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Bow Back Rivers website

A quick mention for the excellent Bow Back Rivers pages on the londoncanals.co.uk website.

Compiled in the period just before the Olympic onslaught hit the area, it's the definitive tour round all the waterways with their cocktail of history, industry and rampant wildlife which makes me realise how many places I never got to before it all disappeared.

It's incredible to be reminded just how much vegetation there was in this 'industrial wasteland' - the future Olympic Park will be a desert by comparison despite the many millions being spent on factory-farmed plants and trees. I was also to interested to see that Land & Water dredged the City Mill River only in 2002 - contrary to the London 2012 rhetoric that the rivers had 'suffered decades of neglect'.

But it's hard to beat the irony of the 'Pudding Mill River Improvements' sign - as it has now disappeared for good under the main stadium. The works were funded by Chase Manhattan Bank and the Stratford Development Partnership.

As the author points out

"Improvements were made to the Pudding Mill River at the start of the 21st century, including tree planting, the building of an attractive wooden bridge, and picnic areas. Unfortunately it has all been swept away to make room for the huge main Olympic stadium. Talk about saving money... one lot of money has already been wasted..."

One wonders exactly how many improvement and regeneration projects took place across this 'neglected' area in the period prior to the Olympic bid?


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