Saturday, 25 January 2014

Ferry Lane - Plan Apps

SLM Newsletter 23-1-14

This is the weekly digest of the Save Lea Marshes group.  Our aim is to work towards keeping the green spaces of the Lea Valley as bio-diverse and people friendly as possible.  This is a summary of on-line discussions, meetings, events and activities that have concerned the group this week.

FRUIT PICKING - a lot of discussion and correspondence this week about the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority's (LVRPA) adoption of a new byelaw regarding plants, which appears to exceed their Bye Law making provision under Section 28 of the LVRPA Act 1966, in that it covers fruit or plants and so conflicts with the Wildflower & Countryside Act.  Further advice can be gained on DEFRA's advice  The main concerns are about (a) commercial and semi commercial uses - e.g. people collecting ingredients to sell in food (b) people's common law rights to do things such as blackberrying.

SLM CALL FOR BIO-DIVERSITY OFFICERS in Waltham Forest and Hackney ... we have received replies from both boroughs, fairly similar in content (excepting that Hackney has a vacant post and Waltham Forest has some staff provision).  Hackney's states that when it comes to planning applications they are likely to use outside Ecologists; Waltham Forest, indicates that officers do cover some aspects of planning (but we have yet to see evidence of this in planning meetings ..).  We'll be posting up the letters on our new webpage so you can judge for yourselves, but I guess we'll be following this up further.

IN THE PRESS - coverage includes:  "Hackney Citizen" Jan. Issue 51 - 'Marshes risk from car park' front page story covering our assertion that Hackney Council's desire for another car park adjacent to the planned replacement of the old sports pavilion is not for sports users but to accommodate future large events such as festivals; Page 3 Fear 'noxious' herbicide may harm wildlife - Town Hall spends £40k per year on spraying glyphosate; coverage of our friends at Stokey Local continuing to protest over the Sainsbury's/apartment block that threatens to overshadow Abney Park and also the proposed changes to the management arrangement at Abney park.  Hackney Gazette p.15 - 'More time to have more say about conservation area', a story on the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) extending its consultation on the Hackney Wick conservation area to 21 February.  Some 1,000 locals have signed a petition to prevent it from becoming another faceless part of the Olympic Park; Letters Page, p.23 Use of weed killer is 'indefensible', letter of reply to Cllr. Feyral Demerci Dec.12 on the use of Glyphosate.  (Note, the Council's contractors have informed the Council, who have informed us that it is safe - we say, why believe Monsanto, the people who brought you DDT and Agent Orange ..

WASSAIL  - if you missed the recent Wassail (Weekly Digest two weeks ago), you have a chance to see it on You Tube or listen to the excellent programme on Radio Nusound 92FM - http://radiopete.nusoud92Fm.  This is a good opportunity to discover this station if you haven't already.  Pete has been covering the Leyton Marsh campaign since it started (so "big up" for Pete!).

OUT AND ABOUT - MARSHANS - our latest art exhibition of art inspired by nature, in collaboration with Artcatcher - and supported by the LVRPA rangers is now open until 9 February at "All You Read is Love" - a pop up space, Unit 3 on Central Parade, Hoe Street, Walthamstow E17 4RT.  Opening hours are Tues-Sat 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 8.00 p.m.

Our friends at the Mabley Street Users Group are also organising "Mulch it, Move it, Save it", on Tuesday 28 January from 7.00 p.m. volunteers will be collecting mulch from the flyover to deposit on the saplings at Mabley Green.  Bring gardening gloves and some large IKEA type bags if you have them.

WEBSITE & PHOTO COMPETITION - if you haven't checked out our new website yet - lots of the items that appear here in brief are explained also do be encouraged to take part in the "What I Love About the Marshes' Photo competition - open to amateurs and professionals alike.  You have until 28 February 2014 to upload your entries.

AND FINALLY  ... get out and enjoy the marshes and tell us if you see anything we should know about ... our next meeting will be at The Princess of Wales pub, Lea Bridge Road, 7.00 on Monday 3 February.  New people welcome.

