and Rum (dog) on the Walthamstow Marshes.
|Sandpiper Bridge - the start of my walk|
I can't believe that I have never walked there before!
The marshes are part of the River Lea - once all river flood plain, but drained now. The river itself is nowhere as wide as it was in the past mainly because of the series of reservoirs in the Valley and the fact that much of the river is now channelled as a navigable canal. This was built for industry and for the Gunpowder Mill that used to be at Waltham Abbey.
When the river was a river Vikings sailed all the way to Waltham (no abbey there then, Harold Godwineson had it built circa 1050
Harold would probably have sailed up the river many times - and quick and easy route from his Earldom of Essex to London (7 or so miles away as the crow flies)
Early settlements near Folly Lane (which is where we parked the car) was an Iron Age Hill Fort, this being the first high land along the Lea. Ideal for a fortress.
The Marsh was teeming with birds - ducks, geese, coots, moorhens, chaffinches, tits.... we walked to the loch. I had a chat with the owners of a couple of narrow boats.
The water was still a little icy in places - just goes to show, though as it was the canal not the running river, I suppose the water has not much of a current and is not very deep.
Many of you would not have heard of the Lee Valley (note the river is the Lea, the valley is the Lee - don't ask!) bit come 2012 you will! On the other side, across from Walthamstow is Stratford and Tottenham - the site of the 2012 Olympic Games.
When the TV shows those helicopter views I'll wave from my house! :-)