Gazette letters: The weather, green market stall and speed cameras

The cherry tree in Balls Pond Road. Picture: WILL McCALLUM

The cherry tree in Balls Pond Road. Picture: WILL McCALLUM - Credit: Archant

The weather continues to play games with us, writes Will McCallum, Newington Green.

Stepping out each day I feel either punished by the rain and wind or rewarded with blue skies.

It is odd to think of the weather so personally – as if high winds and rising damp were malicious attempts to ruin our day. Nevertheless, having planned to spend Monday outdoors with friends I felt personally aggrieved when the heavens opened mid-afternoon and revealed just how non-waterproof my jacket was.

Soggy clothes did nothing to dampen the real highlight of this last week, which came as I walked along Balls Pond Road and felt something sticky underfoot. Luckily it wasn’t one of the 20 million bits of gum dropped on Hackney’s streets every year, but a bright red cherry. Looking up I saw the light red young cherries nestled among the leaves – a blackbird singing its heart out with joy at finding such a feast. He looked so pleased with his find that I was lured into trying one – absolutely disgusting and definitely not ripe. [Editor’s note: Will knows what he’s doing but the Gazette does not endorse readers eating berries they find in the street]

If you’re interested in what fruit trees are growing on your street, a few years ago the wonderful Hackney Harvest and Fruit City have both produced maps on their website mapping out all the fruit trees in the borough (you can submit new ones too) to make sure that the fruit doesn’t get wasted. To whoever runs these websites – congratulations on such a brilliant resource!

On Saturday I joined a group of 12 volunteers from the local Shoreditch Greenpeace group to set up a stall in Broadway Market, writes Conor Sneyd, Norcott Road, Stoke Newington.

Our mission on this sunny Bank Holiday weekend was to talk to Hackney locals about plastic pollution in our oceans, rivers and waterways, and to ask them to write postcards to a senior executive at Coca-Cola.

Most Read

Plastic can now be found in every corner of the world’s oceans, threatening one of our planet’s key life-support systems and harming marine life. Single-use bottles like Coke’s are a major source of plastic pollution, and in the UK alone, 16 million of these bottles are dumped every day, with many ending up on beaches, in landfill and in the sea.

It’s clear there’s a problem, but companies like Coke, which produces 100 billion plastic bottles a year, are failing to take meaningful action. That’s why we took to the streets to call on Coke to recognise their role in ocean plastic pollution and commit to using more recycled content in their bottles and prioritising reusable and refillable packaging.

We had a fantastic response from the public at Broadway Market, with nearly 300 people expressing their concern by writing to Coca-Cola. Anyone who’d like to find out more about our campaigns can follow Greenpeace Shoreditch on Facebook and Twitter.

A group of Hackney residents took action against speeding motorists on the first day of Global Road Safety, writes Week Brenda Puech, Hackney Living Streets.

The residents learnt to use a “ProLaser 4” speed detection gun with training from a Police Community Support Officer. They took readings from the speed gun and recorded the details of any vehicle going over the speed limit.

The information has been sent to Transport for London to conduct checks on the vehicles and to send out letters to the registered keepers. If a vehicle is seen speeding the first time a warning letter is sent out to the keeper. If this vehicle is seen again speeding, on the second occasion a warning letter will be sent to the keeper stating if they are seen speeding the third time they will be facing enforcement.

This is an initiative organised by Hackney Living Streets who campaign for safer, less polluted

and better streets for people in Hackney.

We hope to keep repeating the process in other streets in Hackney that suffer from speeding.

Anyone interested in taking part, or in suggesting a street where speeding needs to be tackled, please get in touch with me at Hackney Living Streets