Cycling in Parks

Cycling in Parks

Alternative View of Lloyd Park

Alternative Lloyd Park

Stroll around the marshes

Stroll around the marshes

The Street Gallery

The Street Gallery


Grow Wild expanding

The second phase of Grow Wild in Lloyd Park is underway

Grow Wild

Bio Diversity officer

Subject: RE: Open Letter Calling on Hackney and Waltham Forest to Appoint Biodiversity Officers (my ref CR 14013)
Dear Caroline Day,

Thank you for your recent email asking Waltham Forest to appoint a full-time biodiversity officer.

The Council’s Nature Conservation Officer covers biodiversity for the Waltham Forest administrative area.  We take a proactive approach to biodiversity and geological conservation, taking full account of our statutory obligations and their impact within the planning system.  The Nature Conservation Officer is the internal consultee for planning applications within the authority and applications are properly scrutinised with our planners.  Following careful consideration of applications appropriate protection and mitigation measures are put into place where pertinent and wherever possible enhancement measures in respect of biodiversity are included. Therefore biodiversity is given full, proper and appropriate consideration in all decision-making within the borough.

LBWF policies including the LBWF Biodiversity Action Plan, Development Management Policies Local Plan Adoption Version 36 Policy DM35 - Biodiversity and Geodiversity,  give clear guidance with respect to Biodiversity in Waltham Forest along with the core strategy 8 Policy CS5- Enhancing Green Infrastructure and Biodiversity.

We have strong links and good working relationships particularly with Lea Valley Regional Park Authority and City Of London Conservators of Epping Forest, along with Natural England, and also work with (TCV) Trust for Conservation Volunteers & (LWT) London Wildlife Trust &  Lea Valley bats as well as local Friends Groups.

Generally, the Council’s Grounds Maintenance & Arboricultural Contract Monitoring Officers are aware of the importance of biodiversity and where appropriate enhance through species selection for planting schemes in shrub beds, highway verges, also parks and open spaces owned by the authority.  Furthermore schemes designed by the Council’s Strategic Parks & Open Spaces Officer will also enhance and further improve biodiversity on land managed by the Council where appropriate.

I trust this information is helpful but please do not hesitate to contact me again if you need particular clarification on any point.

Best wishes,
Cllr Chris Robbins
Leader of the Council

Wassailing Report



Maybe you are interested in the feature on the Walthamstow wassail broadcast last week during the Community Hour on NuSound Radio 92FM

To listen to  the feature its on:

A permanent link or if you want to download it:

Best wishes

Pete Day
News Reporter & Presenter
NuSound Radio 92FM

More Walking Free

Subject: Walking Free in Waltham Forest

Dear local walker
The programme of walks up to May can now be seen at  It is a pilgrimage from Stratford Langthorne Abbey to Waltham Abbey in 6 stages, along the eastern edge of the Lea valley, passing the site of a number of medieval manor houses.  As well as exploring the local area, and noting a little history, story-telling will be another theme - but we will not want to hear a tale of any length in the winter weather.
The first walk will be on Tuesday 21 January at 11am, repeated on Sunday 2 February at 2.30pm.  Meet at Abbey Road Station on the Docklands Light Railway line from Stratford International towards Canning Town.  If catching the DLR at the main Stratford station you need the platform next to the bus station and the tank engine called Robert.  As you can imagine, the historic landscape is hard to detect around the Westfield shopping centre and I will be guided by the preferences of those who come along as to where and when we finish, but probably somewhere between Stratford City and Drapers Field up to 2 hours later.  There will be plenty of opportunities to leave the walk earlier if you wish.  Firm surfaces; should be suitable for baby buggies and wheelchairs.
Hoping to see a number of you soon
David Boote
Walking Free in Waltham Forest

077 69 665 447  (for use on the day of a walk)

Monday, 20 January 2014

Vallentin Road design changes

Pig & Whistle Lost

Pig and Whistle lost but a retail gain


Time to stop the bookies?

More Bookies Proposed for Wood St: Register Your Views with Licensing ASAP!  
Many residents have been in touch with me in recent months, concerned about the growing numbers of bookmakers on our local high streets which they believe are causing anti social behaviour as well as blocking other shops from entering our local street scene. This is something Waltham Forest Council is committed to challenging and they have asked for residents to express their views on a new application which has been made by bookmakers William Hill for the premises at 108 Wood Street - The Winners Lounge. Any local resident can lodge objections to this proposal -which will require the council's licencing committee to approve it - by contacting the committee through Objections to these developments can be quite simple; for example if your concern is protecting children you could simply say you object on this basis. For more details on this and other developments please contact Susan on the above address.  

