Helping life flourish on the Lea

Cormorants can often be seen in the River Lea
Cormorants can often be seen in the River Lea

Money awarded to environmental voluntary group, writes Frances Dismore

Community-led waterways clean-up group Stonebridge Lock Coalition (SLC) have been awarded £20,000 to green the Lee Navigation thanks to the Mayor of London’s Greener City Fund and match-funding from the Canal and River Trust.

The news has been well received by SLC members, who are working with both Waltham Forest and Haringey councils (the river is the borough border) to improve our waterways.

“I love this area of the River Lea,” says Edmund Walters, who lives in Walthamstow and often boats on the river. “It is a magical landscape, but here the natural world comes up against the urban world often with appalling results.

“It is always very distressing to see fish die-off such as we saw during last year’s heatwave. I’m particularly fond of the eels, a huge one used to live under our boat and we used to feed it scraps. I am hopeful that the reedbeds will provide refuge for fish and might enable them to survive the depleted dissolved oxygen levels experienced in summer. It’s a simple solution to help our East End eels, after all they are threatened with extinction.”

Jane Halsall also lives on the Lee Navigation. She said: “Instead of watching swans make their home in piles of plastic bags, which is a very depressing sight, we will have the joy of seeing them nest among beautiful sedges, rushes, purple-loosestrife and flag irises.”

Why not give your local waterways some much needed ‘TLC’ and get involved with Stonebridge Lock Coalition?

For more information on the Stonebridge Lock Coalition: