Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Hackney Marshes Development - Inspector's Decision

The Open Spaces Society,(1) Britain’s leading national pressure-group for common land,(2) is pleased that plans by the London Borough of Hackney to site a car-park on Hackney Mashes (East) have been refused, but concerned that a pavilion and car-park on Hackney Marshes (North) have been allowed.  The Planning Inspectorate has determined applications for these works on common land, on behalf of the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,(3) following a public inquiry in June.
The objectors to both applications included the Open Spaces Society, the Hackney Marshes User Group, the New Lammas Lands Defence Committee, the Save Lea Marshes Group, Sustainable Hackney and other organisations, as well as local residents.
The inspector, Susan Doran, has decided that the East Marsh car-park would harm the landscape and public access to the area, and therefore she refused it.  However, she considered that the pavilion and car-park on the North Marsh are consistent with the use of the marshes for traditional pastimes and team sports and she has granted consent.
Says Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the Open Spaces Society: ‘We consider that all these developments should have been rejected as they will blight this lovely green space.  The pavilion and car-park on North Marsh will be ugly and will only serve a limited sector of the public whereas the common should be freely enjoyed by everyone.’
Notes for editors
1          The Open Spaces Society was founded in 1865 and is Britain’s oldest national conservation body.  It campaigns to protect common land, village greens, open spaces and public paths, and people’s right to enjoy them.  This year it celebrates its 150th anniversary with the hashtag #saveopenspaces150.
2          Common is land subject to rights of common, to graze animals or collect wood for instance, or waste land of the manor not subject to rights.  The public has the right to walk on all commons and to ride on some. 
3          Before any works can be constructed on common land the applicant must obtain the consent of the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (via the Planning Inspectorate).  In the case of London commons the consent is sought under article 12 of the Ministry of Housing and Local Government Provisional Order Confirmation (Greater London Parks and Open Spaces) Act 1967.
CONTACT:  Kate Ashbrook     01491 573535 (work)
                                           07771 655694 (mobile)
Kate Ashbrook
General Secretary
The Open Spaces Society
25a Bell Street
Henley-on-Thames RG9 2BA
tel 01491 573535, mob 07771 655694
The Open Spaces Society is a registered charity (no 1144840) and a company limited by guarantee, registered in England & Wales (no 7846516).
Celebrate our anniversary and help
us continue our work


SLM Digest 31-7-15

SLM Weekly Digest

Keep Our Marshes Open and Green!

Here's where the text of the digest goes...

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

We have to start this week with the really sad news of al young man from Clapton who drowned in the River Lea and extend our heartfelt condolences to his family.  A memorial has been set up on the bridge by Leyton Marsh.  Jack Susianta  (17), following what seems to be an uncharacteristic outburst at home, was being pursued by the Police, when he jumped into the water.  There is now going to be an investigation as to why the Police rescue attempts took so long.  The full story is reported in the Evening Standard 30 July, p7 Further coverage is also in the Waltham Forest Gazette 

LOVE PARKS WEEK - politicians and the public are being urged to "do everything they can" to protect London's green spaces, following a London Councils report suggesting that parks funding had been cut by 18 per cent in four years - which could rise to 60 per cent by 2020.  Love Parks Week events, backed by  Keep Britain Tidy and features events in green spaces across the capital.  See Evening Standard p26, 29 July,


Other stories this week include:  "Council slammed for taxi PR stunt", p,1, Hackney Gazette  criticism over Hackney's attempt to extend its survey and project called "A Place for Everyone Project" - the biggest every discussion about the borough by interviewing people in a special taxi - if you live in Hackney and have not received your survey (only one per household), go to o  In the Waltham Forest Guardian there is a story about a proposal for new designer street furniture for Leytonstone.  The GLA are putting up funding of £20k with the designer raising another £5k to provide places for people to sit, enjoy plants and play board games in the street.

WASTE NOT/WANT NOT ... following initial consultation in 2013, consultation is now taking place to get people's views in seven boroughs about the draft North London Waste Plan.  To find out when the workshops and open meetings are in your area (from July to September) go to or    Workshops have to be booked but evening meetings are open.