Tablets spell trouble for Waste Economics

Rise of the tablet could spell trouble for waste economics

The growing trend of consuming media on tablet devices such as iPads could have profound consequences for municipal recycling figures, a leading waste analyst has warned.
James Fulford, a director with Eunomia Research & Consulting, argues that, as electronic media starts to overtake that of printed, local authorities and MRF operators could suffer financial repercussions because of falling newsprint volumes in recycling collections.
Fulford said newsprint has been "fundamental" to council recycling collection schemes since they were first established, being relatively cheap to collect and commanding a healthy resale price.
According to recent figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations, around four million fewer newspapers were circulated in 2013 than 2008, meaning a lot less paper is now available for material capture.
"It's not just waste collectors such as local authorities that are affected, the souring of our love affair with newsprint has impacts further along the value chain," Fulford observed.
Fulford believes government must work more closely with the recycling industry to take account of these trends and implement measures to help it adapt to these changing waste compositions.

Real Nappies

Flashmob of Real Nappies for London mums protest at Waste Prevention Plan for England   

A Real Nappies For London flashmob came together just before Christmas to express their  disappointment that nappies did not appear in the Waste Prevention Plan for England. Mums and their babies from at least eight London boroughs turned up in different places around London to make their point and unfurl the Real Nappies, Real Chance banner to make Londoners aware that there is an alternative  to disposable nappies, which make up at least 3% of landfill waste.

Bin Bible Myths

Bin Bible Myths

The Bin Bible

Community Cleanup in E17

Date: 13/01/2014

Community Cleanup in E17

There is an opportunity for local residents to keep the area around Markhouse Road and Alexandra Road clean of litter.
We are the Walthamstow Roving Litter Pickers, a group of Waltham Forest residents, who are supported by CleanupUK, a charity dedicated to tackling the problem of litter and fly-tipping. For our third outing in the area we are inviting local residents to join us in a community street cleanup.
This is also an opportunity to make good on all those New Year resolutions, meet like-minded neighbours, be active and get some fresh air !
So why not join us, take control of the local environment you live in and feel positive about it.
Where and when ?
On Sunday 2nd February, we will meet at 1pm on Boundary Road between Markhouse Road and Alexandra Road
The route includes plenty of side alleys and spaces behind shrubberies and takes place from 1 pm until 3 pm.  All local residents, young and old can come along and join us for twenty minutes or two hours.
All litter-picking equipment is provided (litter pickers, gloves and bags).

Our contact for more information or to book
To find out more, please contact Emma on 07950 345 639 or email

About CleanupUK :
CleanupUK's 'Beautiful Boroughs' project works with residents across five London Boroughs, including Waltham Forest.
The project helps residents form groups to look after the area where they live by holding litter-picks in their local area. Once the initial events have taken place, meet-ups become resident-led and are held on a regular basis.
As well as improving the look of their area, residents are finding that volunteering also makes a huge difference to their feeling of community and neighbourliness. Here are some of the comments that people have made after having worked with CleanupUK to set up their local groups:

“It’s not just about litter; it’s about getting to know other people”
“One person can become two, then become three; we can take on the world like that!”
“The people I met are very friendly and I now know that there are very good people in my area.”

The first Beautiful Boroughs litter-picks held in Waltham Forest was in July 2013. On a bright sunny Saturday morning nine “happy pickers” collected more than 28 bags within two hours. They were back in September collecting yet more rubbish and litter as well as car tyres, a discarded barbecue and a dumped Boris bike !

