Friday, 8 April 2016

SLM Digest 25-3-16

Save Lea Marshes is an open group of  local people concerned to keep the marshes and green spaces of the Lea Valley open and green for wildlife and local people.  For further information go to

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Spring on Walthamstow Marshes shared by @Ms_Asifa on Twitter

SLM Weekly Digest

Keep Our Marshes Open and Green!

What a week!   Firstly, the terrible events in Brussels.  I am sure we are all united in expressing sympathy and solidarity with the people of the city but we should also be wary of the corresponding losses of freedom that we could all face as a result.  Secondly, things that have been rocking and rolling in Parliament following the Budget and Iain Duncan Smith’s resignation; a bit of a result but judging by Cameron’s all too real impression of Flashman from “Tom Brown’s Schooldays” during Prime Minister’s Question Time in the Common’s yesterday. We still have a long way to go in righting the wrongs of this government!  It has also been a busy week locally...

EDIBLE BEGINNING ON MABLEY GREEN - This week community planting of an edible orchard began on Mabley Green and, unlike the expensive Astro-turf pitch, this orchard will be open to all. It is hoped local young people will be encouraged to explore the orchard and eat more fresh fruit. Read more here:

MUCKING ABOUT ON THE MARSH –  a geotechnical engineering company (the same firm that worked previously on the Olympic site), was seen on Monday, drilling on Hackney Marshes and putting in gas pipes to test the amount of gas and taking soil samples.  This was on the site of the planned Pavilion and likely to be a sign of works progressing quicker than we’d hoped.

HOUSE ON PARARIE  -  a spacious three bed house with front and back gardens (next to the travellers permanent site on the east side of the main Hackney Marsh), has been noticed as sold on  for the relatively low (by current Hackney standards) price of under £600,000.  There would seem to be plans a foot to remove the house and put in a four storey block of nine flats.  This is on Common Land but the house mysteriously does not appear on the 1970 Common Land Registry Map, which shows the whole of the eastern corner of the Main Marsh up to the road and the River Lea.  We’ll need to follow up on this story.

PESTICIDE FREE – SLM and other local organisations attended a first meeting to campaign for a pesticide/herbicide free Hackney – follow @Pan_UK and the hashtags #PesicideFree #Hackney.  News just in is that Brighton and Hove have voted to make their borough completely glyphosate free! Read more here: Folk in Waltham Forest are also active in trying to keep the streets chemical free.

CAMPAIGNS OF THE WEEK – London Fields Cycling Consultation.  Hackney LCC are backing Option 1 for the new road traffic management scheme.  The consultation closes on Sunday 27 March and details, background documents and the survey can be viewed on the Hackney Council website.
Further information from

SLM are members of the 150 year old Open Spaces Society, which  has a current crowdfunding campaign to try to stop Formula E car races happening in Battersea Park.  They fear not only the effect on the park but also future commercial large scale events in local parks elsewhere.  You can pledge your support here:

NEVER HAS SO MUCH BE PLANNED TO SERVE SO FEW -  CPRE (London) have launched their report concerning the threats to Green Belt and Metropolitan Open Land see for the full horrific details of the increase in protected sites being given planning permission - a double in the amount of green space lost in one year.  Also the latest bulletin features how there is more planning in London than ever before...

IN THE PRESS – locally, the Waltham Forest Guardian has a story about a man found burnt to death on Hackney Marshes; a picture feature entitled “Are these the ugliest buildings in the borough?” and for once a story of developers losing a battle to turn a pub into a block of flats   Stories in the Hackney Gazette this week include: p.2 “Thousands face loss of sunshine and light”  Report slams £800m Bishopsgate skyscraper plan; News Focus pp.4-5 on “Plans for dangerous junction slammed in the wake of crashes” at Stamford Hill;  “Public Loo in ‘village hall’ bid to raise £70k to revamp toilet block into a community centre on Clapton Common.

Nationally: The Guardian Tuesday p.2 “Carbon releases are at highest since age of dinosaurs, say experts and on p.10 National Section “Brilliant British Butterlies have worst year ever”;  on Wednesday p.8 National section “Double blight threatens to kill all Europe’s Ash Trees" and on p.23 Financial Section “Hinkley Point Secrecy battle to be resolved by tribunal” and on Thursday p.22, National “EDF refuses to set start date for Hinkley Point C".


Last of the winter workshops from the Tree Musketeers on Easter Saturday 26 March from 10am-1pm at Hackney Tree Nursery; Sunday 27 March – new tree planting work on Hackney Marshes at 10.30am and go first to the Tree Nursery at 10am to pick up equipment.  Saturday 2 April there will be potting-up of baby trees from 10am –1pm again at the Tree Nursery.  Further details from

Also on Saturday at 11am. over on Mabley Green there will be a chance to mulch the trees that were put in last week (sadly information came in about this after the digest had gone out) but there will be another opportunity on April 16 when there will be another Big Dig to put in more fruit trees and bushes.
Meet at the Conservancy Road side entrance in Hackney.


Happy Holidays to all – stay well, safe and green!

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