THE MILL - the community centre which took over an old library in Coppermill Lane, Walthamstow is celebrating its fourth year.  It is putting out a call for more volunteers, friends and help with fundraising.  If you think you could help go to
Earth First Summer Gathering - from 19-24th August in the Peak District.  Five days of skill sharing for grassroots, ecological and direct action groups and preparation for the forthcoming Paris Climate Change Summit in Paris see
Gone Wild Herbs are inviting people to join them at their pop up Herbal Health Bar in the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden in Dalston, E8  Free sessions are from 6.30-8.30 on Thursdays and lengthier workshops are scheduled for Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. until September 17.  Tickets for these cost between £15 and £30 (sliding scale).  More details from
Next SLM meeting - Monday 3 August at the Princess of Wales pub at 7.30 - new people always welcome.
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SLM Digest 23-7-15

Sent: Thursday, 23 July 2015, 15:47

SLM Weekly Digest

Keep Our Marshes Open and Green!

Here's where the text of the digest goes...
Keep it simple!

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

Hi - firstly, apologies to all who did not receive the digest correctly last week.  If you did receive it, you would have known that I was making my virgin journey on to Mail Chimp.  Having negotiated the system, I then managed not to send it to myself first and did not want to forward it on from someone-else's address.  Please bear with me, as I'm learning.  At the moment I appear to have two heron symbols instead of one.  If I don't manage to eradicate the second, just think of it as successful breeding!

This week I wanted to start off with an update on some of the things that SLM are working on post the exhaustive process of the Planning Inquiry on the Hackney Marshes Sports Pavilion plus car parks (no news yet!).  Apart from keeping a weather eye on developments such as the plans for the Ice Rink and re-opening of the Lea Bridge station (and subsequent likelihood of development), we are monitoring such issues as local glyphosate use (e.g. particularly its use in areas such as the Middlesex Filter Beds nature reserve), and looking at doing more campaign work in cooperation with others on this.  We are also monitoring grass cutting regimes and whether gates on Hackney Marshes are being left open, when they should be shut.  We are also getting towards increasing our marketing materials and planning an event in September in memory of Katy Andrews (date to be confirmed).  Please let us know if there is anything that concerns you about the marshes.

FRIENDS BRIDGE - those of you who have been out walking, running, jogging, cycling on Hackney Marshes recently, would have come across a barrier across the bridge (it is the red one), as it had been damaged by fire.  We know that people were still accessing the bridge despite its condition, as the barriers put there were insubstantial and there was only a notice at the bridge itself of a long detour to Cow Bridge.  We can now report that the bridge has been patched up.

A GOOD EXAMPLE - whilst Hackney Council and the Lea Valley Regional Park Authority are still using Glyphosate despite the latest World Health Organisation's warnings - we hear that Waltham Forest Council has at least agreed to stop using it see 

IN THE NEWS - distressing attacks on women on the marshes last Wednesday (certainly there were more police than usual in the area over the weekend).  Coverage in last week's Waltham Forest Guardian and in today's (23 July), Hackney Gazette p.8 which reports that two men have been arrested in connection with the incidents. Not by any means the most important thing to say about this story, but just to note that the photo used to accompany the article is rather an old one and some distance from the area in question.  In its continued coverage of air quality, the Evening Standard on 21 July p.6, has an article headed "Jowell:  We should monitor pollution at buggy level to show risk to babies"   In this week's Private Eye, Waltham Forest appears again in the "Rotten Boroughs" column concerning £82k + a legal bill of £50k to cover costs the council incurred by failing to protect staff and public from asbestos p.16, 24 July,  The poor citizens of Waltham Forest are also facing huge expenditure cuts with more likely see   Also featured on line is news of a proposed plant for construction waste at Hasling Wood near the M11, which would pollute the green belt, local homes and a nearby hospice, as well as increase traffic.  Essex Council is carrying out a public consultation.

