group of local people with the aim of keeping the marshes and green spaces in the Lea Valley area as havens of peace and tranquillity and space to enjoy for wildlife and people alike.  Found out more about our work from our website
BEE CORNER – we’re starting this week with the bee theme.  Two stories in the press – one in the Sunday Times (19.04.15) page 12 in the News Section,
 an article headed ‘Junk food’ wiping our bees – how pollen from crops such as oilseed rape may lack the key amino acids and other nutrients to keep bees healthy, demonstrating that a change of flora can seriously affect their health and that they need a good range of wild flowers.  The article states that a European Commission Study warns that Britain is one of Europe’s worst-affected European countries losing half its honeybee colonies since 1985. (That would seem to correlate with the massive increase in those unnatural looking yellow fields ..).  Second, in The Guardian (23.04.15), p.15   bees have further problems with neonicotinoids, nicotine-like pesticides, in the same way humans get hooked on cigarettes.  A major new survey has provided further evidence of the dangers of pesticide use.  “It is no longer credible to argue that agricultural use of neonicotinoids does not harm wild bees”, says Dave Goulson a bee expert at Sussex University.  Third, the local Waltham Forest Group of Friends of the Earth (who meet regularly every third Tuesday (more below in Events), is taking part in the Great British Bee Count, see their website for further details

ALSO IN THE PRESS – a shocking post Olympics story about the London Legacy Development Corporation not doing a proper legal check with the EC about changes to the main stadium, which might cost West Ham Football Team ‘millions’. The Guardian Sport Section, p.1 (23.4.15)
Another “Olympian” story is a feature by Rowan Moore in the New Review Section of The Observer,  pp.32-33  (19.04.15) on how London has (vanity) fared with Boris “The Town that Boris built”.
The Hackney Gazette has a story, p.2, by Emma Bartholomew (23.4.15)  about Dalston and conservation of key buildings which local campaigners are trying to get Hackney Council to designate as Conservation Areas.  Buildings include the Reeves Printhouse in Ashwin Street and the famous Peace Mural.
UP CHUCK DUCK – Some of you may have seen the recent advertisements from the Canals & River Trust, in the newspapers about the dangers of feeding bread (particularly white bread), to ducks and other river birds.  Most of us have done this thinking that it is helping the birds and it is one of those activities that all children seem to enjoy.  However, CaRT are seriously worried about the death of birds caused by getting unsuitable foods getting stuck in their gullets which can result in death.  The practice also pollutes the rivers.  So I’ve begun quietly having a word with people I see feeding the ducks in an effort to make people aware of the cruelty of their kindness.  To find out more the CaRT have produced a helpful video about what you can do to continue to feed the ducks healthily   There are better ways of getting rid of stale bread e.g. grate into bread crumbs and use as a topping for a tomato and pasta bake.
BUSKING HUSTINGS  - we don’t normally do little plugs for people, but in the case of Robin Grey, folk singer and “David Cameron’s Busker”, we’ll make an exception.  If you would like to support Robin’s crowd funding appeal go to
EVENTS – As mentioned above, Waltham Forest Friends of the Earth are currently concentrating on Meating (go meat free this month), Meeting and Bee-ting (bee counting as above).  You’ll usually find them at the Le Delice Cafe, Hoe Street, opp. Rose & Crown, every third Tuesday from 8.00-9.00 p.m.
Another reminder that the Vitality Run will be happening around the borough of Hackney on 10 May and up to 13,000 runners are expected in the event’s second year.  For more information on how to run or what to avoid (tick as appropriate), go to
Whipps Cross Hospital Crisis meeting is happening on Tuesday 28 April at 7.30 at The Ex-Servicemen’s Club, Leytonstone E11 3DB.
The Worker’s Memorial Day event also on Tuesday 28 April at 1.00 at Waltham Forest Town Hall, Forest Road E17.  This will be especially poignant due to the recent sad death of a construction worker who had been working on a building near the Baker’s Arms.
HUSTINGS – we can’t ignore it, there’s a lot of politicking going on – TUSC the Trades Union Socialist Coalition (not featured on the recent TV debates), will be at a meeting on Saturday 2 May at 2.30 p.m. at the Harmony Hall, E17.  Details of other political meetings are listed on Voluntary Action Waltham Forest’s website and in the local press.

Last, but not least, SLM’s regular fortnightly meeting will be taking place at

7.30 at the back of the Prince of Wales pub, Lea Bridge Road on Monday  27 April.

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