Thursday, 28 February 2013

Bridge Planning Meeting

The Gainsborough School replacement bridge planning meeting has been postponed to March 27. This is because we said that they had not given us enough notice - their guideline says five working days and they gave us four. The letter was dated 13 February but postmarked 18 February.

Click here to see LLDC's document for the meeting. 

The Facebook event page for the meeting.

The old bridge, which went from the school playground and was not public access. The new application is for public access through Wick Village

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Cleaning Boat is Out!

The Canal River Trust cleaning boat was out on the Lea Navigation today! I spoke to the driver who was great and sounds like he has a very difficult job with lots of river to look after.  

Sunday, 24 February 2013

A Walk from Springfield to Wick Village

I walked from Springfield Park to Wick Village today, by Walthamstow, Leyton and Hackney Marshes. My favourite place in the world. I saw reeds, bull rushes, cormorants, coots, swans, moorhens and geese. I also saw floating islands of debris, sewage, sanitary towels, condoms and a decomposing rat. 

One of the worse places is by the bridge at Millfields. There is a boat there (opposite Princess of Wales Pub) bearing the logos of Canal River Trust and Environment Agency, surrounded by litter and sewage. When asked CRT said they don't think they own the boats by the Princess of Wales, but they're not sure. When asked why boats were idle they said, 'Regarding idle cleaning boats, we don't paint boats over before we sell them, therefore they're often (understandably) mistaken for our boats. Our cleaning boats have been in constant use since the Olympics.'

This is the twenth referred to in CRT's tweet.

 Ditch at Walthamstow Marshes - would be interested to know where this pipe leads as the ditches seem much more full of litter and oil than usual. Is this connected to the state of the Lea, or a separate issue? This is within the SSSI nature reserve.

 Litter in ditch at Walthamstow Marshes

Towpath by North Millfields

Scummy water by North Millfields

Cormorant and geese at the weir by Lea Bridge Road

This boat by Princess of Wales has the logo of CRT and EA

Scummy water by bridge at South Millfields - right next to the cleaning boat with CRT and EA logo

Scummy water by bridge at South Millfields - right next to the cleaning boat with CRT and EA logo

Sanitary towel in water by South Millfields

Swan and sanitary towel by South Millfields

By South Millfields

Litter caught between boats by South Millfields

Litter caught between boats by South Millfields

Litter caught between boats by South Millfields

Litter caught between boats by South Millfields

Another sanitary towel by Hackney Marshes

Debris and scummy water by boats at Hackney Marshes

Floating island of debris by Daubeney Fields - most of the debris seems to have floated down from Towpath Walk where I filmed it last week

Floating island of debris by Daubeney Fields

By Wick Wods

By Wick Woods - many of the benches in the area are being sawn up. 

By Wick Woods 

By Wick Woods

Decomposing rat by Wick Village under Eastway Bridge

Condom by Wick Village under Eastway Bridge

Another condom by Wick Village under Eastway Bridge

Litter by Eastway Bridge

Litter in the Lea

'Today (23-02-13) I walked along the Lea Canal from Old Ford Lock to Lea Bridge Road. I filmed the litter and visible pollution in the water and on the towpath.'

By Adam McAlavey

Debris and Dead Fox on Lea Navigation

Debris and dead fox in the River Lea/Lee Navigation, Hackney, E9

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Dead Animals in the Lea

We have frequently seen dead animals floating in the Lea recently. They are often there for some time before they are removed despite being reported to Canal River Trust, which is very unpleasant for boaters and canal-side residents. 

It is worrying to see river wildlife such as the fish and swan - could this be the result of pollution? 

Dead fish.

Dead fox by Eastway bridge.
Photo: @TheoJThomas from  Love The Lea

Dead bird
Photo: Dee O'Connell

Dead swan by Marshgate Bridge.
Photo: Damian Rafferty 

Litter Bins by the Lea

One problem with litter on the towpath is that the bins aren't emptied frequently enough. The bin opposite Wick Village is often full with bags of rubbish around it. These bags soon get torn open by foxes and the litter spread around.

These bins belong to Canal River Trust so I assume they are responsible for emptying them. CRT have said to us that the litter is blowing into the river as the council are not cleaning the streets enough, but I think a lot of the litter originates from around the towpath bins.

Canal River Trust Response

Canal River Trust press release regarding the cleaning of the Lea.

'We are currently in talks with our contractor to have two boats out solidly for two weeks of every month during the summer weed season, between 1 April and 30 September, which will scoop up weed and rubbish.'

If this happens it will be very good news! 

Read the full press release here. 

River Lea - pollution and litter

I took all these photographs between the Eastway and Omega Works this week. Most are taken right outside my house in Wick Village. The water is full of debris - mainly empty bottles. There is also some kind of oil and scum on the water. The towpath is covered in litter - some of it has been there since before Christmas. 

By Wick Village

Bottles and scummy water by Towpath Walk

This litter has been by Wick Woods since before Christmas

At the junction of Hertford Union and Lea

By Wick Village

By Wick Village

By Wick Village

By Wick Village - see the oil on the water

By Wick Village

By Wick Village

By Wick Village - this coot looks cute but it's standing on litter

Near Omega Works

We asked Canal River Trust why we no longer see cleaning boats on the Lea, when it was cleaned daily during the Olympics. They said they got extra money from the ODA to clean during the games. It seems as though the Lea is only important when the eyes of the world are on it.