CONSULTATIONS - other consultations underway in Waltham Forest are the plans for
the St. James Street area, which includes a plan for a women's centre.  The deadline to respond is end of July via
or email
Waltham Forest are also seeking views to inform a future Youth Policy (closing August) see

The Mill are organising a bring-your-own-breakfast community get-together on Sunday 26 July.  Coffee, tea & milk available with a small donation, from 11.30 to 13.00., 7-11 Coppermill Lane E17 7HA
Last chance to book an Urban Ecology Tour at Mabley Green, Community Garden, Lee Conservancy Road E9 5N also on Sunday 26th from 2-4 p.m. to book email
Open City (formerly Open House), is organising the Archikids event with art, play activities and exploration of some of the City's architecture this weekend 26-27th.  For further information and an interactive venue tour
Next SLM meeting:  3 August at 7.30, Princess of Wales, Lea Bridge Road E5.  All welcome.
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SLM Digest 9-7-15

Sent: Thursday, 9 July 2015, 18:19
Subject: Save Lea Marshes Weekly Digest #July

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SLM Weekly Digest

Keep Our Marshes Open and Green!

This is the Weekly Digest of Save Lea Marshes.  We are an open group of people living in the Lea Valley area committed to keeping local marshes and green spaces free of potential building threats and in good condition for wildlife and local people to enjoy for generations to come.  To find out more about our work please see our website

From an unofficial, noisy, damaging and out of control music and quad bike event in North Millfields last week, this week, thankfully, is relatively quiet (so far) news-wise in the area...

IN THE PRESS -under cover of the budget, the Tories are trying to put the clock back on the decision to ban fox hunting.  David Cameron is planning to hold a vote on relaxing the foxhunting ban next Thursday, in a move that is likely to be successful only if the Scottish National Party decides not to take part in the debate.  The prime minister will stop short of offering a vote to repeal the ban, promised in the Tory manifesto by offering a (so called), compromise solution in which hunters could use a pack of dogs to flush out foxes before shooting them.  Coverage p.13 & p.32 of The Guardian 9 July 2015

Full Redbridge Council debate over controversial high rise housing of up to 12 storey (reduced from 15 – usual developer’s trick!) in the central area of South Woodford.  The South Woodford Society achieved the necessary 1,500 signatures in a petition to the council.

Leyton Festival Organisers involved in Transition Leytonstone are facing a shortfall of £15,000 in their funding for a festival with over 170 events.  They acknowledge cuts in Council spending but say more should be spent in the community rather than Waltham Forest Council’s own extravaganzas.

PETITIONS OF THE WEEK – the London Borough of Hackney are planning to change the Wick Road in E9 from a one-way to a two-way system, narrowing footpaths and removing the cycle lane and creating more road traffic (and pollution).  Consultation closes on 11 July.  To sign the petition against,  go to:

or for more information go to

Over in Waltham Forest – the digest reported a few months ago – about the plans for a women’s centre in St. James Street – for more information go  or see the consultation details  at
Further afield Team 4 Nature has a rallying cry for help to save an area in Halesowen see

The first-ever arts and culture festival in Higham Place, Walthamstow, has been brought together by the community, Xylonite Arts  and Higham’s Park Planning Group - Arts and Cultural Group is underway from 9 to 26 July.  There are more than 50 artists and businesses involved, with exhibitions and events including the Fete on 11 July from 11- 4.00 p.m.  Further details

If you fancy a trip across The Thames, the London Wildlife Trust have a number of events happening in the Sydenham Hill Wood and surrounding areas in South London from 3 to 19 July  they are also conducting a stag beetle survey see

Get in touch with nature and help wildlife by making a forest garden and learn more about low-maintenance poly-culture.   This is a qualification course, which takes place Monday 12 July from 9 a.m. at Finsbury Park Nursery, Green Lanes.   To book:  07733330379.

NEXT SLM MEETING – MONDAY 22 JULY 2015 at the Princess of Wales pub, Lea Bridge Road, E5.  All welcome. 

SLM Digest 2-7-15


This is the Weekly Digest of Save Lea Marshes.  SLM is an open group of people living in the Lea Valley Area seeking to keep the marshes and other green spaces, development free and thriving for many years to come.  For more information on our work see our website

This is a quick edition, as I’ve got friends staying...

