Saturday, 27 April 2013

floodlighting walthamstow marshes

The Lea marshes are under unprecedented attack at the moment on a number of fronts, threatening their survival as East London green lung. One of these attacks is the floodlighting of Walthamstow marshes.
New industrial units, adjacent to Walthamstow Marsh nature reserve (a Site of Special Scientific Interest) have recently been completed at East 10 Enterprise, Argall Way, Leyton (replacing ones destroyed in a fire back in 2004). 
The site includes no street lighting. Instead, each of the units has had a floodlight attached. Since their completion, they been floodlighting the nature reserve from around 8pm each evening through the night and is clearly visible from the Clapton side of the lea marshes.

This excessive lighting is not only causing light pollution and wasting energy, but is also adversely impacting on the nature reserve by affecting the activity rhythms of both plants and animals, in particular bats.

We've reported to Waltham Forest who've advised that the lighting did not feature in the planning application and are investigating whether it constitutes permitted development. 
Our view is that the lighting has changed the external appearance of the building and does, therefore, constitute development. Waltham Forest council has also agreed to investigate it as a case of light pollution. We'll let you know when we hear back.

you've been released (on middlesex filter beds)

Yngve & The Innocent
You've Been Released - Music Video from Duncan Smith on Vimeo.

Monday, 22 April 2013

We see green open spaces. LVRPA sees development sites

Lee Valley Regional Park Authority is planning to close the Lea Bridge Waterworks for three summer months every year and open a private campsite which will be fenced off to keep the general public out. This is not how our Metropolitan Open Land should be used.

With Hackney Council also planning to close Hackney marshes for a large chunk of the school summer holiday,  its never been more important to make our voices heard if we want to save lea marshes and keep them open to support the health and well-being of all our communities.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Using green spaces to promote health and well-being for all

Below is a copy of an email we received from the chair of Springfield Park Users Group about feasibility study underway at the park.  The Council's tender documents make the case for the importance of our green spaces for promoting health and well being for all:
  • 32% of the population are 15 or younger;
  • 24% of year six pupils in Hackney are obese;
  • mental health admissions to hospitals in Hackney are 28% higher in Hackney than the English average; and
  • premature death from cardio vascular disease is 45% higher than the English average.

They also reinforce our belief that Hackney Council should abandon its plans to close Hackney Marshes for a large chunk of summer school holidays every year for three major events.

Email received from the Springfield Park Users Group 

MTW Consultants have been hired by the council to conduct a feasibility study for the buildings in Springfield Park: the Mansion, the Stables, and the Glasshouse.

Come meet the the consultants and share your views on
Wednesday 24 April at 4:30 pm in Park cafe.

A copy of the tender document outlining the consultants' brief is attached here.

Springfield Park Feasibility Study Brief 

Appendix 1: Springfield Park Vision

Monday, 1 April 2013

blooming clapton park

Great to see further improvements being made to clapton's poppy estate!
 A lovely new area of planting has been completed recently at the entrance to the Cow Bridge with native tree planting and a new boundary fence of local ash and oak planks from the country park. To create the new planting area, the workers had to drill through solid concrete left behind the the bridge contractor.
Further mini-alotments have recently been created on the Millfields Estate. The plots are very popular and more sites are needed. Chatting with the people from the Grass Roof Company, they tell us there's a wide range of produce grown and many different approaches to gardening. For example, the Turkish community particularly like to grow lots of fresh coriander and cultivate, rotate and harvest crops more frequently through the year.

The Grass Roof Company say they are keen to reach out beyond the estate and are looking for more opportunities. Perhaps they can be asked to deliver a Millfields kitchen garden (as proposed in the Millfields Masterplan); or they can help create a poppy meadow as part of the planned park entrance improvements?