This is the Weekly Digest of Save Lea Marshes - a group of local people, who formed in response to the building of a "temporary basketball training facility" on Leyton Marsh as part of the Olympics in 2012, and now continue to try to keep Leyton Marsh, surrounding marshes and other green spaces in the Lea Valley as green as possible, with priority for nature and the enjoyment of people. We have an active website www.saveleamarshes.org.uk which includes a shop page, with a growing range of items to raise money to support our work.
Topics that have been discussed by email exchange, are mentioned in the media and generally around that concern our area this week include:
PESTICIDES - previous coverage in the Weekly Digest has mentioned two types of the various substances that chemical companies, farmers and municipal authorities are intent on spraying us all with. One of these Neonictionoids, is featured in a "Guardian" report (Thursday 10 July, p.13), describing how a new Dutch study shows that 95% of the toxin spreads beyond crops and is considered by this study to be one of the biggest contributors to the loss of birds and bees during the period of 2003-2010.. This article is well worth reading in full. Meanwhile back in Hackney, the Mayor after receiving evidence from the Glysophate campaign is sticking to his view that, the quantities of Glysophate and its well known brand name "Roundup", used are not sufficient to cause a threat. The campaign will respond. Authorities always stick to the status quo e.g. "The Guardian" article quotes a Defra spokesperson "Pesticide use (in) Europe is tightly regulated ... (pesticides) are a safe, effective and economical means of managing crops. We continue to review evidence on neonicotinoids." I remember my Gran, who along with others from that generation, for years had a Flit Gun and a roll of sticky paper hanging from the ceiling in her home to keep flies at bay. These contained DDT and are now banned.
LITER-ARTY - An SLM member sent a complaint to the Lea Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA), about the lack of consultation and use of ODA licence money (forthcoming from the Basketball Training Centre building scheme), for sculptures featuring litter on the marshes at a cost of £3,000. The LVRPA sent a reply which pointed out that ODA funds were agreed to be split between community projects, a mural art project (already completed) and habitat enhancement projects, now in process. However, the LVRPA's own report (20 June 2013, which refers back to a previous report of 15 December 2011), states that: "Income of £73,000 from the ODA to projects in the area and following consultation with the user forum, the forum agreed to outreach and engagement works over a three year period, including an arts project (my highlighting), guided walks/talks and volunteer activity sessions. Further habitat enhancement will be subject to further consultation at the forum following the results of the flora surveys currently underway." Now it might seem pedantic, but as the Forum, was disbanded and replaced by Workshops (without consultation), and there hasn't been one since March (the next one is in September), it is an example of how the word "consultation" gets misused.
A couple of SLM members braved the traffic to head to the LVRPA's AGM yesterday. Unfortunately, we got stuck in said traffic and missed the beginning. However, we were in time to catch the CEO's glowing presentation to the committee, who seemed most animated when it came to discussing how the cafés at the post-Olympic venues had improved, since the LVRPA took over. Other notable points included, how complaints had gone up; website visits had increased (could these be connected?) and how the team was doing more consultations with users (throat and stick..). The Chair also said it was a shame that the Environment Agency and the Canals and Rivers Trust, hadn't sent anyone. No mention of the public!
MOORINGS - we hear that following a request from a Waltham Forest citizen, the Walthamstow MP, Stella Creasy, will be visiting Leyton Marsh soon...
ORIENT WAY - the London Borough of Waltham Forest has replied to a stage 2 complaint about the clearing of vegetation here, saying that it was managed in "accordance of its Open Spaces Strategy". However, it did not mention that the complaint specifically mentioned that the works were carried out during the bird breeding season and that this is against the law. The borough's Open Spaces Strategy, also refers to the Marsh Lane area as being one of its bio-diverse areas - ho, hum!
NEW OLYMPIC LEGACY CHIEF - this week's "Hackney Gazette" "Parklife insert", tells us that there is to be a replacement to Denis Hone, the current Chief Executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation" in September by David Goldstone, CBE, an accountant, currently Chief Financial Officer at Transport for London. Mr. Goldstone has previous (experience) having played "a major role" in delivering the 2012 Games. There is also a feature on new art on hoardings around the Chobham Manor development, influenced by the "Bayeaux Tapestry".
VOLUNTARY ACTION WALTHAMSTOW - we have been updated on current funding, training and events from this excellent and supportive Council for Voluntary Action. One event from this source are included below.
EVENTS - Walthamstow Village Fete will be happening on 2 August 13.00-18.00 at Orford Road, Walthamstow. Further information from Walthamstowfestival@gmail.com or phone 0208 223 0707 - there will lots of stalls, art etc.
St. John's Church Fete is this Saturday from 1.00 to 5ish. at St. John's Church, Hackney. This is always a lively local Hackney event.
The Community Tree Nursery, with the Hackney Marsh Users Group, Hackney is organising a walk, talk and a bit of hands on work session on Sunday 13th July from 2- until Tea Time at the Tree Nursery. Bring picnic (water and tea will be available) and wear suitable clothing.
Next SLM meeting is at the Hare & Hounds pub, on Lea Bridge Road, Leyton at 7.30 p.m. All welcome.