THEY PAVED PARADISE AND PUT UP A PARKING LOT - shocking new statistic that says if you added up all the parking space in London it would cover Zones 1 and 2

MARSHLIFE – following on from the recent E book about the saving of Walthamstow Marshes in the 1970’s, SLM have heard from a long-time campaigner for the marshes that there is more information about the campaign and a map that can be found on the London Natural History Society website

DUH OF THE WEEK – this week’s new award goes to Gareth Thomas MP, who has suggested that the Glastonbury Festival should be moved to London if the capital wins a bid to become European Capital of Culture in 2023.  He suggested either Hackney Marshes or Epping Forest.

IN THE PRESS -  a big feature in “The Observer” The New Review Section on “London the City that Ate itself” by Rowan Moore pp.10-13  a review of what has already gone and what is likely to go – some of our best loved city experiences ...

Letter of the Week in the “Hackney Gazette” p.10,  Jenny Jones AM Green Party Group, writes about supporting the campaign for London to be a National Park City.
Next SLM meeting will be at the Princess of Wales pub, Lea Bridge Road at 7.30, all welcome.  We’ll be discussing the recent Planning Inspectorate process and gearing up for future work concerning the Ice Rink and organising some fun activities.

Good news about Lancashire Councillors voting against Fracking ... 

SLM Digest 13-8-15

Sent: Thursday, 13 August 2015, 16:59
Subject: Keep Our Marshes Open and Green

Hackney's Marshes Important for wildlife
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SLM Weekly Digest

Keep Our Marshes Open and Green!

This is the Weekly Digest of Save Lea Marshes - an open group of people living in the Lea Valley area - concerned that the local marshes and green spaces of the area remain open and green for wildlife and people now and in years to come.  We also take a keen interest in environmental and housing issues which affect people locally.  To find out more about our campaign go to

If there is a theme this week, it has to be energy sources.  Since the 2015 election the Conservative Government has demonstrated further moves away from supporting green and alternative energy sources and towards, nuclear, fossil fuels and the big energy corporations.  Here are some of the stories and information on fight back initiatives.

FAST TRACK FRACK - The Guardian's front page today, 13 August, "Act quickly on fracking or we will, ministers tell councils".  Under new guidance, councils will be given a deadline of 16 weeks to approve or reject fracking operations or the Government will intervene.

DIVEST - news of local campaigns to urge local businesses in both Hackney and Waltham Forest.  Divest Hackney is a new organisation aiming to get Hackney organisations, starting with Hackney Council and its pension funds, to divest investment in fossil fuels.  There is a petition
in Waltham Forest, the Divest Waltham Forest campaign is being organised between Waltham Forest Friends of the Earth, and Go Fossil Free.  Waltham Forest FoE are forgoing their usual third Tuesday meeting and are instead organising a special meeting to launch and help shape the campaign on Wednesday 19 August at 7.00. p.m. at the Heathcote Arms pub, 344 Grove Green Road (near Leytonstone station).  Open to all.  Further information from
GARDENER'S HACKNEY -  the Hackney Gazette, p5, has an article on a new "Pocket Park" for the Daubney Road area.  The new community growing area was featured as part of the annual Chelsea Fringe event and is also featuring in an exhibition of pocket parks until August 28 at the GLA, City Hall.  Another Hackney community garden - the Dalston Curve Garden, also played host to Radio 4's "Gardener's Question Time" last Sunday, with representatives from The Curve, Growing Communities, Hackney Herbal and the Tree Musketeers - with panellists visiting one of TM's sites, interviewing Russell Miller. p.6.
You can also still hear the programme on IPlayer.  (SLM supports pocket parks but let's not let all our parks be pocket-sized!)  Other stories in the Gazette of interest are also on p. 6 "Campaign launched for farm".  As funding cuts bite and  Lottery Funding comes to an end, Hackney City Farm is looking for creative methods to keep the farm open and free.  Finally, "Victory in the battle to tackle bookie blight", gambling firms will now find it harder to open new betting shops, after a change in the national planning law is adopted by Hackney Council,   Could this be extended to Estate Agents .....?

