Friday, 25 March 2016

Mini Holland 25-3-16


E17Streets4All Meeting- Tuesday 29th March
E17Streets4All have organised a meeting for residents and businesses to discuss the Mini Holland Road closures at 7pm on Tuesday 29th March at The Spiritualist Church Hall, Vestry Rd (opp the Vestry House Museum). For more information please email the group.

More want mini Holland!

How to manage a Copenhagen crossing!

I see Highams Park has been upgraded (or is it downgraded!) from a Village to a Town Centre Centre. Mini Holland is trying to change the world (Markhouse Village, Blackhorse Village) and upsetting the residents of Highams Park by consulting about the Town Centre when so many of them want to believe they are in a village is not the way to go! I have always been happy to be a Londoner and by definition an urban dweller - if I wanted to live in the countryside I would move to a real village!

Highams Park consultation

Whipps Cross and Lea Bridge Road update

London Open Space being lost

Campaign To Protect Rural England (London)PRESS RELEASE
Immediate release
Call 07792942691 for further information

16 March 2016

Amount of protected open space lost in Greater London doubles in one yearFigures released this week confirm London campaigners’ fears, as protected land the size of over 40 football pitches is lost to development in one year
 Figures for loss of open space loss in Greater London were published this week in the London Plan Annual Monitoring Report 12 for 2014/15. [1]
  • A total of 26 protected sites were given planning permission to be built on in 2014/15, of which 18 had the highest level of protection (13 Green Belt, 5 Metropolitan Open Land). The remaining 8 sites were Other Designated Protection which has a lower level of protection.
  • In the 8 years from 2005/6 to 2012/13, an average of 4 applications per year were given planning permission to build on Green Belt or Metropolitan Open Land. This leapt to 15 in 2013/14 and has risen again in 2014/15 to 18.
  • The total hectares of Green Belt and Metropolitan Open Land lost doubled from 2013/14 to 2014/15, with 29 hectares (or the equivalent of over 40 football pitches) being lost in 2014/15 (up from 14 hectares in 2013/14).

Last week CPRE London published its report The Strongest Protection which identified over 50 protected green spaces in Greater London – including parks, recreation grounds and sports fields – which are under threat from development. [2]

Alice Roberts of CPRE London said. “These figures confirms our fears. We predicted that that the sharp rise in numbers of applications in 2013/14 was a trend that would continue – and we expect the numbers to rise even further in future as developers get wind that it’s basically open season on protected land in London.” [3]

“We need politicians to stop just saying that they want to protect Green Belt - we want their commitment to extend to Metropolitan Open Land - and for their commitments to be carried through. Too often planning permissions are being granted regardless of the political commitments being made.
“Very clear signals are needed from the new Mayor of London – to say ‘There will be no building on Green Belt or Metropolitan Open Land on my watch’ – to halt the spiralling number of applications coming forward.” [4]

Notes to editors

2)    CPRE London’s recent report The “Strongest Protection?” Green Belt and Metropolitan Open Land in London: the real story can be found here
3)    Page 22 of the report explains why the permitting of development on protected land creates the wrong signals and leads to a spiralling problem: “When land protections are not adhered to, landowners see that previously valueless land might now be sold with planning permission at a higher price; developers see prime plots of land…”
4)    CPRE London’s full manifesto What we want to hear from the new Mayor of London can be found here


Alice Roberts
Green Spaces Officer
CPRE London

Hackney Singers

Hackney Singers



FRP Food Waste Project

FRP (Forest Recycling Project) is working with the Best Before Project to run an exciting new Food Waste Project in Waltham Forest.
New volunteers will be attempting to change opinions and challenge assumptions on Best Before dates on food by diverting usable food from being thrown away, distributing Best Before food to the local community and engaging with retailers around what happens to the food they don’t sell.
This project will be run by passionate volunteers so FRP need people with great initiative and creative ideas.
Activities may include:
• Setting up a food distribution hub in your local community
• Talking to local retailers about how to better deal with (and prevent) their food waste
• Running a rescued food stall at a local market
• Collections of food that would otherwise be disposed of
• Putting on exciting events to show people that food after its Best Before date can still be good
FRP welcomes any new and exciting ideas. Ideally they'll be providing inspiration, information, networking and support to individuals that are already motivated to challenge food waste in their local area.

