Thursday, 30 April 2015

SLM Digest 26-2-15

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What have you spotted, other than workmen, on the marshes?
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SLM Weekly Digest

Keep Our Marshes Open and Green!

This is the Weekly Digest of Save Lea Marshes – a weekly roundup of news, stories, events and inklings going on in our local green spaces and neighbourhoods in the Lea Valley area and anything happening elsewhere that is of interest to the Save Lea Marshes group – which originally formed to save Leyton Marsh and now campaigns for keeping the Lea Valley in the best condition for nature and local people to enjoy.  Found out more about our work by looking at our website

A KINGLY SIGHT IN THE WOODS - One of our members spotted a kingfisher on Walthamstow Marshes in the wooded area and a day later a pair of greater spotted woodpeckers on Hackney Marshes. So keep your eyes peeled on your walks!

LVRPA WORKSHOP MEETING – following the attendance of the new Lee Valley Park, Green Spaces Manager, Alex Farris at one of our recent meetings, we felt encouraged that at last the views of local people might be better listened to.  We were further encouraged by the first of the new style workshop meetings for a while last Sunday.  The attendance was reasonably good, despite lack of notices on the new notice boards (which SLM members mentioned).  Topics included: the Horseshoe Thicket on Walthamstow SSSI and the coppicing regime and other wooded areas on the map (we pointed out that Leyton Marsh was not marked on that map); the idea and prototype of a new quarterly newsletter temporarily called “Musings from the Marshes”, which was generally welcomed( but again we pointed out that Leyton Marsh should be included in the heading); and a discussion on horse riding on Walthamstow Marsh – which staff present agreed to follow up with the Riding Stables; the monies set aside for Leyton Marsh improvement and a proposed Art Project.  Other topics were also included and I’m pleased to report that other folk present, who are not known to be SLM members made some comments which made similar points to the ones we are constantly raising.

FILTER BEDS – last week we reported paving work going on in the Middlesex Filter Beds and the debris, dumped near the Old Pavilion on Hackney Marshes.  This week the work has continued – the rubble was cleared by last Sunday but one of our members reported that contractor vehicles were going along the Filter bed paths – where people walk – far too fast.  After complaining to the new LVRPA Green Spaces Manager, an immediate reply was received that this would be monitored.

VIGILANCE -  one of our members went on an organised walk last week (previously mentioned in the Digest), where local people were invited along with London Borough of Waltham Forest representatives, the Chair of the LVRPA and the local MP Stella Creasy.  Ms Creasy is really trying to get to grips with all that is going on in the Lea Valley part of the borough, involving the marshes, the future of the Lea Valley Ice Centre; the proposed reopening of the Lea Bridge Station, the Lea Bridge Road, the Mini-Holland cycle route and the likelihood of further development in the area particularly the ClancyDocwra site.  Her postbag is full on these topics, and likely to get fuller.  With the pressure to build more housing, we all need to be vigilant and SLM will be continuing to keep abreast of developments.

IN THE PRESS – stories to check in this week’s Waltham Forest Guardian include further coverage of the controversial plan to knock down a Council Estate in Leytonstone (the Fred Wigg and John Walsh Towers), and replace them with private housing.  In a meeting this week organised by Focus E15, a housing expert described the scheme as one of the worst he’d ever seen.   Over in Hackney, in Hackney Today p.5. (also in the Hackney Gazette) has coverage of the Bishopsgate proposal, with a campaign, unusually supported by the Mayor, against a 48-storey luxury development, which threatens to plunge parts of Shoreditch into darkness. Hackney Today also has a page devoted to the East and West Bank Nature Reserve, between Dunsmure Road and Stamford Hill, flanking the railway line, where volunteers have turned a dumping ground into a valuable haven for wildlife.  Other articles which might be of interest are: plans for Hackney Bike Super Highway the CS1 from Stamford Hill via Stoke Newington, Dalston to Hoxton, which is now up for consultation until 29thMarch.  The plans include pedestrian improvements too.  You can find out more   For those of you following the rise and fall of Woodberry Down Estate, the Hackney Gazette has details of a film showing and photography exhibition focused on the Woodberry Down Estate which runs until Saturday at the Peer Gallery, 99 Hoxton Street.  The film is on Friday at 6.30pm.


Those of you not averse to travelling to Camden might like to go to the Free Garden Party - with live music, free hot food and fundraising for urban good growing as well as spiced cider to celebrate orchards.  Organised by Alara Foods and The Urban Orchard Project  it will take place at 108-112 Camley Street N1C 4PF (beside Booker).  RSVP viaFacebook for a free cotton bag full of goodies at the event which is happening this Friday 27th February from 4-8 p.m.

The Tree Musketeers are running a whole series of workshops and events – some need to be booked in advance, others just turn up.  The first few of these are:  Saturday 28 February – Springfield Park Tree Workshop from 10am -3pm. Please Book (only 4 places left) at  Sunday 1 March – Guided Tree Walk at Springfield Park – meet at 2pm at the Whitehouse Mansion Cafe – free 90 minute walk, no booking required.  Tuesday 3 March, Woodland Maintenance Workshop at Abney Park, N16, 10am -3pm, please book.  There are lots more ways to spring into action, go to

Cultivate Festival – “Three Acres and a Cow” – an historical folk music event on the history of land rights will take place at the Asian Centre, Walthamstow on 26 March.  Information and tickets £5 plus £1 booking fee on line at

Or £5 from the Hornbeam Centre, E17 9AN.

The LVRPA are organising a Community Haystack Meeting (discussing ideas and preparing for the event) on Sunday 15 March at 11. a.m.  Book a place (for numbers), via or get further information from or see
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