This Save Lea Marshes blog is about sounds. We are contrasting the sounds of birds with noise generated by a primary school at a similar distance from the area we seek to protect. The birdsong is currently experienced as you walk from the Friends Bridge on Hackney Marshes, along the path that currently divides the Clancy Docwra works on the Thames Water site from the Lea Valley Nature Reserve. It is an alternative pleasant walk and cycle route off the Lea Bridge Road.
It has been long hoped that once the necessary water-engineering works had been completed, the site would return as part of the green lung of the Lea Valley and its heritage buildings put to good use for supporting people and wild-life interests. However, before any ideas were able to be considered, the Government’s Education Funding Authority bought the site for the use of two free schools and possibly a nursery. The situation currently hangs in the balance before a future Waltham Forest Council Planning Committee.
There are many valid reasons why this site is unsuitable for schools but the purpose of this blog is to bring home the aural impact on wildlife that two schools would have on the surrounding areas of the Middlesex Filter Beds, the Nature Reserve and Hackney Marshes, and the effects it will have on the quiet enjoyment of people who come to these areas to enjoy open space, activities, to experience peace and watch and listen to birds…
The sound of children can be joyous, but what are we teaching our children if the buildings in which they are to learn have a detrimental effect on the very nature we all need to exist? Furthermore, these schools are not planned by the local authority to meet local educational needs — they are private enterprises to be run as a business. There is a difference, there is a choice.
This is the sound that you can hear along the path currently.
This is the sound that might replace it.