FRP have set a provisional date for an initial volunteer meeting in the evening of April 1st (no kidding).
Please get in touch with Angela for more info:

Waltham Forest News


Keep Free Parking Campaign

Keep free parking campaign

Fund raising at the WMG

Help transform the Gallery into a live craft studio, and receive beautiful rewards.
View this email in your browser
WMG Logo

Donate towards Clare Twomey's ambitious new ceramics installation to receive exclusive artwork and collectables. 

The William Morris Gallery is working with internationally renowned ceramicist Clare Twomey on a major new art installation exploring William Morris's ideas on craftsmanship.

To realise this exciting project we need to raise £10,000 through the Art Fund’s Art Happens site, the UK’s only crowdfunding platform for the museum sector.
Donate now and claim your reward

The project

If we're successful in raising the amount, Twomey will create a vast tile panel embellished with Chrysanthemum, one of Morris’s most beautiful and intricate designs.

Over 67 days, 67 members of the public will undertake the role of "apprentice", working alongside Twomey’s master painter to transform the original Morris-designed surface from the original state of beauty to another, with the addition of a traditional ceramic gold enamel.

Through the intensive process of watching, mirroring and learning – which would have been familiar to Morris’s own apprentices – the work will explore how practising a skill can connect us through time and space to other people.
William Morris Gallery Art Happens campaign video

How to donate

If you’ve never crowdfunded before, it’s really simple. Just go, choose how much you want to donate (from £5) and you’ll receive an exclusive "reward" including postcard packs,tote bags and limited edition signed artworks by Twomey.

This is a fantastic way to help bring Morris’s ideas to life for new audiences. Please contribute if you can – any donation, no matter how small, will help us reach our target.
Browse the rewards and make your donation
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Our mailing address is:
William Morris Gallery
Forest Road
London, Eng E17 4PP
United Kingdom

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Friday, 18 March 2016

Mini Holland 18-3-16


Anti Mini Holland

Speaking to the officers at last Monday's Mini Holland Markhouse meeting, which was very well attended, it became clear this is a tanker that cannot be stopped or even its course changed! Work is expected to be completed in the Borough next year so it won't be long before we know the real impact. Sadly what I took to be weeds growing in the planting areas down Selborne Road is deliberate planting and it doesn't get any better!

50% of the £30m of our money will be spent on Lea Bridge Road and Whipps Cross Roundabout. That just leaves £15m for the rest of the Borough and a few million of that has already been spent in Walthamstow Village and Blackhorse Village. Markhouse Village is in a strange situation having had major works done to it a few years ago with at least 4 pedestrian crossings installed. From the plans on display these will all be replaced - with pedestrian crossings! The dedicated cycle lane crossing the pedestrian lane will be interesting to say nothing of forcing pedestrians onto the road side where currently the existing cycle lane is!

Another intriguing fact is the cycle lane currently being built past the Ice Rink in Lea Bridge Road will be put on a bridge over the railway. By some miraculous feat of engineering it will go across the line at the new Lea Bridge Station where the steps from the platforms rise to meet the pavement leaving no obvious space for the bridge! Mind you the station will be open in May, well before the new bridge is installed, no doubt closing the station during its installation!

From Stella Creasy MP's Newsletter:

Mini Holland Update: 
Trees at Whipps X Roundabout & Hoe Street Yellow Lines 
This week the Council have been in touch to say that they have approved the proposed conversion of single yellow lines to double yellow lines along Hoe Street between Selborne Road and Forest Road. These plans were approved to help ease traffic flow along Hoe Street.