Find more about CleanupUK online :

Twitter:               @Cleanup_UK


Events in the Park

For this year's events, organsied by the Friends of Lloyd Park,  follow this link:

Friends of Lloyd Park

Free School delayed

Free School

This is the size that is needed

Dear all,
Just a very quick but important update:
No Oasis Free School until at least 2015
Oasis Community Learning have announced that their planned secondary Free School will not now open until 2015, in spite of opening its admissions to local parents this year. We welcome this delay as it gives people in Waltham Forest more opportunity to learn about these schools and the people sponsoring them. Read more in our latest short blog post:

Read our recent blog post on how the Free Schools policy is unravelling nationally:

And read local MP John Cryer’s view of Free Schools here:

All the best

Jonathan White
Scarlet Harris
Alison Emmett
Kiri Tunks
Mark Holding
Tom Davies and everyone else at Our Community, Our Schools

From Stella Creasy M.P:

Oasis Free School Opening date deferred: Update 

For many local residents the provision of high quality school places for all local children is a key priority. Therefore many are concerned about the impact of proposals for Free Schools for Walthamstow and how this will contribute to achieving this ambition.  Therefore I wanted to let readers know that one of the Free Schools proposed for Walthamstow, The Oasis Secondary School, has announced this week that it has agreed with the Department for Education to defer the opening of its pre-approved secondary Free School to September 2015. The new school, for students aged 11-16 years, with six forms of entry, will open with an initial intake of 180 Year 7 students. As soon as I receive further details on the status of any of these new schools or of events related to education in Walthamstow I will share these via my e-newsletter.  

Vote for William Morris Gallery

Connect10 public vote now open
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Mr Smith's Letterpress - Connect10 public vote
Dear Adrian

Great news - we've been shortlisted for Culture24's Connect10 competition!

We're competing against three other museums to work with Mr Smith's Letterpress on a Morris-inspired event for the Museums at Night festival in May.

Now we need your help ...

The winner will be decided by public vote so please vote for us now.

And when you've done so, please forward this email to your friends, family and colleagues.

Voting is open now and closes on Tuesday 28 January. Last year's winners won by just a handful of votes - so yours could make the difference.

Thank you!
William Morris Gallery

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Fight for free parking

Fight for free parking

More Wassailing

eekly news from WVRA - check out our website.
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Upcoming events

Click here for full details
  • Toys: A Serious Business until 23rd February
  • Walthamstow Wassail 11th & 12th January
  • Walthamstow Family Bike Club Sunday 12th January
  • “Stow Tellers” Monday 13th January
  • Music in the Village 30th January
  • Gardening Day Saturday 1st February
The WalthamstowWassails are happening this weekend.
Sat 11th Jan - FamilyWassail 1.30pm, Vestry House Museum. This year we'll be makingwassail bowls and then taking them to a local house to be filled with wassail drink (apple juice!) on the way down to Wingfield Park, blessing apple trees along the way. We'll be revising a couple of old wassail songs, and learning a new one - the Sugar Wassail.
Sun 12th Jan - "grown up" Wassail 2pm, upstairs at the Nags Head. We'll meet to learn the songs in parts as usual, and perform there at 4.30pm. Then the plan is to visit a couple of homes - including the hives at BEE17 - on the way up to Chestnuts Farm allotments by the Town Hall. They've offered to host us in their community room and we'll wassail the trees and beehives in their orchard. We'll round off the evening as usual by performing at the Folk Club at the Rose & Crown. 
There will be a workshop on the Sunday morning at Vestry House Museum, 10:30-12:30, for people who would prefer to learn the part songs by ear, rather than with sheet music.
More info from or facebook Walthamstow Wassail 
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Walthamstow Village Residents' Association
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Marsh Lane Allotments to remain

1001 Arabian Nights

Dear Friends of the Woodhouse Players,
Looking for the perfect post-Christmas treat? Then book now for the Woodhouse Players' Panto 1001 Arabian Nights (and a matinee)
Fri 10th Jan 2014, 8pm
Sat 11th Jan 2014, 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Fri 17th Jan 2014, 8pm
Sat 18th Jan 2014, 2.30pm and 7.30pm

The performance at 2.30pm on Sat 18 Jan is now SOLD OUT)
The performance at 7.30 on Sat 18th Jan will be BSL-interpreted
At the Welsh Church Hall, 879 High Road Leytonstone E11 1HR
Tickets £8 (£5 concessions)
Book online (no fee) to ensure you don't miss out: Tickets can also be reserved by phone on 020 8504 3872 or by email on
Special rate for parties (with online bookings only): one free full-price ticket per 10 tickets booked (will be refunded at box office).
About the show:
There's trouble brewing in old Baghdad!

