Go on a day out to help save an East London asset

marshes: By R Lea N of Springfield Pk Stoke Newington Lon N16 2012 © david.altheer@gmail.com

FEARS that big money is going to ruin the marshes on the northern edge of Hackney have inspired a rally and walk.

Save Lea Marshes (SLM) is asking those who love the area to join a Walk for a Wild Marshes on Sunday 1 September 2013 to show support for retaining the marshes as wild places.

SLM claims the lower Lea Valley is under increasing threat of development and inappropriate use from the authorities.

The walk will start at Leyton Marsh, site of the Olympic basketball-training venue, which campaigners say has still not been appropriately restored. The walk will include some of the best-loved spots on the marshes and some that are under threat of enclosure, development or destruction in both Hackney and Waltham Forest.

Caroline Day, of SLM, said: “The concern before and during the Olympics was that areas on the marshes that had been used on a ‘temporary’ basis would not be restored to how they were .

“This fear has been borne out. The aim of the walk is to illustrate how much the community cherish their free access to the marshes and appreciate London’s vital green lung.”

Hackney resident Kev Dovey said: “The walk is important to show people the areas potentially affected by proposed development.”

Julian Cheyne, of Tower Hamlets, added: “The marshes are a vital resource for all East Londoners. The authorities seek to manage and monitor them in ways that reduce their wildness and uniqueness in order to make money out of them.”

Walthamstow resident Abigail Woodman said: “Being able to spend time in open green space is essential to a person’s physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

“Yet all over London, we are seeing those charged with managing green spaces on our behalf enclose them and build on them.

“We have to show the powers-that-be that we are not prepared to stand by and let them take our green spaces away from us.”

Hackney council said that it was one of six local authorities to receive “up to £420,000” from the Greater London Authority’s Big Green Fund for “eco-friendly infrastructure”.

The £6.5 million Walthamstow Wetlands project would “build upon the work  of regeneration which has transformed the area in and around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park into one of Europe’s largest public green spaces”.

Hamish Scott

* Walk for a Wild Marshes starts at Lea Valley Ice Rink on Sunday 1 September 2013 at 1.30pm, finishing at the WaterWorks Centre Campsite Café, Lammas Road, Leyton E10 7NU. You can go in fancy dress: a prize will be given for the best nature costume.

* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained.

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One thought on “Go on a day out to help save an East London asset

  1. I see Hackney council is again banging on about the Olympics Aftermath Park being transformed into “one of Europe’s largest public green spaces”. London 2012 tried to make out this was the “largest new urban park in Europe for 150 years”. At one point London 2012 referred even to “200 years”.

    This barefaced lying still takes in the media, although the language has moved on to the rather vaguer language employed by Hackney, which has further muddied the waters by adding “in and around” the Olympic Park. Considering the damage done by the Olympics to green spaces around the park such as at Leyton Marsh, East Marsh, Wanstead Flats and Drapers Field, this is outrageous.

    The Olympic Development Authority (ODA) refused repeatedly to provide any verification of this claim in response to Environmental Information requests, saying it did not consider it was obliged to do so. It also said it did not have a list of parks with which to compare it.

    The ODA also quibbled about the definition of the park but refused to provide definitions for other parks with which it might be compared. There are, of course, lots of far bigger parks all over Europe, and the recently completed Greenford and Northolt Countryside Park in West London is bigger.

    The ODA eventually came up with the absurd answer that the Aftermath Park was a legacy park because it would be created “after” the Games, which meant it was the largest park created in Europe after an Olympic Games.

    More on this can be found at http://www.gamesmonitor.org.uk/node/1337

    * It’s true that high-powered publicity operations can give unrealistic views of situations and Loving Dalston has to represent all sides of an issue in as balanced a way as possible. Your clearly stated view is therefore welcome. Incidentally, another marsh story is being worked on. — Ed.

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