Monday, 28 November 2011

Lighting Winter Nights in Millfields

Excellent news.  British Waterway's responded quickly to our campaign to get the lights on the riverside walkway under Lea Bridge working. Local resident Alice (@Alicebijou) was first to spot they'd come on this evening and twittered enthusiastically how they'd transformed the area (thanks Alice for the heads-up).

Our next campaign is to restore the lighting scheme for the 'Friendship Tree Sculpture' by the towpath on north Millfields. This public art work was commissioned as part of a range of environmental enhancements promised when the  Latham's Yard development was approved by Hackney Planning Committee.

Children from Southwold Primary School worked with Free Form Arts Trust to develop the concept (more detail can be found at: Friendship Tree Sculpture )

The strong responses of local people range from delight to dislike -a marmite tree!

We like the (admittedly harsh) contrast between the abstract silhouette of rusted bent metal sheets contrasted against the natural setting  of the plane trees of Millfields. This seems to to us make even more sense in winter when the trees are now so bare.

Like the Lea Bridge walkway handrail, the lighting was installed, but has (as far as we know) never worked. We've written to the developers Wimpey to ask them to rectify this. We'll let you know how we get on.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Saving the Lea

As part of its ‘Love the Lea  - Save the River’ Campaign, Thames 21 held a water quality training session today with volunteer testers. The session, held alongside Markfield Park, was to show them how to monitor the Lea for pollution and be a part of the river’s early warning system.

Monday, 21 November 2011

The riverside walkway under Lea Bridge Road

Back in the Spring, we did a posting about the work British Waterways were then about to do on the walkway under Lea Bridge Road to replace and upgrade it in time for the London 2012 games [Walkway upgrade]. As part of that work, British Waterway (BW) put LED lighting into the handrail. However, the walkway remains in darkness (we're not sure it ever worked). We think BW did a really good job improving the walkway, but it is a pity the lighting on the handrail isn't working, particularly as the nights are much longer now. It would certainly improve safety for both pedestrians and cyclists using the path in the evening / early morning. We've written to British Waterway to try to find out what the problem is and when it can be rectified. We'll let you know when we get a response.

Image credits: James Newton Photographs / DW Windsor Lighting D W Windsor Lighting

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Millfields to lose its pastoral character

It is disappointing that Hackney Council is pressing ahead with its ill thought through path through the orchard on South Millfields, and that the Millfields Users Group (MUG) Committee have colluded with this decision. Basically, we are getting a path because there is funding available - its TFL funding for sustainable transport improvements, intended to create new greenway routes. It's funding for a cycle path, as part of the Olympic access routes initiative, but both Hackney council and the MUG Committee stress they don't expect any cyclists to use it and that the path is going to be built lovingly by hand. Our view is that Hackney Council shouldn't be building on the park, destroying its historical significance (see Millfields History) - it should be properly maintaining the existing pathways.

But, there is of course no funding available for the existing North Millfields path (pic on right) that runs parallel to Southwold Road which remains in a shocking and dangerous state for pedestrians, wheelchair users and cyclists.

Lee Valley Walk with the Hackney Society: 13 November @ 10.30am

To explore the Walthamstow Reservoirs, Low Hall, the Black Path and finishing at the Middlesex Filter beds and Millfields.

A total route of about 4-5 miles with a finish at about 1.30pm, followed by a visit (optional) to Chatsworth Road Market.
Booking recommended. Email events[at]hackneysociety[dot]org

Venue: Meet at the Riverside cafe at Spring Hill (Come earlier if you want to eat an excellent breakfast beforehand.)

Cost: £5.00 to non-members, FREE to Hackney Society members

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Latham's Yard

Following our complaint in July to Hackney's enforcement team about Taylor Wimpey's breach of planning consent (See Lathams Yard: Taylor Wimpey planning breach), the sales office at the bottom of Mount Pleasant Hill is now being removed and will be turned into a green space. The area will be landscaped (along with additional trees on Harry Zeital Way) by January. Our thanks to local councillor Linda Kelly for her support with this.

King's Head Bridge

Work on the new ramp and path from King's Head bridge is now underway. It will provide a  direct link between Sandy Lane and the existing bridge and aims to be more user friendly for walkers, cyclists and wheelchair users.