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June 2019 Conservation Task

On Sunday 2 June 2019, LBCV will be doing invasive species management on Walthamstow Marshes(SSSI). We will be removing Goat’s Rue from the North Marsh. Meet at the Waterworks Centre, Lemmas Road from 9:30am – 10am.

This is not a repeat of the May task as there was no goat’s rue to pull in May and we did scrape management instead.

Conservation Task Details

Walthamstow Marsh is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI, pronounced “triple S, I”) declared under the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act. Covering 55.4 Hectares (136.9 acres), it is part of a Green Flag Awarded Nature Reserve that also includes Coppermill Fields and Leyton Marsh. This Nature Reserve is a remnant of London’s once widespread river valley grasslands and is especially important for its plant and insect life containing a national rarity in creeping marshwort along with long-stalked orache, black poplar, brookweed, penny-royal, water vole, bats; soldier-flies, snail-killing flies, orthoptera, reed bunting, linnet and song thrush. The marshes are former Lammas lands, in that commoners had rights to graze there from 12 August to 6 April.

The aim of the task is to help keep the Marshes free from invasive species.

This year’s pulling of Goat’s Rues will be on North Marsh. Goat’s Rue is an invasive plant, that for several years LBCV was devoting a whole summer task to pulling on South Marsh. Any goat’s rue now on South March is dealt with by pulling on a walk through, so we are confident we are making a difference. 

Goats Rue is so called as it was given to nanny goats to increase their milk yield but it was found to be toxic to ruminants with the potential to induce a build-up of excess fluid in the lungs, low blood pressure, paralysis and death.

How is it invasive ? It is a non-native hardy perennial that forms dense crowns, each plant can produce over 15,000 seeds that remain viable for 10 to possibly 26 years.

Why remove ? Walthamstow Marshes are under Higher Level Stewardship in that they are being grazed by traditional bred cattle, Belted Galloways, so having goat’s rue growing where cattle are grazed is not ideal and the area is also surround by bridle paths so there is a need to control the goat’s rue in these areas.

Join Us

Everybody is welcome to volunteer with LBCV. No experience is required. LBCV will provide tools, training, gloves, tea, coffee and biscuits.

Please bring some lunch. Please wear sturdy footwear and appropriate clothing for the work and weather.  We can provide wellingtons in the morning but you must return them to the Waterworks Centre, after the task. So please arrive in plenty of time to select your pair.

Please arrive from 9:30am – 10am at the Waterworks Centre Lammas Road, off Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, London E10 7QT, for a 10am departure to the tools storage area. The meeting place is the former golf centre across from the former Greyhound Public House on Lea Bridge Road. We will leave at 10:15am for a walk to the task site. Volunteers are welcome to meet us on site, before the tools talk, please text 07757 766950, before 9am on Sunday, so we can provide enough tools and gloves.

Please lock bicycles to the stands in front of the Waterworks Centre. There is ample free car parking there too. Dogs are not allowed on the Nature Reserve so please do not cross the bridge with dogs or ride bicycles in the nature reserve. Dogs are welcome on some tasks, including this one, we just request that their owners wait with the LBCV catering team at the Waterworks Centre, while the tools are prepared.  If you think we are being draconian, please read this article http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6978272.stm

We should be finished by 3:30pm.

Future LBCV Tasks  – Complete Programme 2019-2020

All conservation tasks are the first Sunday of each month

July Waterworks Nature Reserve invasive species removal  
August Walthamstow Marshes Invasive species removal  
September Waterworks Nature Reserve reed bed management  
October Walthamstow Marshes Scrub management/ Willow removal along ditches  
November Walthamstow Marshes Scrub management/ Willow removal along ditches
December Walthamstow Marshes pollarding Horseshoe thicket  
January Waterworks Nature Reserve reptile and scrub management  
February Rammey Marshes Scrub management  
March Walthamstow Marshes Bramble bashing  


Doing a conservation task with LBCV 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.