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Recorder letters: Otters in Wanstead, garden waste and Oakfield.

PUBLISHED: 09:00 15 April 2017

PA Archive/PA Images

Experts are trying to reintroduce otters to the River Roding. Picture: CHRIS RADBURN/PA

Work to encourage otters back is most encouraging

Paul Donovan, Dangan Road, Wanstead, writes:

Great news to see that efforts are being made to bring otters back to Wanstead.

The work on the River Roding by volunteers to create a habitat conducive to the return of otters is most encouraging.

The river and lake alongside are always fantastic places for wildlife, with the kingfishers now resident zipping along, stopping sometimes to perch on an overhanging branch.

One concern though for the return of otters must be the mink in Wanstead Park.

It is surprising the number of species of creature foreign to the area that have cropped up over recent years. There are the turtles regularly seen on the logs in the Ornamental Lake and of course the parakeets.

It is certainly a great time to be in the park, with the bluebells beginning to come through in areas like Chalet Wood, providing a magnificent display.

On a less optimistic note, the lakes continue to drain of water at an alarming rate.

The pump at the Heronery is due to be replaced in the next month, which should see water levels rise in that lake and the adjacent Perch Pond. However, the Ornamental continues to lose water at an alarming rate.

It seems that options are being examined by the City of London Corporation. However, this work and other urgent projects that have been in the pipeline for some time have now been further delayed by the decision to not put in for the next round of Heritage Lottery funding. The problems are growing in the park and need resolution.

At the recent AGM of the Friends of Wanstead Park the idea of a Save Wanstead Park summit was voiced bringing together the various stakeholders with local MP John Cryer playing a central role.

This is a welcome idea that should be enacted.

Simple solutions for garden waste

Ron Jeffries, Spearpoint Gardens, Aldborough Hatch, writes:

Redbridge Council’s decision to scrap the free collection of green garden waste is highly regrettable, whilst being understandable at a time when local councils are under extreme financial pressures, the like of which have not been seen in my life-time.

Like many others, I am left with four useable and sturdy green bags and will have to use the 50 smaller and flimsy bags for which I have paid £50 from my hard-earned pension.

A walk round my home area will reveal that many householders are seemingly totally unaware that the green waste scheme has changed, for there are many green bags in front gardens and on the pavements waiting for a collection that will not come.

How long will it be before these bags of green waste are fly-tipped or start to rot and stink? As a gesture of helpfulness, could not the council arrange to have these bags collected for one last time?

It is highly regrettable that the council has decided not to continue to provide a green waste collection point on Sundays at Fullwell Cross car park. Reinstating that would not break the bank.

This would help those who cannot afford the £50 and who have friends who would take their waste there in their cars.

We are constantly being told that Redbridge is a listening council. Unless these two simple suggestions are implemented, I fear that green waste fly-tipping will be rife across the borough.

Re-think needed on green rubbish

Judy Freedman, Ilford, full address supplied, writes:

I have paid the £50 for my garden waste to be collected.

I have been told by neighbours who have wanted to take theirs up to the tip in Chigwell Road that on most days there is a traffic queue extending from Charlie Browns Roundabout to the tip.

Obviously, a large majority of people do not want to pay to have their garden waste collected. People do not want to sit in traffic either on entering the tip. If people have to queue up to dispose of their bags in the end they will throw it anywhere.

Although I have paid for this service, I feel that it will not work out. The council tax has increased which should have included the garden waste removal.

The council will have to re-think this one.

Front line of battle to save green belt

Howard Berlin and Chris Nutt, Save Oakfield Society (SOS), write:

Last Thursday’s well attended Oakfield public meeting not only had great contributions on the benefits of sports playing fields and green belt from Lee Scott, Paul Canal, Keith Prince, Joyce Ryan and Alex Welsh (London Playing Fields), but also both Wes Streeting and myself referred to the history of London green belt and in particular to the foresight of Herbert Morrison.

Herbert Morrison, when he was leader of the London County Council, created the legislation which enabled boroughs in London to buy open land for the purpose of stopping urban sprawl. It was because of his vision that Ilford Borough Council bought Oakfield in 1938 with the promise to the King of England not to use the land for housing development. This has stopped Barkingside community merging with Hainault community.

It was Herbert Morrison in 1938 who led the LCC to set up Metropolitan Open Land, what we today call London green belt. This was his great legacy to us. It is disappointing to report that the leader of our council was a no-show.

As Cllr Joyce Ryan said, he attended the Wanstead parking open meeting, so why not come to Oakfield?

What was clear from audience questions is that the community get what Oakfield is all about. Nobody can understand why Redbridge Council are prepared to give up our very best playing fields.

The reality is that Oakfield is on the front line of the battle to protect green belt. That is why Oakfield is constantly in the news. That battle is with Redbridge Council because if we lose, then all open space is under threat.

Last week’s Recorder referred in detail to Redbridge housing issues. We at SOS support the 16,845 new homes by 2030 in line with the London mayor’s target for Redbridge. This can easily be achieved without building on any of the six green belt sites targeted by Redbridge Council. If we need to build more homes over and above the 16,845 our council should be engaging with the community on where best to locate these new homes.

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