Public meeting for all users of Hackney Marshes.
The river Lea is a London treasure. On the east edge of Hackney Marsh the Old Lea still runs in its natural bed. A kingfisher nests in the steep banks. Black bream breed in spring, and the fish attract herons and cormorants -- and anglers. Magnificent black poplars line the banks -- Britain's rarest native tree.
Yet the water quality is terrible. Sewage works upstream are allowed to overflow into it, and the overhanging trees are festooned with rubbish. In summer the surface is overgrown with invasive floating pennywort, since the cleansing tidal flow was dammed in 2012.
In 2020, lockdown pressure on green spaces led many local people to discover the wonders of the marshes, but also led to a section of the Lea becoming 'Hackney beach', with people swimming in unsafe water, and wildlife habitat suffering.
What can be done to save the Old Lea? What role can local people take in protecting it?
With this meeting we hope to network local naturalists, litterpick organisers, campaigners from sister groups, and anyone else who cares about the marshes. And decide on a plan of action. Nobody will do this for us.
Convened by Hackney Marshes Users Group (HMUG)
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