Thursday, 19 May 2016

Time that City of London Corporation addressed depleting water system of Wanstead Park

What a sight Wanstead Park has been over recent weeks, with the bluebells in full bloom and nesting birds dwelling amongst resplendent trees. A true jewel in the green ecological crown of east London.
Yet amid the natural glory, the infrastructure of this great park continues to creak. Despite the reassurances of the City of London Corporation back in January that the problems of the water draining away from the lakes was being dealt with, nothing appears to have happened. Both the Ornamental and Heronry lakes continue to empty water at an alarming rate.
Is it not time that the City of London got its act together on the question of the water system of the park. When first created in the 18th century, the water system was expertly balanced so that one lake drained into the other and so on, retaining levels of water across the park. Now, come forward to the present day, we find this system has been totally neglected to the point where it is on the point of irrevocable breakdown.
The inadequacy of the stewardship of the park waterways was duly noted back in 2009, when English Heritage put Wanstead Park on its at risk register. Seven years later the park remains on the register, the problems of the waterways continue to deteriorate.
Why do the City of London Corporation not address these problems?  As noted at the start, Wanstead Park is a wonderful ecological oasis, for which we must all be grateful. The worrying thing is the run down state that parts of the park are starting to get into. Fixing the water system, clearing pathways and reinstalling access points like the Jubilee Bridge from Ilford should not be beyond the custodians. These moves do not require huge amounts of money or logistic expertise, so come on City of London put your hands in those very deep institutional pockets and sort out the problems of our great park. 

published Wanstead & Woodford Guardian / Ilford Recorder - 19/5/2016

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