Save Lea Marshes for All

, 31 January 2017, Tags:

Rob Sheldon, centre, with other campaigners, including lead campaigner, Abigail Woodman, second from right.

 

The pressure on our natural environment has never been greater, and we are increasingly aware that access to green open spaces is good for our health and well-being. There is a growing body of evidence that establishes a clear link between urban green spaces and human health. Nature deficit disorder is being increasingly used to highlight how children are becoming disconnected from the natural world resulting in negative impacts on both health and education. We are fortunate that in London we still have a large number of parks and green open space, but such areas are increasingly under threat from those that wish to make short-term economic gains for the few rather than embrace long-term stewardship for all.

Local campaign groups, including Save Lea Marshes, have been battling to protect and restore Leyton Marshes and other connecting marshes within the Lower Lea Valley for many years. Last week, the Lea Valley Regional Park Authority endorsed a plan by Waltham Forest Council that includes development on protected Metropolitan Open Land despite significant local opposition. On Tuesday 31stJanuary a petition with over 4500 signatures was handed to the Council, opposing the rezoning of protected land for development. Future development will have a detrimental impact on wildlife and access to the marshes for local residents.

I visit the marshes regularly to wander around the green open space in search of birds and other wildlife, and there are always others using the marshes for a wide range of recreational activities. It is an appalling dereliction of duty that those charged with protecting and enhancing the marshes should be abandoning our natural heritage to boost short-term finances. Waltham Forest and Redbridge Green Party stands with the Save Lea Marshes campaign group to ensure the long-term survival of this important green space for the benefit of all local residents. 

Rob Sheldon,
Waltham Forest and Redbridge Green Party 

 

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