EVENTS - the Tree Musketeers (as heard on Radio 4's Gardener's Question Time above), have a busy maintenance programme set for future Sundays - from 10.30 to 2.00 p.m. (unless otherwise stated).  Volunteers are invited to water and tend trees (no experience necessary) on:

Sunday 16 August at Hackney Downs (meet by Bowling Green)
Sunday 29 August at the Tree Nursery, Homerton Road
Sunday 13 September at Hackney Downs
Sunday 26 September at Springfield Park (meet at the orchard)
Saturday at 12.00 for a cycle ride around planting sites from Springfield Park Orchard to Spring Hall, Millfields, Hackney Downs, Daubney Fields ending up in the Tree Nursery around 2.00 for food an a bonfire (or go straight to the Nursery).  Bring Food to share.  More information from

Next SLM meeting Monday 17 August at 7.30 at the Princess of Wales pub, Lea Bridge Road E5.  All welcome.  Amongst the things we'll be discussing are a walk with a new Lee Valley Regional Park ranger to point out the things we are concerned about on the marshes, e.g. grass cutting regimes and further planning for an event to remember Katy Andrews on Wednesday 23 September at 6.30.
Copyright © 2015 Save Lea Marshes, All rights reserved.
You signed up for this email by contacting us directly or ticking a sign up sheet on a petition.

Our mailing address is:
Save Lea Marshes
c/o The Hornbeam Centre
458 Hoe St
Walthamstow, London E17 9AH
United Kingdom

The Lea Valley Heritage Alliance Group

The Lea Valley Heritage Alliance Group
22nd May 2015
Re: London’s Lea Valley Heritage
For some time now The Lea Valley Heritage Alliance Group has been trying to establish a joined up strategy to celebrate the regions heritage of national and world significance.
You may or may not be aware of the fact that the region has over one hundred industrial first achievements. Nowhere in the world can this be matched.
Some of you as the regions stakeholders might already be celebrating some of these many achievements, however, some of you might not.
The Lea Valley Heritage Alliance Group has also been for some time now trying to have this important story recognised, but for a number of reasons to-date that has not been possible.
However, with your support as the regions stakeholders we can achieve our aims and objectives.
We are therefore pleased to announce that a meeting has been arranged and will be held at the London Legacy Development Corporation HQ Level 10, 1 Stratford Place, Montfichet Road London E20 1EJ on the Thursday 9th July at 10.30, to discuss various ways how this can happen.
At the meeting you will also be able to find out more about Britain’s Best Kept Heritage Secret.
The meeting will finish at 1.00.
You are therefore cordially invited to attend this meeting.
Due to limited seating space please reply ASAP to avoid disappointment.
Please respond by email or call 07930 662252
A map of the venue will be sent to you.
I look forward to your reply.
Thank You
Mr. Lindsay Collier MA

Lea Valley Heritage Alliance Group

London National Park

London National Park

SLM Digest 5-6-15

Sent: Friday, 5 June 2015, 19:02
Subject: Save Lea Marshes Weekly Digest

Whilst the marshes are fruitful, we can't say the same for objecting with common sense to Hackney Council...
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SLM Weekly Digest

Keep Our Marshes Open and Green!

5th JUNE 2015

This is the Weekly Digest of Save Lea Marshes.  We are an open group of people in the Lea Valley area trying to keep the marshes and green spaces in our area open and free for all and to ensure that wildlife and people alike have a places to enjoy and hand on to future generations.  For more information about our work carried out entirely on a voluntary basis, please see our website

We hoped against expectation that Hackney Council wouldn't vote through the plans for the North Marsh Sports Pavilion on open green space and car parking on North and East Marshes at the Planning Sub Committee on Wednesday evening, but of course they did.

We were arguing that, although we are in no way opposed to the construction of improved facilities for sport, the proposed location and design of the pavilion will needlessly and severely impact on green open space, removing it from public use forever. Some councillors asked some very good questions but were fobbed off with some very poor responses from officers and associated consultants.  For example, when asked how the number of car parking spaces were arrived at, the reply was: “we came up with a number of parking places per player”, but gave no detail as to what this formula was or how it was applied.  The Chair of the committee also made it clear that the car park should not be used by anyone outside of sport playing hours – so will be exclusive.  This means we will be forever losing green space in order to locate private car parks on both North and East Marsh, displacing changing rooms on to presently grene space. There is coverage in both The Hackney Gazette (page 4) by Emma Bartholomew about the (then forthcoming) planning meeting and the Planning Inspectorate inquiry later this month

And coverage after the planning committee decision in the Hackney Citizen
including ongoing comment from those supporting the proposals and those against.

