Friday, 8 April 2016

SLM Digest 4-3-16

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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A frosty morning on Walthamstow Marshes shared by @theRacingBear 

SLM Weekly Digest

Keep Our Marshes Open and Green!

We were sent a lovely email this week from a former marsh campaigner, reminding us that it is important to stress that the Hackney Marshes is not only Metropolitan Open Space but registered common land and that this can make a difference when stating our case to fight of developers.  He wrote about plans from the 1980’s to save Millfields (also common land) from being enclosed as a City Farm.  Nothing wrong with City Farms but reclaiming industrial space is a better option than fencing off our remaining open spaces. Most of the remaining open space at Mudchute City Farm has just been fenced off and padlocked...

It seems to be hard for the “powers that be”, to accept that city dwellers truly love their remaining open spaces, that these areas should be treasured and cared for as part of community life and not an adjunct to it.  There is a theme about this running effortlessly, through the digest this week:

GOOD NEWS AND.. –  SLM was delighted to hear this week from Hackney Parks & Leisure Officers that they have agreed to install electronically-operated stumps, rather than gates on East Marsh, where a wild area is to be planted to replace the car park.  This is to allow Council vehicles and mowers on to the site.  However, SLM are still concerned that vehicle use will cause damage.  There are two schools of thought about whether it is good or bad to disrupt the land/habitat by churning it up – some wild plants do like disrupted soil (e.g., Japanese Knotweed!).  Ian Holland, Head of Parks on seeing the photo we put in the digest last week says that the Council tries to vary its routes so that land doesn’t get damaged in certain areas in wet weather conditions.  I’m sure he means well in theory, but in practise this does not seem to be the case.  Vehicles are not sticking to the circular pathways but overshooting at the edges of the green and what used to be a lovely wooded area now looks like The Somme in 1914-18.
To get an idea of why soil should not get compacted see:

CANTERING ON – our SLM thorough-bred activist is still on the case of the behaviour of horse riders and whether they are adhering to the routes on the marshes, how the Lea Valley Regional Park Authority distinguishes reports and how it takes action when riders do not obey the rules.

IN THE PRESS – we are very pleased that we are ahead of the curve this time in being able to write about a forthcoming editorial meeting of the newly established Waltham Forest Echo on Tuesday 8 March in the Le Delice Cafe, 114 Hoe Street E17 4OR.  So if you have something you would like to see in this community-minded newspaper, now available on the streets, head along, or if you can’t, the deadline for issue 13 in April is 24 March.  Amongst the stories in the current issue 12 is:  “Air pollution fear halts school building for Walthamstow Primary Academy".

Further details see: or email WFEcho@social spider  if you have a story idea.

The Waltham Forest Guardian has a story about “Epping Forest councillors have approved controversial plans for a 50 foot 4G phone mast at Chigwell Village Green against local’s wishes (hope those councillors feel truly masterful!).

London/national stories “Build on Green Belt to Solve Crisis”, says a homeless charity Shelter, pp.1 & 4 Evening Standard Monday 29 February   (personally, think they are a bit misled about this one, as the kind of properties that would go up on green belt won’t be for people in greatest need judging by what else is going on at the moment).  The Times on Monday 29, p.7 has two stories, one about another culling of 50,000 badgers and another on the “Lesser spotted” hedgehog is a rarer sight than ever   Badgers may prey on hedgehogs but this obviously doesn’t account for the loss of both species. There's only one species that can tragically impact so many other species and sadly we belong to it!


We recently covered the “walks and talks” being offered by a PhD. Student, about the memories and experiences of Walthamstow Marsh.  Siobahn is now extending into a 6 week series of workshops (barring Easter), at The Mill,  7-11 Coppermill Lane E17 7HAfor age 55 “plussers”, involving  exploring memories of the area, story- telling, writing and culminating in a performance on the Marsh and exhibitions at The Mill.  If you would like to get involved contact via email: or phone 07989519522

CPRE London have changed the location of the launch of their report on green belt and metropolitan land, this will now take place at The Gallery, 70 Cowcross Street, EC1M 6EJ at 9-10.30 on Wednesday 9 March.  They have also announced that Zac Goldsmith (Con), will be joining ex-deputy Mayor Jenny Jones and other party representatives. Free tickets from:

If, you have been wondering when the next LVRPA Workshop would be taking place – fear not, we now have news of one being held on Saturday 30 April from 13.00-15.00 at the Waterworks Centre, Lea Bridge Road.  Topics will include an update on the Underpass Art Project.  Eammon the new southern ranger also brings news of other events such as David Lindo (who sometimes can be spotted on BBC “Springwatch” and ”Countryfile”, is giving a talk on birds “Tales from Concrete Jungles” on Sunday 13 March from 2.00-4.00 p.m. again at the Waterworks.  For details of these and other events go to   There are also more volunteering opportunities on offer including this Saturday 5 March from 10-15.30 p.m., planting of trees and shrubs by the Ice Rink and a spring clean on 16 March from 10.00-3.00 p.m. again by the Ice Rink on Lea Bridge Road for details of volunteering go to
Eammon the man is also on twitter


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