Saturday, 29 December 2012

lea bridge waterworks: appeal against refusal for heritage listing rejected by DCLG

Disappointing news - the Department for Culture, Media and Sports has rejected the request to overturn English Heritage's decision not to list Lea Bridge Waterworks - details below. The timing of the decision is particularly unfortunate as local campaigner and historian, Katy Andrews, has secured agreement from Thames Water for local groups and individuals (predominantly those concerned with the industrial heritage of the site and the Lea Bridge Green area in general) to visit the site in the new year to get a better understanding of what remains.

Friday, 28 December 2012

hackney wassail

with thanks to amy erickson (hackney parks forum, springfield park users group) for sending details.


Saturday, 15 December 2012

a warming winter song selection

a warming winter song selection (courtesy of Tracey Thorn) to keep you going through until the new year.

(you'll need to download the free spotify app)

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Latham's Yard trees

Following a long running email exchange we've had with Taylor Wimpey over the last couple of years, Latham's Yard green (by Harry Zeital Way) will be getting a few more trees planted later this week.That's the good news that builds on the successful efforts to get Taylor Wimpey to:-
  • plant some a few more trees on Latham's Yard green last year;
  • abandon its plans to retain the sales office and replace it with green space; and
  • fix the lighting on the Friendship Tree sculpture.
The bad news is that Taylor Wimpey will still have short changed local residents by failing to deliver the landscaping plans agreed as part of the development's planning consent.

Taylor Wimpey has two planning applications submitted to Hackney Council for Latham's Yard which have not yet been decided upon. It's not too late to submit comments should you wish to!

hackney cut project

rec'd via hackney's interim biodiversity officer

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

new clapton passage murals

We love the two new murals that have appeared in Clapton Passage, adding to the one that went up there during the Clapton festival earlier this year and the one in Downs Road. Brings back memories of night clubbing with the boyz, back in the day...

wild about springfield park

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Lea Bridge Waterworks: Appeal submitted to English Heritage

 Last month, we did a posting on English Heritage's decision to recommend against a listing Lea Bridge Waterworks.

An appeal against this decision has now been submitted. The reasons behind the appeal are outlined below.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Walthamstow Reservoirs community consultation

Details rec'd via Lea Valley Federation

London Wildlife Trust are involved in the initial development phase of Walthamstow Wetlands and are carrying out focused community consultations in order to gain the local communities' thoughts on the project. This is one of the vital consultations that will inform this project.

Come to Walthamstow Reservoirs new fishing academy classroom on
Saturday 15th December 2012 at 10am
to voice your ideas about the development of Walthamstow Wetlands

2 Forest Road,
Walthamstow Fisheries,
N17 9NH

For further details, call:
020 8802 4573
Or email Lorna at wildlondon

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Hackney Council Community Grants

Email rec’d via Hackney’s Parks Development Team, Health & Community Services:
Please see Council Community grants / Community Chest Grants which may be of interest to User Groups / other local groups: community grants

Grants are for next financial year Community grants are open with a deadline of 7th Dec. Community Chest grants aren't open until 2nd January.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Meeting to discuss the future of our marshes: Sunday 4th November






Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Music for Hallowe'en at Millfields

The tree circle folk (who organised the recent millfields cinema event) have organised a Millfields Hallowe'en gathering 6.30pm on Wednesday (31st October). They've advised:-

"We're going to have a small Balkan brass band playing, some story telling, roast chestnuts, apple bobbing, banjo, and drums. Plus who knows what.

After 8pm, we march with the band to The Dentist, 33 Chatsworth Road for a little party. Come along. Tell your friends. Get involved if you've got something to share ... the tree circle is open"

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Lea Bridge Waterworks - request for English Heritage listing rejected

Back in May, we did a posting on a request sent to English Heritage to list the Lea Bridge Waterworks as of national architectural and historic significance.

We have disappointing news: the application to English Heritage has been rejected (below is a copy the assessment report).

This means that, other than the locally listed 'red house', the Waterworks has no heritage protection. The historic buildings and structures on the site remain at significant risk of even as redevelopment, whilst redevelopment plans for the Thames Water site are being progressed.