If we can take away any positive outcomes from this experience, it would be the inaccuracies and general poor quality of the research informing the planning report; the Council failing to demonstrate that the present proposals were the only and best way to provide up to date facilities for sports players on Hackney Marshes - a point we will be taking up most strongly at PINs.

Bizarrely enough we were handed a leaflet outside the meeting by supporters of the application, objecting to development in Redbridge on the basis it would destroy pitches on green belt land, 'endanger' residents with traffic hazard and 'build on a green area that reduces pollution'. Well quite! See p.18 

TRIANGLE  - whilst Hackney Planning Sub Committee were meeting, over in Waltham Forest at the same time, the Lea Bridge local borough forum was hearing that Network Rail were permanently closing off the King Alfred’s Triangle area of the marshes (which some of us thought might be taken over by LVRPA ..).

PETITION OF THE WEEK – our friends in the Belair Park Campaign have sent us news of a petition to stop Southwark Council from clearing trees and historic gravestones in order to make space for new burials in Southwark Woods.  The campaign recognises this is a sensitive topic but wants to save the wildlife area.  To find out more or sign the petition go to

VOLUNTEERING – If you live in Waltham Forest and would like to nominate someone for a volunteering award, nominations will close on 12 June 2015 and the ceremony will take place at the town hall in September.  There are five categories including under 25s; over 25s and volunteering as a team and the award judges will be looking for exceptional service and those who have achieved a great deal of improvement though volunteering.  For -further details contact or go to

EVENTS   the Tree Musketeers Spring Programme continues to provide some healthy outdoor exercise that will benefit the environment including:  Sunday 7 June at the Tree Nursery, Homerton Road E9 10.30- 2.00 p.m. baby tree car and also a plant sale (shrubs such as currants, holly, thorns) ; Saturday 13 June at Well Street Common E9 come help with trees and shrubs there and on Saturday 28 June its Abney Park Bio Blitz.  All events are free.  For more details go to

July 14 – there is a special launch event for the Greater London National Park proposal at Conway Hall, Holborn WC1.  This is coming hard on the heels of the good news that the London Assembly voted unanimously to back the project and this might lead to wider support from the GLA.  To find out more or contribute to the crowd-funding campaign go to

Other reminders –  this Saturday afternoon 1-3 p.m. at the Waterworks for the LVRPA workshop meeting – your chance to find out the latest proposals and make your views heard or you can head off on a bike to one of four  “Beating and Bicycling the Bounds” trips from 2pm onwards ending up at the Ferry Boat Inn details from or

Next SLM meeting – 7.30 at the Princess of Wales, Lea Bridge Road – all welcome.  We’ll be girding our loins and sharpening our rapiers for the PINS Inquiry starting on June 16 at 10am at the Stoke Newington Assembly Hall, Stoke Newington Church Street N16 – so if you can, do come and support us.

SLM Digest 28-5-15


This is the Weekly Digest of Save Lea Marshes.  We are an open group of local people concerned about keeping the marshes and green spaces of the Lea Valley Area for the current and future benefit of wildlife and local people.  For more information about our work, please see our website
Firstly, a correction relating to last week’s digest.  The LVRPA workshop meeting is on SATURDAY not Sunday 6 June at the Waterworks Centre, Lea Bridge Road E10.  The agenda will include the Art Project for the Lea Bridge Road underpass and Essex Wharf.  Thank you to sharp eyed readers!
GIANT HOGWEED – this year’s crop spotted growing in the Nature Reserve, north of the fig tree at Middlesex Filter beds – sparked off a lively, on-line debate about invasive species and the rights and duties of landowners under the Wildlife & Countryside Act.  Section S.14 of the Act states that:  “It is only unlawful to wilfully plan or ‘cause it to grow’ in the wild.  DEFRA give no explicit obligation to manage invasive species not introduced into your land by your own actions”.  Conversations also included other species that have appeared on the marshes such as Ragwort (injurious to horses), and broad-leaved and curled docks (which I’m sure, most of us have used to ward off the itch of a nettle).  Readers will remember that other invasive species, Japanese Knotweed, which has been given as one of the causes of delay in reopening the Lea Bridge Road station.

