Vegetation, vegetation, vegetation
January 2022: Outraged Havering residents have mounted a campaign to halt the wholesale destruction of trackside vegetation, including mature trees, along the Romford-Upminster and Romford-Gidea Park lines. They want Network Rail, who maintain the tracks, to consult more widely with the local community - in particular those living near the lines.
As well as screening properties from the trains, the trees and shrubs are home to all sorts of wildlife, and contribute to the reduction of carbon dioxide in the air and hence, in the long term, climate change. Prominent in the campaign is our founding member Rosina Purnell, who points out that at the very least the vegetation could be cut back, rather than completely destroyed.
A petition against the destruction can be signed at change.org
Ready to roll!
After many months of discussions and refinements to the design, we're pleased to say that our new Roller Banner is ready for the road. We hope it will draw attention to our presence at street stalls and other events, and that our pentagonal variant of the familiar recycling symbol will prompt discussions about other ways to conserve resources, which we've always promoted ahead of the "last resort" of recycling materials.
We've taken a close look at the Council's new Climate Action Plan. Despite encouraging noises from them in the press (including some kind words about our local group), we feel that their plan should put more emphasis on preventing climate change, rather than just adapting to it. As with previous issues such as air pollution, we need to move forward beyond monitoring and measuring (the easy bits!) toward actively planning, budgeting for, and implementing changes to reduce our Borough's carbon footprint.
Together with other environmental groups, we've been putting pressure on Havering Council and its contractor to stop routinely spraying Glyphosate-based weedkiller on roadsides and pavements. We believe this chemical, which is thought to cause cancer, poses a risk to both people and wildlife. A wider debate has started, about alternative methods to control weeds, and whether in some cases it would be better to accept and enjoy a natural carpet of attractive and beneficial wildflowers.
Sadly, while Coronavirus remains a hazard, we've decided not to restart indoor activities such as meetings and talks until a majority of our members feel comfortable with attending them. In the meantime, we've held a few meetings online, and a couple of outdoor ones at Langtons, a stone's throw from our traditional venue at Fairkytes. We all yearn for a return to our regular meeting schedule, which will of course be announced on this website.