Can Waltham Forest and Hackney councils come together to designate a new /extended Lea Bridge Conservation Area? 

Yes, if local people back the proposal!

Thursday, 20 September 2012

urgent message for millfields dog walkers

Email below received from Emma Jack (Chair of Millfields Users Group). There has also been a separate report on facebook from the save leyton marsh campaigners of a cat being found dead in millfields in recent days.

If you’re a dog owner, you will want to take extra care if you use millfields until such time it is clearer if there is something untoward going on.

----- Forwarded Message -----
Dear All,

It has been brought to my attention that their have been a number of fox deaths and rumours have been spreading that someone has been poisoning them. Please see the following response from Bruce Irving at the Parks Dept.

If you see anything suspicious please do let Parks staff know or let me know and I will let them know. Hopefully there is nothing sinister going on!


Emma Jack

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Bruce Irving
Sent: Tue, 18 Sep 2012 12:49
Subject: RE: poisoning of foxes

Dear All,
I have spoken with the RSPCA who advise that as there is currently no evidence that foxes are being deliberately poisoned they will not carry out an investigation. They suggested that it was more likely an accidental death caused by something poisonous which the foxes had eaten as opposed to a deliberate poisoning. They have asked us to monitor the situation and if more instances occur to contact them again with further details. In the interim I have asked the Park Manger to brief staff in Millfields and to report any fox mortalities or instances of bait to him.

Kind regards

Parks Development Officer
Green Spaces, Parks Development Team, Hackney Service Centre,
Hillman Street,
E8 1DY

Thursday, 6 September 2012

tree circle cinema event in millfields - 8th september

 Email from Loud Minority confirming cinema event:

We're screening "The Gruffalo" (cert. U) and "Where The Wild Things Are" (cert. PG) this Saturday September 8th, in the circle of trees, Millfields Park, Chatsworth Road, London E5. Picnic from
5pm, films from 7.30pm. The weather forecast is good!

NB: parents, "Where The Wild Things Are" is darker and more complicated than most kids films. Official advice is: a ‘PG’  film should not disturb a child aged around eight or older.

However, parents are advised to consider whether the content may upset younger or more sensitive children.

Bring something to sit on, lamps and torches, and wrap up warm!

 Presented by Loud Minority in association with Millfields User Group. Part of "Showtime" presented by Mayor of London and Arts Council England.

dream day in springfield park - 15 september

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

tree circle cinema event planned for millfields

Loud Minority Productions has submitted an application to Hackney to hold a free cinema screening in the park on Saturday 8th September, showing 2 family films. 

If agreed, people will be able to go along and picnic with friends and neighbours, while watching films projected onto a cloth screen hung between 2 trees, in the circle of trees in the south millfields. This community building project aims also aims to  exploring different community and cultural uses of the park.

The Tree Circle Outdoor Cinema is part of Showtime -  a GLA free outdoor arts festival giving all Londoners the chance to enjoy world class entertainment and culture on their doorstep.

If you'd like to lend your support to the proposal (which seems like a lovely idea to us), please email
dionne[dot]maxwell[at]hackney[dot]gov[dot]uk (in hackney's event team).

Saturday, 18 August 2012

walthamstow marshes' kestrels

There are three kestrels out hunting on walthamstow marshes this afternoon. This is the first time we've manged to get a half decent photo of one of them.

Update (20 Aug) : someone kindly sent us this link to a youtube video of the kestrels taken a few days ago.

help secure the best possible reinstatement of leyton marsh

message rec'd from the save leyton marsh environment team.

Dear friend of Leyton Marsh

The ODA have submitted their reinstatement plan to the London Borough of Waltham Forest. Initially the discharge of these conditions was going to be dealt with under delegated powers, but we have managed to secure agreement that the planning committee will discuss Condition 1 in public, probably on 12 September.

This is good news, but the fight is far from over. We still have concerns about the reinstatement plan, which are detailed below, and you may have your own. I therefore urge you to write to LBWF to express your concerns. Please feel free to use some or all of the points below.

