About Us

Save Lea Marshes demand that the previously secluded Oxbow island next to Leyton Marsh is kept wild

Save Lea Marshes (SLM) began as Save Leyton Marsh to campaign against Leyton Marsh being the site of a wasteful  temporary basketball training facility for the 2012 Olympic Games.

In view of the increased development threats to the Lea Valley and surrounding green spaces, we widened our remit beyond Leyton Marshes to include Walthamstow Marshes and Hackney Marshes. We work cooperatively with other local and special interest  groups to preserve the land for nature and open community use.

To do this, SLM has a range of short, medium and long term aims to protect the whole of the marshes from encroachment and development in perpetuity and ensure the maintenance of the marshes is ecologically sound and a good use of tax payer’s money.  Here are some of our specific goals:

  • To ensure that the whole area of Leyton Marshes, including the Waterworks area is maintained as open green space.
  • To establish the marshes as a pesticide (including herbicide) free zone and see an amended mowing regime adopted, so that the area is a haven for butterflies, bees and other species in critical decline.
  • To Keep Leyton, Hackney and Walthamstow Marshes free from enclosed commercial purposes that damage the land and prevent free open access for people to enjoy.
  • To keep a watching brief and actively lobby against all possible threats to the current land designation as Metropolitan Open Land, including the local listed Sites of Scientific and Special Interest (SSSIs).
  • To protect the River Lea and its wildlife.

What we have achieved in the last decade:

  • Achieved the removal of an illegal car wash operating on Leyton Marsh, close to the River Lea.
  • Campaigned alongside local sports groups to prevent Hackney Council hosting ‘three major events per year’ on Hackney Marshes.
  • Successfully opposed the retention of a car park on East Marsh on Hackney Marshes at a public inquiry, and persuaded Hackney Council to allow it to naturally regenerate as a brownfield habitat.
  • Collaborated with groups in Waltham Forest to prevent the imposition of free schools on Metropolitan Open Land, the site of the former East London Waterworks, opposite the Lee Valley Ice Centre.
  • After planning permission for the schools was refused, we founded the East London Waterworks Park campaign alongside CPRE London, now a flourishing community charity looking to acquire this former Thames Water Depot on Lea Bridge Road.
  • With other local individuals and groups, we prevented the commercial and large-scale Waterworks Festival taking place next to the Waterworks Nature Reserve and sensitive River Lea habitat.
  • Over the last year, we have carried out weekly water quality monitoring on the River Lea.
  • We fundraised for ecological surveys of the Waterworks Meadow which have revealed the value of the habitat to many species, including nationally scarce invertebrates and Red-listed breeding birds.
  • We prevented a second land bridge on to the island habitat of the Oxbow.
  • We have successfully lobbied Thames Water to fix leaks affecting the Lea Bridge area, Hackney Marshes and the Waterworks Meadow.

Contact us

Our email address is: leamarshes@gmail.com.

To join our mailing list, which will enable you to receive our newsletters, please click here.

If you want to keep updated, you can also join our Facebook group: Save Lea Marshes.

You can follow us on Twitter: SaveLeaMarshes.