Unless the Princess Jasmina marries before her 21st Birthday, the evil Vizier will take control of the city! Things look grim... but hang on!

A posse of would-be heroes are here to save the day! The love-sick Ali Barber (who pines for the Princess), his dim witted brother Singbad the sailor and his fearsome mother, Dame Barber, are ready to intervene and foil the villain's fiendish plot.

They are helped along the way by their pal 'Bob' (a lad with a secret), a pantomime camel named Humpy and a lady Genie who's been stuck in a magic ruby for far too long!.
Unless the Princess Jasmina marries before her 21st Birthday, the evil Vizier will take control of the city! Things look grim... but hang on!

A posse of would-be heroes are here to save the day! The love-sick Ali Barber (who pines for the Princess), his dim witted brother Singbad the sailor and his fearsome mother, Dame Barber, are ready to intervene and foil the villain's fiendish plot.

They are helped along the way by their pal 'Bob' (a lad with a secret), a pantomime camel named Humpy and a lady Genie who's been stuck in a magic ruby for far too long!
 Please book your tickets........

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Come wassailing

Dear everyone,

Yes - it is that time of year again, when the days begin to get longer and we all look forward to the forthcoming summer (from my window it looks like it's already here!) and lots of little apples everywhere.

But it won't happen unless we all go out and praise the apple trees for last year's astonishing fecundity and give them a well-wishing blessing for the year to come, will it?
So a-wassailing we will go!

Please find attached flyers to print off and distribute, a full-colour poster! (looks nearly as good in black and white), and travel directions to the Ferry Boat Inn - 1 Forest Road, Walthamstow N17 9NG (watch out for that N17 postcode - it's in the Tottenham postal delivery area!). EVEN IF YOU CANNOT GO YOURSELF, PLEASE PASS THIS ON TO OTHERS WHO YOU THINK MIGHT BE INTERESTED!

Traditionally apple trees are wassailed on Old Twelfth Night - that's the Twelfth Day of Christmas, plus 11 days, which is of course the 17th January. Which this year is a Friday. But unfortunately the Ferry Boat Inn, home to Walthamstow's oldest and largest apple orchard, is closing for two weeks on Monday 13th for a complete refurbishment and interior makeover - which we hope will mean a new carpet! The new-ish owners, Stonegate Pub Company, have not applied to the local Council for Listed Building Consent so they are not actually making any alterations to the building, but the redecoration will evidently be quite extensive.
Therefore, this year our Apple Yowling at the Ferry Boat Inn will be held a week early, on Saturday 11th January.

This happily coincides with the Walthamstow Village Wassail's Children's Day at the Vestry House Museum during the afternoon, and those who enjoy our Yowling might like to join the troupe of merry Wassailers who will process at around 5.30pm on Sunday evening from the Nag's Head pub in the Village (and if you enjoy choral part-singing you can also go there during the afternoon from 2pm for a wassail masterclass!) to the Walthamstow Folk Club at the Rose & Crown in Hoe Street (between Bell Corner and the Central bus station), taking in several domestic fruit trees and bee hives on the way (oh, yes - bees are wassailed too! Without our hard-working little pollenators how would we get apples?).

The Walthamstow Wassailers have a website at and I hope that the information I am sending out herewith will soon also be available on their website.
For more detailed information about the Ferry Boat Inn apple yowling, please email "" or "", or ring or text me on 0790 415 9398.

Children and toddlers are very welcome indeed at the Ferry Boat Inn. However, the current policy is that they sadly don't allow dogs in (except working assistance animals), as it's very much a gastro-pub. It goes without saying that they have a smashing menu, and the grub is jolly good and very reasonably priced, so please feel free to order food if you are staying on afterwards.
There is no "live music" licence, but we have been told that we can sing wassails inside this year (now that the staff have realised that this isn't some sort of wicked voodoo ceremony!); we are therefore intending to have a bit of a sing-song (unaccompanied and unamplified) afterwards. Please respect the wishes of the pub's management team, and please stop singing if we are asked to do so for any reason. As happened last year, we are again going to be offering mulled cider, which will be sold at a very reasonable price well below the usual pub price (their mulled wine is £4.50 per half pint! - we hope to be able to offer our cider at below £3.00)

Sadly I haven't been able to find a Morris side yet, but am still hopeful that there may be a local side who will help out at short notice. I will try to organise a snow-storm, which made last year's event so memorable, but sadly (not being the Creator of the Universe or anything like that) I cannot promise it!

