How disappointing to see notices appearing in Wanstead Park warning of "deep mud" around the Ornamental Water. It has been with much dismay that those who regularly visit the park have watched the water gradually draining out of the Ornamental and other lakes over this year. Now, much of the lake is just mud with the amount of debris in the way of fallen trees and silt that has been allowed to build up over the years visible for all to see.
The disappearance of the water has been well documented with the Ilford Recorder highlighting the issue in January.
The custodians of the park, the City of London Corporation appear to have done little to address the issues.
There are I believe now plans to get a licence to obtain water from the nearby River Roding pumped into the Ornamental but this is only a stop gap measure.
The unique water system of the park which sees the lakes flowing into each other to retain water levels is broken. It has been broken for some time, it is the major reason why the park was put on the At Risk register by English Heritage in 2009. It must be a matter of ongoing embarrassment that the park remains on the register seven years later.
The Corporation are aware of the problems but seems dedicated only to a sticking plaster approach.
A lack of money is always quoted as the reason why things cannot be done. But we know the Corporation has deep pockets, it spends huge amounts of money on maintenance in other parts on its estate - such as Hampstead Heath. Why is Wanstead Park always the poor relation?
Wanstead Park is a fantastic ecological treasure for the local community, it needs to be nurtured and cared for, not left alone to die.
published Ilford Recorder - 24/11/2016