The key thing is that we get as many letters and emails of objection to LBWF before the planning officers write the report which will be discussed by the planning committee. A large number of submissions will make a difference when the planning committee are making their decisions. I haven’t been able to wheedle a deadline out of LBWF, but I think all objections should be submitted as soon as possible and by 31 August 2012 at the absolute latest to be on the safe side.

Objections should be emailed to:

Feel free to adapt and expand upon the following points prepared by Save Leyton Marsh group:

Leyton Marsh Temporary Basketball Training Venue (Ref: 2011/1560): Discharge of Conditions 1, 11, 13 and 14.

            If the London Borough of Waltham Forest are to properly scrutinize the discharge of conditions relating to planning application 2011/1560 then the reinstatement plan should cover all aspects of the reinstatement. At present:
1.          The reinstatement plan does not cover discharge of Condition 14.
2.          The reinstatement plan does not acknowledge that the work cannot be completed by the repeatedly promised deadline of 15th October without working extended hours, yet the ODA say they have submitted an application to extend their working hours.
3.          Only Discharge of Condition 1 is being discussed at the planning committee meeting.
         Given that much of the anger over the Games Time Training Venue (GTTV) on Leyton Marsh is about the way in which the full story was never presented and properly discussed when the initial planning decision was made, it is critical that LBWF insist that they are presented with a full and final statement and that the discharge of all conditions is discussed at the planning committee meeting.

         LBWF should also censure the ODA for beginning work before the reinstatement plan has been approved. If work had to begin on the turf in June then the proposals for discharging all conditions should have been submitted to the council prior to this.

            It is essential that the ODA and their contractors have a robust plan in place and that they are open and honest with LBWF and local people about how long it will take to execute this plan. This does not appear to be the case at the moment. There are inconsistencies in the timelines presented within the plans:
1.          The timeline for Option 3 in Appendix B bears no relationship to the information in section 5.3.10.
2.          The reinstatement plan states the land will be handed back on 15 October. Yet, in 21.11 of the method statement it says that the start date for the removal of the perimeter fence is 16 October and the task will take two days.
3.          The detailed plan in Appendix A of the method statement isn’t readable.

            The documents consistently state that the topsoil is safe to reuse. However, it also states that one piece of asbestos was found. As I understand it eleven samples were taken from the topsoil and this one piece of asbestos was found within one of these eleven samples. The law of probability suggests that if one piece of asbestos was found in eleven small samples then the likelihood of the topsoil containing a lot more asbestos is very high. All the topsoil must be handpicked to ensure that there is no more asbestos.

            It is not clear from the documents where liability lies if the reinstatement fails. Who is responsible for ensuring the sub-base is adequately laid and does not shift or sink? Who is responsible for the imported subsoil? Who is responsible for ensuring the turf does not fail? It is vital that long-term liabilities are established before the conditions are discharged and the ODA’s contractors begin work.

            Why do the documents discuss digging up the Type 1 fill laid during the building of the GTTV and replacing it with Type 6F2 fill which is very similar? Why not limit the work and retain the Type 1 fill already in place?

            The reinstatement plan ignores the logistics of managing stockpiles of incoming soil, waste arising and vehicle deliveries. It needs to be explained how this is to be managed without impacting either on areas already reinstated or encroaching on areas outside the licensed land causing further damage.

            The documents mention a geotextile separator and state that this will help ‘should further excavation take place’. Leyton Marsh is Metropolitan Open Land. It is protected from development. No further excavation should ever take place and there is, consequently, no need for this geotextile separator to be laid. If it is retained, it will lead local people to conclude that the promise made by LBWF and the Lea Valley Regional Park Authority, that the building of the GTTV was a one-off event carried out under extraordinary circumstances, was false and the development is in fact part of a much larger plan to erode the protection afforded to Metropolitan Open Land. We therefore ask that the officer’s report and the planning committee to publicly reiterate LBWF’s commitment to ensuring the long-term sustainable future of Leyton Marsh as a green open space.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

east reservoir community garden family fun day 30 Aug

have a look around the garden, 
have a piece of cake whilst you’re bird-spotting,
giant minibeast sessions,
parachute games, 
homemade jam,
honey and plants for sale,
and bring your own picnic!