The process of restoring East Marsh from a coach park to a green space has begun. You can see here the paving being stripped away from a layer of hardcore beneath.

By autumn of next year, we're promised, the green space will be restored. The football and rugby pitches that were shoehorned onto the main marsh will be moved back. The pressure on space ended HMUG's years of planting young woods at the edge of the main marsh.

HMUG invested a lot of time and effort before the Olympics into pressing for the least damaging possible building method. We also pushed to save mature trees around the edge of East Marsh. And in the season before the East Marsh was taken over, we planted a buffer zone of young trees and bushes in the hope of protecting the established root zones from being crushed.

How well the restoration plan will work is yet to be seen. The mess that's been made on Leyton Marsh doesn't augur well. But that project was scrambled together at the last minute. On East Marsh there was decent planning by the engineers, and a reasonable degree of community information. On the face of it the result should be better. But we're not taking anything for granted and we'll be pushing for a say in the sign-off.

You should be able to walk around the edge of East Marsh outside the coach park fence. If you find this closed off, please let us know.

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Tags: East Marsh (Hackney Marshes), HMUG, Hackney Marshes, Olympics, biodiversity

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