Lea Marshes

FORA visit to Lea Marshes

On a beautiful autumn afternoon FORA members were treated to an informal guided walk to Lea Marshes. Our three experts chipped in with insights into different aspects of the marsh lands which adjoin the river. Claire Weiss, John Rogers and David Boote led us on a journey through time and space as we explored human activities in the Lea Valley from pre-history to the present. The Lea was an important route for people in prehistoric times as well as roman, medieval and the modern era.  The talks ranged from Viking river boats to the struggles of A. V. Roe, a pioneer of aircraft design who used the marshes for experimental flights from 1909. 

The  growth of suburban London in the late Victorian era led to a renewed importance for the marsh lands. Being a floodplain the land retained much of it’s natural heritage in both animal and plant life. It also became increasingly important to the growing urban population as an open space offering an antidote to the urban sprawl. Local people have fought over generations to retain the marshlands for public enjoyment in the face of waves of developers seeking to encroach upon the land for profit. This struggle continues to this day and several areas of marsh are currently under threat of development.      

If you would like to find out more see:-

David Boote Leyton and Leytonstone Historical Society and Waltham Forest Walks

Claire Weiss Save Lea Marsh

John Rogers The Lost Byway

Lea Marshes

Viking Riverboat Waterworks Nature Reserve

Lea Valley Park – Nature Reserves and Open Spaces

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