Looking forward to seeing you all there on Saturday next weekend!


Come to the Planning Committee Meeting

The planning application for retention of the allotments (supposedly temporarily) relocated to Marsh Lane Fields in 2008 is coming up on Tuesday evening at Waltham Forest's planning committee meeting. 7th January 7.00pm at WF Town Hall, Forest Road, Walthamstow.
As I am sure you all know, the Lammas Lands Defence Committee (established in 1892) exists to preserve all of the former Lammas Lands of Leyton and Walthamstow Marshes as unenclosed green open space for the public to enjoy free of charge in perpetuity.  It is fitting, therefore, that one of the Committee, John Gilbert (also CPRE's NE London representative) has put his name down to speak against the Officer's recommendations that the land should remain fenced off as allotments.
I am running a slightly different tack here, in that my emphasis is on the need to mitigate the loss of open character of the fields; something that was promised when the Freight Road (Orient Way) was built through the Grade I Site of Ecological Importance that separated the Fields from the railway track, but which has never been done.  I have also asked to speak against the recommendation.
This leaves one remaining slot for a member of the public to speak, preferably a local person who uses the fields regularly.
The allotment-holders have been thoroughly consulted with and their views made known in the run-up to the application being submitted, whereas other concerned groups - such as the Lammas Lands Defence Committee (which in the 1890s actually became an official local Council sub-committee) - have not been formally approached or consulted at all.  The SLM group has also not been consulted about this, and I am simply drawing to everyone's attention that there remains a chanvce for someone to have their three minutes' of fame and glory on Tuesday evening.
Applications to speak need to be made by close of play on Monday, so this cannot await of the meeting on Monday evening.

Jo Brind leaves town

Many of you may already know that Jo Brind - who has for several years run one of the most lively and informative websites about the marshes we have ever seen - is sadly going to be leaving London shortly for the Medway Towns.
He has sold the flat where we used to live together on Lea Bridge Road, and is moving out on Friday 3rd January.
A farewell commiseration bash is going to convene tomorrow evening, Thursday 2nd January, from 9.00pm onwards at the Drum, Jo's local pub, by the Lea Bridge Road Post Office near the Bakers' Arms Crossroads in Leyton Green.
All SLM and NLLDC members who knew Jo or his website are very welcome to attend to wish him well in his new home in Kent.  I am also copying in others I know, people he has met through his filming activities locally, through running, the News from Nowhere club, the local comedy and folk-music scenes, Hornbeam and so on.  Is there any pie that Jo didn't have a finger in in Waltham Forest and the Lea Valley?  (He'd even recently re-joined the Labour Party!) Jo is going to be very sorely missed by so many people.
Please do pass this message on to others who know him, don't just assume others will have done so already!  Particularly, could you text or ring to let those know who do still not use email (eg Laurie W).  We are hoping to make this a truly great event!
Hope to see you there,

Photo Competiton

To welcome in the new year, Save Lea Marshes have opened our first photo competition: 'What I Love About the Marshes!'

Amateur and professional photographers of all ages are invited to enter their best photos of Lea Marshes.

Our judges will choose twelve winning entries to form the 2015 Save Lea Marshes calendar which will be sold to raise funds to support our campaign. The winning image will be placed on the cover of the calendar and the overall winner can also choose the month their image accompanies inside. 

The twelve images will form the core of a travelling exhibition, composed of a selection of entries from the competition, which will be exhibited throughout 2014 in local venues in Waltham Forest and Hackney, beginning with the Waterworks Cafe on the marshes. 

Please visit our brand new website:
to read the terms and conditions of entry and directly submit your photos. Please use the 'Contact Us' page of this website to get in touch with us if you experience any technical difficulties when submitting your photos. Do remember that images can only be considered for the calendar if they are significantly high enough resolution for printing. 

We ask that you accompany each of your images with a description, including the location the photo was taken. You are free to submit as many photos as you like. 

We look forward to your entries.
Happy New Year!
Save Lea Marshes

How about this!: