Monday, 11 May 2015

SLM Digest 7-5-15

This is the Weekly Digest of Save Lea Marshes.  We are an open group of people living in the Lea Valley area who strongly believe that the marshes and other local green spaces need to be saved and maintained for local people and nature.  Find out more about our work on our website

This week is a “bumper” issue – as I am not able to do the digest next week.

Well it’s the big Election Day – but for some in Hackney – as many of you will have already heard – there was a mess up with potentially thousands of people left without a vote, but thanks to hard work at the last minute, this has been reduced to about 50.  See full story p1 in the current Hackney Gazette
 Other local Hackney stories in the Hackney Gazette this week on p.9 “Frustrations over edible park delay” – more on the delay in starting the “all-weather” pitches and edible park on Mabley Green.  A council spokesperson attributes the delay to further soil testing of the former site of Blitz contamination.  This is the sort of contamination found on Leyton Marsh and North Marsh, Hackney (where Hackney Council wants to build a new sports pavilion).  More, on this topic below.  On p.15 there is a full page feature on the 175 Years of Abney Park.  Our fingers are crossed that future generations will be able to celebrate this too, without it being overshadowed by development.
NOT SO FAR PAVILION - In addition to going to the Planning Inspectorate in June (further details in the next digest), a slightly revised application for planning permission will be going to a future Hackney Planning Committee.  Plans (Application Number 2014/2582 for perusal should be displayed at the Ground Floor Reception Area, Hackney Service Centre, 1 Hillman Street E8 1DY (between 9 a.m. and 5.00 p.m. on Mondays to Fridays) or alternatively via Planning online   Responses need to be received by 12 May – so hurry! SLM’s opposition is that the pavilion should be built on the existing site of the Old Changing Rooms and not right in the centre of common land as proposed.

EDGELANDS – for those of you who didn’t hear the piece on Radio 4’s “Today” programme about “edge-lands” – the kind of land that exists in the space between developed and rural land, like much of the Olympic area –  featuring Rob Cowan on a site in Yorkshire.  Rob has written a book about Edge-lands  - something to look out for.
LEE VALLEY REGIONAL PARK NEWS – three items to report this week.  Firstly, there is a meeting at
11 a.m. on 14 May at the Waterworks Centre, Lammas Road (off Lea Bridge Road), E10 7QB to discuss the Lee Valley Regional Park Act 1966, Section 14 Draft Area Proposal on East India Dock and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park area.  If you would like to attend, please ring the LVRPA on
0208 898 at least two days in advance, or email via the website.  Secondly, there is the launch of the new newsletter “Musings from the Marsh” covering the Leyton and Walthamstow Marshes area it has some interesting articles on what has been spotted on the marshes, LVRPA news and events.  Thirdly, the next Workshop meeting which will be discussing (a )ideas for the art project and (b) Essex Wharf at 1-3 on 6 June at the Waterworks Centre (as above)
GLYPHOSATE – so good, the U.S. have been spraying it over Columbia to kill off the Coca crops (and any other crop in the way), for over two decades.. Story in The Guardian, p.24  about how the Colombian Government are now saying “No More”, following the findings of the World Health Organisation (as covered recently in the SLM Weekly Digest).  Following, reports of anything from skin rashes and respiratory problems, to diarrhoea and miscarriages,  the Health Minister and member of the Colombian National Narcotics Council which sets out drug policy says:  “It would be unacceptable, even from an ethical standpoint, to have this evidence on the table and not accept it”.  Of course there is the other view from the US Assistant Secretary of State for Counter-Narcotics and a former Ambassador to Colombia:  “There is not one single example of a person who has suffered damage from Glyphosate in Colombia in the past 20 or 21 years”.  Probably, because no systematic study has taken place..
Hedge Herbs are as active as ever – amongst on-going events are: 9 May 10-3 p.m. at the Hornbeam Cafe Veggie area, 458 Hoe Street E17 9AH there will be a plant sale; on 16 May from 10-1.00 p.m. there will be a session on Practical Pharmacy at Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park (booking is required for this).  Contact Rasheeqa at HedgeHerbs.
Forage London also has a new edition of its newsletter out with details of walks and courses, go to
A reminder, that the Vitality Run will be in Hackney on Sunday 10 May – if you don’t want to see it and keep out of the way, you might need to know that between 7 a.m. and 2.00 p.m. the following roads will be closed: Clapton; Homerton and Victoria Park.  Some bus services may also be affected.
PLEASE NOTE: SLM’s regular fortnightly meeting in the Princess of Wales, will not be a open event next Monday as planned.  There is some urgent work we need to do and it is likely (at time of going to press) that it will take place at a private address.  Normal service will be resumed for the following meeting.

And finally,  it has been a while since we’ve mentioned the “Assistant Editor” – my cat and desk accessory – this week she excelled herself by walking across my keyboard and coming up with a link to “50 Shades of Grey”...the  computer skills of cats are unfathomable.  

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