The East London Garden Society

The Voice ‐ October 2019

Comment by Geoff

Geoff Juden

When a local authority such as Tower Hamlets declares a climate emergency and then decides to fell trees protected by preservation orders, dig up a 500‐year‐old Mulberry tree and removes an area of trees which results in a special area of scientific interest not being awarded, there is something wrong.

We all must be vigilant and not believe words but insist on actions.

It’s important that we are all aware of the challenges being placed on the environment worldwide. The East London Garden Society is striving to make the environment in East London to be foremost in people’s minds.

We need to drive home to those who can make change, our determination to improve the environment for all of us in this part of London. To have your say and take part in creating a more acceptable place for all of us, please JOIN The East London Garden Society now.

The State of our Rivers

Feargal Sharkey

The findings of Feargal Sharkey
We’re walking along the River Lea, one of southern England’s abundant chalk streams. There are 210 chalk streams in the world, 160 of them are in England. Sharkey puts the figures slightly higher.

As we walk along the Lea valley, heading south from Luton, he points to stretches of grey, stagnant-looking water. “I can tell you, it should not be grey” he says. “It really shouldn’t.”

Sharkey has become something of an expert on chalk streams and has his own impressive stream of facts and figures. If southern England’s rivers flowed like Sharkey’s condemnation of their ecological regulation, there wouldn’t be much of a problem. He talks about the various agencies tasked with overseeing the health of England’s rivers ‐ the Thames Water Authority, the National Rivers Authority and finally the Environment Agency.

Read the full article. Back to top

Sow Thistle

Sow Thistle

Weeds are a common sight in gardens, fields and lawns. Most gardeners and farmers consider them troublesome, as weeds compete for resources such as space, water, light and soil nutrients that should go to the plants you want to grow.

However, not all weeds are the same since some of them may be beneficial to your health. This applies to sow thistle, a common plant native to Europe, North Africa and West Asia, but can now found around the world.

Read more about sow thistle. Back to top

A Beautiful Relationship

This beautiful relationship between plants and the life in the soil clearly shows us how everything in the natural environment is connected and working together to create regeneration.

The following film helps you learn more about the laws of nature and the principles of the science behind all of this and provides a step-by-step process so that you can apply this to your own garden and grow high quality nourishing food whilst regenerating the soil and your health.

Back to top

Plastic Eating Mushroom


Plastic waste is one of the biggest environmental issues of our time. We are all looking for ways to reduce our reliance on plastic, this is just one.

From handing out plastic bags with embarrassing labels to removing the plastic from six‐packs to harnessing the power of a plastic-eating bacteria, more and more of us are working to find solutions to a growing global programme.

A rare mushroom that feeds on plastic, according to reports, the mushroom’s plastic‐devouring properties were first discovered in 2011 when a team of Yale undergraduates with their professor travelled to Ecuador for a research trip. They found the mushroom, Pestalotiopsis Microspora, in the Amazon and became astounded to find that the fungus not only exists on eating polyurethane but could do so without oxygen.

Despite our best efforts at increasing conservation and reducing waste, we continue to produce more plastic waste each year. The amount of plastic waste that we are producing is estimated to rise 3.8% each year, with an estimated 40 million tons of plastic waste expected to be generated in 2019 alone by American companies and consumers.

National Geographic says that over the past sixty years, we have created an estimated 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic waste. An astonishing 83.7% of that waste is expected to end up in landfills. Anything we can do to put a dent into the damage we are creating could make a world of difference for the planet.

Will these mushrooms be the end to our plastic problems? In the plant kingdom there is an answer, however not the only one. It’s incredible what nature can achieve. Back to top

Victoria Park Friends AGM

Be involved in The People’s Park. Join them for their Annual General Meeting on 8 October 2019. Back to top

Why Herbs?


Read about fourteen Herbs for cough, lung infections and bronchitis.

They include Coltsfoot, Liquorice Root, Cannabis, Ligusticum Poteri, Thyme, Oregano, Lobelia, Inula Helenium, Verbascum Thapsus, Eucalyptus, Verbascum Thapsus, Chaparral, Sage and Mint. Back to top

The Limehouse Triangle

Limehouse Triangle

A local authority gets what it wants!

The Limehouse Triangle in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets was being considered as a site of ‘Scientific Interest’. It is situated on the side of The Regents Canal, just before it reaches the River Thames.

A resident led group, which understood the need for a local nature area, cultivated the idea of The Limehouse Triangle in conjunction with the Council but, the plans were thrown out without nearby residents being made aware of the situation. Tower Hamlets refused the installation of a Nature Reserve.

Tower Hamlets Council with its need to provide housing decided this small area was ripe for creating seventeen flats. Objections were made at the planning stage and it returned once more without any alteration, so consequently it was passed. Eighteen mature trees were felled, irreparably damaging the ecological system, yet three years on no building work has been undertaken leaving very few trees.

See Lime House Triangle for further details and to sign the petition. Back to top

Cooking in a Different Way ‐ Smooth Sow Thistle Salsa

If you haven’t tasted sow thistle before, you can try this salsa recipe adapted from Eatweeds. It incorporates the leaves of the plant, giving your regular salsa a different taste that you may enjoy.


  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 60 grams sow thistle leaves
  • 100 grams soaked hazelnuts
  • 15 grams parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons red chili flakes
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, chopped

Sow Thistle Soak the hazelnuts in boiling water for one hour. Strain and rinse afterward. While soaking the hazelnuts, soak the sow thistle leaves in cold water for one hour. Remove the leaf blades from the larger leaves and discard the stalks. Crush the garlic cloves and let sit for 15 minutes.

Add the hazelnuts, sow thistle, parsley, garlic, salt, olive oil and chili flakes into a food processor. Run the processor until all ingredients are chopped and mixed up. Do not let the food become runny.

Chop the tomatoes and place the sow thistle mixture in a bowl. Fork the tomatoes through the processed sow thistle. Serve the salsa alongside your favourite foods, such as cooked meats. Back to top



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