East London a wild place—if you know where to look

WILDLIFE conservationists are going all out to bring East London closer to the wildlife on its doorstep. They have started a Wild Place project which this week was awarded �379,000 by the Heritage Lottery to help people get involved in their local nature wildlife

By Mike Brooke

WILDLIFE conservationists are going all out to bring East London closer to the wildlife on its doorstep.

They have started a Wild Place project which this week was awarded �379,000 by the Heritage Lottery to help people get involved in their nature wildlife along the River Lea.

The project by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the Lee Valley Regional Park authority introduces people to the rich variety of plants, animals and insects found along the river, from Blackwall where it joins the Thames, northward to Hackney and Enfield.

“East London’s wildlife is facing huge challenges from development and climate change,” said RSPB London manager Martyn Foster.


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PRESSURES

“The pressures of modern life are cutting people off from their natural surroundings. We aim to redress that imbalance.”

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Work is being focused on six sites, Blackwall’s East India Dock Basin, Bow Creek Ecology Park, Hackney filter beds, Walthamstow Waterworks nature reserve, Tottenham Marshes, and Enfield’s Myddelton House Gardens.

Heritage Lottery Fund’s Sue Bowers said: “This project connects open spaces along the Lee Valley and connects Londoners to the natural world that many don’t realise is within easy reach of their homes.”

Schools and communities are being invited to create activities, education projects and special events along a 12-mile stretch of the Lee Valley Regional Park, which is home to hundreds of plants and creatures including otters, peregrine falcons, kingfishers, grass snakes and common lizards. Around 1,800 children will be involved in the new term.

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