Tuesday, 24 November 2015

SLM Digest 20-11-15


This is the Weekly Digest of Save Lea Marshes – an open group of people living in the Lea Valley area campaigning to keep the local marshes and green spaces free of unnecessary development and left in good condition for nature and for present and future generations.

This week is – budget edition (without Heron).  I have been on a workshop today to help balance my time more effectively and as a consequence haven’t had so much time to produce the weekly update.  Such a modern dilemma!  SLM’s meeting agenda and on-line communications this week have mainly concerned:
·       Dialogue with Hackney Council on the plans to remove the car park from East Marsh and “wild the space”.  We’ve been working with other local groups on this, such as Hackney Marsh Users Group and are broadly in agreement over what we would like to see done, with the exception of whether the current access gates stay or are replaced by smaller-scale pedestrian access gates.  There are pros and cons on this but SLM’s view is that vehicular access should be discouraged and that the access point is not ideal in the approach to the road.
·       Horseshoe Island – we discussed the re-appearance of boats mooring and people not respecting the land there at our last meeting and propose to write to the Canals and River Trust and get them to come to a future Lee Valley Regional Park Authority workshop (if the LVRPA agree to this), to look at a better way forward.  This is an issue which has been around the block a few times, so we’re giving it another go!
·       Pursuing an Freedom of Information inquiry with Transport for London over transport and parking issues resulting from the Planning Inspectorate process in June.  TFL is “dragging its feet” in coming up with a response, promising a letter by 7 December....
·       We are also continuing to draw attention to Tree 46 on Hackney Marshes which is scheduled to be eradicated and replaced by a car park and the surrounding trees which might have their roots affected so do follow us on Twitter @treefortysix
BEES ON THEIR KNEES -  I heard on Wednesday’s Radio 4 “Today” Programme, an explanation on the negative effect of Nicontinoid pesticides on honey bees – it effects the reproduction of honey bees, with the hive compensating by creating more worker bees.  This news followed on from an article in the Sunday Times last Sunday 15.11.15,p25. http://www.sundaytimes.co.uk  “New crop protection is the bees’ knees” – about factory farmed bumble bees that could be deployed to deliver pesticides to crops, protecting plants including strawberries, apples and rapeseed from fungus – basically by having a tray of pesticide powder that the specially designed hives would have at the entrance for the bees to walk through before they fly out.  I can see big flaws in this plan – it sounds like another misguided attempt to interfere with nature and rapeseed fields, which are reported to have bad effects on bees....

IN THE NEWS – this item just missed last week’s Weekly Digest but is worth mentioning in case anyone missed it in last Thursday’s “Evening Standard”, 12.11.15, “Let’s build on green belt..” an article presenting the rise of London house prices and the rise of commuters coming into London and saying that some of the green belt could be spared for housing,  to reduce the numbers of commuters http://www.standard.co.uk/business/let-s-build-on-green-belt-to-squeeze-on-commuters-a3112971.html
Personally, I didn’t buy this argument – commuters would still have to travel and building on green belt would be more luxury houses at unaffordable prices. 
In the Sunday Times, p.30 15.11.15 “So this is our grand Olympic Legacy”, by Dominic Laswson – an interesting piece veering from the recent Olympic drugs scandal to the statement that “to my complete lack of surprise, the London Olympics did nothing at all to attract children into athletics”.   Worth a read http://www.sundaytimes.co.uk/comment
This week’s “Hackney Gazette” has a number of housing/planning related stories.. on page 1 “Council’s new build sell off fear”, about rare new social housing that might have to be sold off  if the Government’s Housing and Planning Bill is passed; “Skyscraper shadow cast over Shoreditch” – on the protest last Sunday,p.p.4-5; “Residents locked out of road plan meeting”, residents had to be addressed in the street as the booked room was too small.. this concerns the Hackney Council plan to close off 16 roads in London Fields, p.7 and more on the borough’s school building plans which involve offsetting costs by incorporating private housing into the plans “New generations ‘short changed’ by school proposals.. p.15 www.hackneygazette.co.uk/news
Dalston Curve Garden – winners of the best local cultural place in Hackney in 2005 by “Time Out”, have activities celebrating a Festival of Light.  On Saturday 21 and Sunday 28 November there are free (just turn up) events for children and all to make lanterns out of fruit and veg. (you are requested to leave the lanterns behind) and on Tuesday 24 November and 1 December, there are paper shadow lanterns to be made..  Winter opening hours for the Curve Garden are Daily from 11.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m., Saturday open from 11 a.m. until 11.00 p.m. and Sunday closing at 10.00 p.m.  There are also wood-fired Pizzas on sale at weekends.   Further information from
Sustainable Hackney’s upcoming events include “The Big Fix” event on Saturday 21 – find out more at
http://sustainablehackney.org.uk/ and click events, they, SLM (look out for our banner), and Green Peace will all be at the Climate Change March on 29 November.  Greenpeace are producing a “march kit” – if you would like one contact team.uk@greenpeace.org.uk by this Sunday.  Greenpeace will be meeting at 11.30 at the Wellington Arch on the morning of the March.
Next SLM meeting will be on Monday 30 November at the Princess of Wales pub, Lea Bridge Road, Hackney from 7.30.  All welcome.

And finally .. SLM received a tweet from @help 4 Hedge.. about being hedgehog aware when digging compost etc.

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