IN THE PRESS - “Private Eye” has two stories of interest in this week’s edition (29 May-11 June), on page 39 – “Flop failure” on doom-mongering that a plague of flea beetles will devastate the UK’s production of oil seed rape. The National Farmers’ Union has asked the government to be excused from the EU-wide ban on neonicotinoid pesticides. Despite similar claims last year, however, figures show that UK (and French, German and Polish) farmers produced a bumper crop.  (Bee lovers note that going against the ban, would be a double whammy for the bees, not only the pesticides but also oil seed rape itself, can be harmful to bees).  The second story on page 13 about the outgoing Mayor of London, (three jobs Johnson), ditching his involvement with two mayoral developments, one of being the previously ‘all important’ London Legacy Development Corporation and its controversial Olympic stadium football plans.
In Waltham Forest this week – the  web page has a report by Zoie O’Brien on fundraising for a legal challenge against the “Mini-Holland” bicycle scheme through Walthamstow, Leyton and Leytonstone by a group called E17 Streets 4 All.  The objection is centred on a stretch of Walthamstow “village”.  There is also report on the latest news concerning the long-running campaign to restore the EMD cinema.
Over in Hackney, the “Hackney Gazette’s” front page story by Emma Bartholomew under the headline of “Horror over canal ‘spaceship’ plans, on the planning application to build a futureistic seven storey building off Orsman Road, opposite Kingsland Basin, which will result in the loss of residents homes, workplaces and be potentially damaging to local wildlife.
Hackney Residents – should receive along with their regular mailing of “Hackney Today” – a questionnaire from the Council, inviting views about the way the borough is changing and how it is affecting you.  This is also on-line at or  Presumably this gets around the conundrum of one survey per household?

ON AIR – NuSound Radio 92 FM features a broadcast with Mike Knowles, author of the Kindle book on saving Walthamstow Marsh – listen at

Wednesday 3 June at 6.30 – Hackney Planning Committee – on the agenda is the report concerning the plans for the Hackney sports pavilion and associated car parks on North and East Marsh.  Open to the public to attend.  The public can also attend the Planning Enquiry starting on Tuesday 16 June at 10.00 at Stoke Newington Assembly Halls, 186 Stoke Newington Church Street N16, where SLM will be putting forward its case against the current proposals.
Saturday 30-Sunday 31 May from 2.00-6.00 p.m., Hedge Herbs will be taking part in “Gone Wild” at the Herbal Health Bar at the Dalston Eastern Curb Garden, 13 Dalston Lane, London E8 3DF – lots of workshops, art events etc., to enjoy.  Also n on Sunday 31 May, Hedge Herbs will be taking part at an Organic Lea open Day at 115 Hawkwood  Crescent, Chingford, London E4 7UH, on the edge of Epping Forest.  Further details on these and a host of other events contact Rasheeqa on 07784 506 494 also on Facebook and Twitter @TwitteringHedge
Saturday 30 May, 2.00-3.45 p.m. Horticultural Hackney Walk (free), retrace the footsteps of gardeners and nursery men from Shoreditch and Hoxton from Tudor times to the present day.  Among other events being promoted by
6-7 June and 13-14 June, next door to the William Morris Gallery, Forest Road, Walthamstow, work resulting from last year’s “Hidden Voices Event” (attended by some SLM members) about what influences people to get involved in social action).  Further details
Saturday 6 June 2.00 p.m. onwards (one of those days when lots of things are going on..), if you fancy a cycle around Waltham Forest , there is the “Beating and Bicycling the Bounds” event with four different routes on offer concluding at the Ferry Boat Inn late afternoon.  For further details go to the joint organisers Waltham Forest Cycling Campaign or Walthamstow Historical Society  or contact 
Wednesday 24th June from 6.30-10.00 Sustainable Hackney will be having its AGM and also a Green Fair with stalls at Dalston Curve Garden, Dalston Lane E8.  For information and to apply for a stall go to

Next SLM meeting will take place at 7.30 at the Prince of Wales pub, Lea Bridge Road.  All welcome.