Saturday, 30 June 2012

dogs on the marshes

I saw a Canalworld Forum discussion about new regulations to keep dogs on leads along the towpath along the Regent's Canal, with threats of fines for non-compliance. You can see plenty of the notices on the Lea navigation, alongside the Hackney Marshes. The forum discussion seems to focus on the nuisance of dogs fouling the path (not sure how pooing on the end of a lead would be any different!), before drifting off into the nuisance caused by speeding cyclists.

I was wondering about the timing of these new restrictions. As many know, Leyton Marsh has been the subject of much protest recently, over the development of a basketball centre for the Olympics. The open land alongside the canal, where people and their dogs wander freely every day, has been dug up and built on, with heavy security keeping the community out. It's not the only shiny metal and concrete structure to have sprung up along that stretch of common land, close to the canal I see. Anyway, it seems that three dogs that walk that area had toxic poisoning within a few days of each other. Of course it may be completeley unrelated but about 3 weeks later, the notices restricting dogs went up all along that stretch of the canal.
I'm guessing that the marshes hold still water almost permanently and that disturbing the soil might release some of London's pollutants into surface, drinkable water.
Here's what a Guardian article said at the start of the year:
"The Environment Agency, which has worked with the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), the London Development Agency and other partners on the site said it had helped the ODA decontaminate 2m tonnes of soil so it could be reused."
Another report says:
 "The main site for the 2012 bid, the Lower Lea Valley, is the largest area of derelict and contaminated land in the capital"
I'm just a bit sceptic about how efficiently you can decontaminate large areas of land without releasing chemicals and other pollutants into groundwater and air. We don't often see for ourselves the effect on wildlife, but I guess the health of our own dear dogs is very much noticed.
But hey, I'm just a conspiracy-theorist.


Anonymous said...

LOL. They decontaminated almost 99% of the land around there by washing it and then they put it back, it's still there. They used a new technque to wash it. I live in Stratford and find it very annoying all the 'security' in place. Still it will only be for a few weeks then we can get back to normal. Carol Blog Virgin

Anonymous said...

Ha! they 'washed' it?! Your comment sent me reading up about soil decontamination processes of which there seem to be several, depending on the different pollutants in the soil. For expense reasons, only the contaminant with the greatest concentration will be dealt with and that's good that this stuff is removed of course. But all the processes talk about chemicals being extracted 'and destroyed' without explaining how. I thought nothing disappeared, it just got dispersed more widely so causing less damage due to concentration. Solids can be made liquid, then gaseous, burnt off and invisible in the atmosphere, but still being breathed it, settling and condensing on foliage, crops dripping into soil, rain-washed into streams etc.

Sorry you've had all the disruption right on your doorstep Carol. Wonder if you're escaping during the Olympics or will batten down the hatches and weather the summer storm!

grey wolf said...

I would suppose that valuable pollutants could be extracted and recycled, while others burnt in high heat incinerators.,or even reacted chemically to make less harmful pollutants but how successful it is likely to be and what safety methods they use could result in stuff being missed or released.

Anonymous said...

Hi mr wolf,
Yes it would be good if they did recycle some of it but I expect the cost of extraction would be compared to new production before that scheme was explored, ho hum.

Anonymous said...

Hi Carrie.
I am working from home. I wasn;t looking forward to the Olympics, but I must confess the atmosphere has got to me. I got a ticket for the park on the first Sunday, it really is beautiful and a credit to the gardeners over there, but I do worry how it will turn out once it has been handed over to the locals. You will be pleased to know the basketball arena is a temporary structure and is going to be removed after the Olympics, so you might get the space back or it might get swallowed in the new park. Hope you are enjoying the fun. :-) Carol Blog Virgin