All posts by Colin Smith

December 2021 nature conservation volunteering task

On Sunday 5 December Lea Bridge Conservation Volunteers will be coppicing at Horseshoe Thicket on Walthamstow Marshes. This woodland management task will increase the biodiversity of the thicket.

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Coppiced Trees regrowth

November 2021 nature conservation volunteering task

On Sunday 7 November 2021 Lea Bridge Conservation Volunteers will be doing scrub control and bramble removal on Walthamstow Marshes.

Please meet us at the Waterworks Nature Reserve so we can provide you will gloves and tools.

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October 2021 nature conservation volunteering task

On Sunday 3 October 2021 Lea Bridge conservation Volunteer will be working on the ditches of Walthamstow marshes in North East London.

We will be removing scrub and willow to help stop the marshes becoming a woodland and conserving the current wetland habitat.

All welcome sign up to the task reminder email below to receive more details closer to the task date.

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August 2021 Conservation Volunteering task

    August 2021 Nature Conservation Task  

On Sunday 1 August 2021, LBCV will be in the ditches on Walthamstow Marshes to remove reedmace to open up this waterway for dragonflies and the watervole communities in this SSSI Nature Reserve. To join us, meet at the Waterworks Centre, Lammas Road from 9:30am – 10am. 

Conservation Task Details

The aim of the task is to remove some reedmace by either pulling the rhizomes or cutting below the water level to drown it. This will provide open water areas for dragonflies to hunt. While doing the task we need to cautious as the ditch contains the invasive azolla, mosquito fern, duckweed fern and we must take precautions to stop it spread to other parts of the ditch and nearby waterbodies.

Water Voles – Full Legal Protection In England & Wales

Water voles were given full legal protection in England & Wales on the 6th April 2008 by provisions under section 9 of Schedule 5 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 (as amended). Schedule 5 of this Act makes it an offence to intentionally or recklessly damage, destroy or obstruct access to any structure or place that a water vole uses for shelter or protection. It is also an offence to disturb, kill or injure a water vole or handle a water vole without a licence. (Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981). Disturbing or harming a water vole, damaging its habitat or destroying or blocking water vole burrows could lead to prosecution. Offences carry a maximum penalty of £5,000.

Alternative task
Depending on number of volunteers and how it is in the ditch, we can also pull the common ragwort from Lammas Meadow, as having ragwort in the hay cuts reduces the uses of hay.   

Why Remove Ragwort ?
Ragwort poisoning can have a devastating effect on horses in particular, as well as being damaging to cattle and other animals. Ingestion of Common Ragwort Senecio jacobaea either in its green or dried state, can cause serious liver damage, which can have tragic consequences for both animals and owners. Ragwort is the only one of the five weeds covered by the Weeds Act 1959, which is harmful to equines and other animals. However, in the right place, and where there is no risk to animal welfare, ragwort contributes to the biodiversity of the flora and fauna in our countryside. But next to a field with 11 cattle grazing with 4 in calf and within a quarter mile of the Riding Centre it needs to be controlled.           

Join Us  

Everybody is welcome to volunteer with LBCV. No  experience is required. Please wear sturdy footwear and appropriate clothing for the work and weather. We will be working in a ditch with brambles and nettles on the bank We are out of lockdown but some restrictions still need to apply for LBCV to safely be able to run volunteer tasks in the Lea Valley Park, with the restrictions below. If you are ill, feel ill or have been in contact with somebody who is self-isolating please do not volunteer Please wash your hands before the task in warm water or hand sanitiser. Use gloves when handling all tools, touching gates or other items in the park Do not share tools. Please maintain a social distance of at least 1m in the container. Wash your hands before eating or drinking in warm water or hand sanitiser We will provide chest waders and wader for those that want to go into the ditch. Volunteers are also needed to stay on the bank for the safety of those in the water. Please arrive in plenty of time to select your pair. LBCV will provide tools, training, gloves, coffee, tea and biscuits. Please bring some lunch and water. Please arrive from 9:30am onwards at the Waterworks Centre Lammas Road, off Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, London E10 7QT, for a 10am departure to collect tools and gloves. The meeting place is by the bike racks in front of the Waterworks Centre, across from the former Greyhound Public House on Lea Bridge Road. If you use what three words ///guises.manage.entry is the location. Please lock bicycles to the stands in front of the Waterworks Centre. There is ample free car parking. Dogs are not allowed in the Nature Reserve so please do not cross the bridge with dogs or ride bicycles in the nature reserve. Dogs are still welcome on some tasks, including this one. We should be finished by 3-4pm. Volunteering and doing a conservation task with LBCV in North East London, is great way to meet new people, learn new skills, use old skills, be more active, get closer to nature, make a difference and have some fun with like-minded people in the Lea Valley Regional Park.    

June 2021 conservation task

LBCV’s second post T5 lockdown task will be on Sunday 6 June 2021.

Meet us at the Waterworks Centre between 9.30 and 10 am to do invasive species management at a local nature reserve. We should be finished by 3pm.

All welcome bring lunch wear stout footwear and clothing for the weather and working in long grass, with possible brambles and nettles.