The latest stage of Love the Lea is practical action – citizen action.
We now have our first teams of water quality testers across the London Borough of Enfield. 25 people have been trained how to detect and test for water pollution. These sentinels are the early warning system for their water body, citizen scientists, the lynchpin in ensuring Enfield’s rivers and lakes do have a healthier future.
30 habitat squares have been made by dedicated and determined people - to add more ecology to the concrete walls of the tidal River Lea south of Bow Locks.
Each one is 9 metres square. The lattices are a combination of plants and coconut fibre so they will be green from the beginning but will also trap seeds that get washed into them, which then will sprout.
We know that Reed Beds are at risk in the Lea Valley – the removal of a Reed Bed just south of the A11 in Stratford by LandProp (Inter Ikea) demonstrated that last year. They are also at risk from competitive plants like Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam which can wipe a Reed Bed out in a year. Reed Beds are essential for a healthy river, offering a place for wildlife and cleaning the water.
Over the last few months volunteers have surveyed the rivers of East London discovering existing Reed Beds in need of protection and sites where new ones could be created. Very soon Project Reed Bed will be launched, and we’ll need your voices to join the call for more Reed Beds.