This week constituents have also been in contact regarding the trees on Whipps Cross Roundabout. The Council have confirmed that all the trees have been removed as part of the Mini-Holland Lea Bridge Road improvement Scheme which will see the roundabout being redesigned into a T-Junction. 

This will also enable some land currently being used as highway to be returned to the Forest. These trees are mixed in terms of species and age and over 40 per cent of them are already dead or have a life expectancy of less than 10 years, as found in a recent independently commissioned arboriculture report. 

There are a total of 106 trees, of which 28 are being removed. Some of these will be transplanted, and the council say during these works around 50 new trees of varying size, maturity and species will be planted bringing the total upto 134 trees. 

Cllr Loakes, who is in charge of the scheme, has also confirmed that 3 bird nests were identified and Rangers from the Corporation of London investigated and confirmed that they were not being used. If you have any queries regarding these plans please contact the Mini-Holland team

Now for the Twitter gleanings:

Cabbies upset

All the rage

Royal Parks super highway

Air Pollution

Now 20mph

Forest Road consultation

Knickers in a Twist

A particular view

Gridlocked City

Bikes filled to 100% capacity

Business's join battle

The Resurgence of Walthamstow

The resurgence of Walthamstow

WF Festival of Theatre

Theatre Festival

Some active Councillors

Impressive pic

Pic of the WMG

Check out the hygiene of your eatery

Foods Standards Agency

London Assembly Newsletter

Tube signal
Bombardier BungleTfL has spent £85 million to get out of a failed signalling contract with Bombardier Transport. It now has almost £900 million less to spend on transport improvements in the capital - and the Tube upgrade programme is five years behind schedule. The Budget & Performance Committee report, 'Transport for London's Signal Failure', examines the circumstances behind the appointment of Bombardier Transport and draws attention to a culture of denial about the progress of the programme at TfL.
Read the report
Crowd of people
London's environmental timebomb
London’s population is increasing by 100,000 every year, and could reach 13.4 million by 2050. The Environment Committee report, ‘Growing, growing, gone’ identifies the challenges to accommodate London’s growth. 
Read the report
British Transport Police
Wake up to 24 hour Tube crime
The Metropolitan Police has stated that crime levels will not be affected by the introduction of the Night Tube; however in this report, thePolice & Crime Committee found that sexual offences and other crimes are likely to rise.
Read the report
Motorcyclist in bus lane
Protect London's motorcyclists
Accidents and fatalities on motorcycles are rising in London. Could allowing motorcyclists to use more bus lanes be a solution to improving safety? The Transport Committee report, ‘Easy Rider’, explores the issues of motorcycle safety and makes a number of recommendations to TfL. 
Read the report
Mum and pram
Expand childcare in London
Childcare in London remains more expensive than in any other part of the country. So will the Government’s extension of free childcare, from 15 to 30 hours, help? The Economy Committee has written to the Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan, about the challenges childcare providers will face. 
Read the letter
Dying well depends on where you live
Does good end of life care depend on your age, whether you live alone, your diagnosis or economic status?  Does it depend on which London borough you live in? The Health Committee writes to the Mayor with a number of recommendations. 
Read more here
The value of a Land Value Tax
London faces a shortage of areas ripe for development. Could a new Land Value Tax provide incentive to build over 200,000 new homes in the capital?  The Housing Committee report, ‘Tax Trial’, explores the potential of a Land Value Tax in London. 
Read the report
On 21 March the pre-election period begins, ahead of the Mayor of London and London Assembly elections on 5 May. Find out more about the elections here:

The next public meeting will be the Annual Meeting on 13 May at 10:00am. A new Assembly Chair and Chairs of the Committees will be elected.

You are welcome to attend this public meeting or watch the webcast here.

Goodbye from Mayor Boris

Boris's farewell newsletter

Schools to all be directly funded by the Government

Cllr Mark Rusling's view

More on the Barking to Gospel Oak closure

Closure of rail line

Leytonstone Arts Trail

Leytonstone Arts Trail

Walthamstow Wetlands Newsletter


Welcome to the Walthamstow Wetlands Newsletter!

  • Editorial
  • Wildlife corner
  • Walthamstow Wetlands works in progress: reedbeds
  • Volunteering at Walthamstow Wetlands
  • Upcoming events
  • About London Wildlife Trust
  • Contact us
Hello, and a warm welcome to the first edition of the Walthamstow Wetlands E-newsletter! I’m Rachel, the Community Engagement Officer for Walthamstow Wetlands.

I am really pleased to announce that work is now starting on the project’s major building works. The contractorsRooff are currently working on the main Forest Road entrance, the boardwalk and the car park area. In the next few weeks they will start transforming the Engine House into a fantastic visitor centre and cafĂ©.

Keep checking our website  for future guided tours of the site. Now that the weather is improving we will be starting a programme of specialist walks with guides who are experts in their field. This will include local history and heritage, wetland wildfowl and more of the bat walks that were so popular last year.  If you are involved in a local community organisation or school and would like a tour of the site please contact me

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to the community engagement team of volunteers who have worked so hard on behalf of the project and have produced this newsletter. I really hope you enjoy it!
Walthamstow Wetlands works in progress: reedbeds
© Stephen Ayers
Since October, dredging and reedbed construction work has been taking place in Reservoirs 1, 2 and 3. This work is nearing its end now and is due to be completed by the end of March.

The bioengineering work being conducted by Salix River & Wetland Services Ltd. will create 2.4 hectares of new reedbeds. They will also dredge the silt from the bottom of reservoirs 1, 2 and 3, which had become shallow due to the build-up of silt over the years, using diggers on floating pontoons and pump-dredging.

The dredging and new reedbeds (which will absorb excess nutrients and pollutants), will improve the water quality and hence the biodiversity in the water and therefore the fishing in the reservoirs. The reedbeds will also provide better protection for the fish eggs and juvenile fish which will protect them from being predated by the cormorants.

Silt retention systems (underwater fences), have been created using wooden stakes and special netting called nicospan and they can now be seen marking out where the new reedbeds will be. The silt is deposited into these fenced off areas in order to build the new reedbeds. The reeds have been grown in Salix's Norfolk nursery and they will be planted into the new reedbeds later this month. It will take 5 - 10 years before the new reedbeds are fully developed.

The new reedbeds will greatly increase the amount of wildlife habitats and the diversity of the species that will live in those habitats, such as amphibians, invertebrates, mammals and birds. Birds like reed bunting, reed warbler, bearded tits and bittern will be attracted to visit and in due course, perhaps breed in the reedbeds. The work will also create shallow waters, which will favour the herons and help them to compete for food with the cormorants.

For further details about the reedbed construction work, see this recent blog post on the Walthamstow Wetlands Blog 

Stephen Ayres
Volunteering at Walthamstow Wetlands
Ella Rothero is one of our Community Engagement Volunteers.

Up until about a year ago I was working as a sound editor for a post-production company based in Soho, editing dialogue for various television programmes and films. Although I really enjoyed my time as a sound editor, I began to realise that I wanted to spend less time in dark windowless studios and more time outdoors engaging with the natural world and in the end decided to leave in order to pursue a career in nature conservation.

I am now doing an MSc in Conservation at University College London and wanted to complement my studies with some experience in the real world of nature conservation. I have spent the last two years volunteering on various projects including community engagement on Hampstead Heath and becoming a learning volunteer at London Zoo, but there is something particularly exciting about the Walthamstow Wetlands project that made me really want to get involved: it is truly an urban wetland and one which Londoners rely on as much as the wildlife for a clean water supply. I find this aspect of the site really fascinating and this project offers an exciting chance to explore how we can better balance human needs with the needs of other animals.

My role as a community engagement volunteer has given me the chance to develop a variety of skills, ranging from learning to use programs such as Excel to helping to organise events such as a volunteer training day. It has also been an amazing opportunity to become properly acquainted with Walthamstow Wetlands and I am especially enjoying helping out on the guided walks. I have also had the chance to meet so many passionate and knowledgeable people, especially other volunteers, who have taught me so much about the reservoirs and nature conservation more generally. One of my favourite moments has been seeing and hearing my first noctule bat during one of the bat walks last summer.

Ella Rothero
© Penny Dixie
If you are interested in volunteering come along to our Volunteer Roadshow on Sat 12th March 2pm-4pm at Walthamstow Wetlands to find out how you can get involved. For more information please email
© Stephen Ayers

Wildlife corner: grey heron

Grey herons are one of the iconic species of Walthamstow Wetlands. They can be seen throughout the year and because they are large and they stand, or perch in one place for a long time, visitors can have a good look at them.

Herons can be seen on Reservoirs 1, 2 and 3, in the Coppermill Stream, on the island of East Warwick, at the southern end of Low Maynard and elsewhere around the Wetlands.

Although they can regularly be seen, their size, their long bills, elegant necks and in winter their elaborate plumage always makes them an awe-inspiring spectacle.

At present, the herons are resplendent in their winter plumage, which they will moult in the summer. They are somewhat reminiscent of their pterodactyl ancestors, with their vast wingspan, reptilian toes and the range of prehistoric sounds they make, from rasping caws to guttural croaks and wheezing cackles.

The islands at Walthamstow Wetlands, support a regionally important breeding colony of herons who are said to have moved to Walthamstow from Wanstead Park in the 1930s.

You can currently see many massive and impressively constructed heron nests, filling the tree canopies of the islands of Reservoirs 1, 'The Heronry' and Reservoir 2.
© Stephen Ayers
This 1951 amateur film entitled 'Herons on Walthamstow Reservoir' includes footage of heron chicks in the nest:

Written by Stephen Ayers, Walthamstow Wetlands Community Engagement Volunteer

You can see more of Stephen's videos on his blog and follow Stephen on Twitter @Walthamsteve.

Upcoming events

Sat 12th Volunteer Roadshow2pm-4pm

Sun 13th Walthamstow Wetlands Guided Walk 10am-12pm

Wed 23rd Walthamstow Wetlands Guided Walk (for the Mayor of London Festival) 10am-12pm


Sun 10th Walthmastow Wetlands Guided Walk 10am-12pm

Sun 17th
 Walthamstow Wetlands Bird Tour (North site)10am-12pm


Sun 29th Publicity Stand at Tottenham Ploughman RiverFest(Lordship Recreation Ground, Harringey)10am-12pm 


London Wildlife Trust is a charity dedicated to protecting the capital’s wildlife and wild spaces and engaging London’s diverse communities through access to our nature reserves, campaigning, volunteering and outdoor learning.

London Wildlife Trust currently manages over 40 nature reserves in London, but Walthamstow Wetlands will be the largest project we have ever delivered.

London Wildlife Trust has worked hard for many years to generate interest and support for the Walthamstow Wetlands project and we are very proud to see this wonderful site being improved for wildlife and opened up for local people’s enjoyment, free of charge.

Find out more about London WIldlife Trust at

Contact us
Email: Rachel Smith,Walthamstow Wetlands Community Engagement officerat

The London Wildlife Trust is part of a network of 47 local Wildlife Trusts across the UK, working under the umbrella of The Wildlife Trust Partnership, the UK’s leading conservation charity dedicated to wildlife protection.

Registered Office: Dean Bradley House, 52 Horseferry Road, London, SW1P 2AF. A company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales, Number 1600379. Registered as a charity in England and Wales, Number 283895