The wheel will be at the Three Mills until the 23rd of June and a more permanent home will be found along the River Lee.
National Mills Weekend at the Three Mills and the Launch of Active Energy Water Wheel
Lea Valley Hydocitizenship team celebrated the National Mills Weekend at the Three Mills, 13-14 May. The Hydocitizenship cultural mapping stall ran all weekend. Over 30 people contributed to the mapping and shared their experience around the water spaces at Three Mills.
Active Energy water wheel was also launched at Three Mills heritage site on the 13th of May. Jane Caldwell, Chief Executive at Age UK East London made the opening address followed by artist Loraine Leeson and Toby Borland, engineer, who outlined the trajectory of the project and its importance of community input. Professor Graeme Evans, Middlesex University described the involvement of the project in Hydrocitizenship. Finally, the Geezers, with Ray Gipson described their longstanding struggle to bring renewable energy in to their community and their involvement in Active Energy project.
The wheel will be at the Three Mills until the 23rd of June and a more permanent home will be found along the River Lee.
Active Energy at Three Mills
3pm-5pm Saturday 13th May 2017
The House Mill, Three Mill Lane, Bromley-by-Bow, London E3 3DU
As part of the Hydrocitizenship project supported by the Arts & Humanities Research Council Connected Communities programme, Active Energy is launching an innovative water installation at the House Mill, a Grade I-listed water mill, home to the largest mill wheels in the world. Come and see the water wheel in action and tour the Mill, visit an exhibition of student architect design schemes, and speak to artists, engineers, researchers, water and heritage experts about the project, the power of water, and give your input to the future of the site and water ecosystem.
Background: The greater life experience of older people is rarely a factor in the development of new technologies. However The Geezers, a group of senior men from Bow, East London have been raising and answering important questions about the possibility of ‘powering London’ with energy generated by the flow of its rivers. This arts and engineering collaboration that started with a SPACE commission in 2008, led to an exhibition proposing tidal turbines on the Thames Barrier, followed by intergenerational workshops and mentoring around sustainable energy at a local school which resulted in a turbine-driven lightwork installed on the roof of an Age UK centre.
The current phase of the project is taking place in the Lower Lea as part of the Hydrocitizenship initiative. Here the outflow from House Mill at the Three Mills heritage site is being utilised to drive a floating stream wheel powering an aerator to help oxygenate the water and counteract the effects of pollution on the river’s fish and wildlife. The wheel will be installed for over a month and a record kept of its performance and underwater photography of its working and the effect on water quality.
The project is led by artist Loraine Leeson with technical expertise provided by engineer Toby Borland and the support of Beverley Charters, House Mill; Ben Fenton, Love the Lea/Thames 21; and the Hydrocitizenship team at Middlesex University - Graeme Evans, Ozlem Edizel and Simon Read.
Find out more at:http://www.active-energy-london.org; and http://ww.leevvaley.org
Congratulations to Active Energy for winning the Best Arts and Green Energy award.
Renewable Futures and Green Energy Awards has been announced on the 29th of November at an awards ceremony at Bath’s historic Assembly Rooms. More than 100 companies in eight categories entered the thirteenth annual South West Green Energy Awards, organised by Regen SW.
This year Regen SW, with support from the Institution of Civil Engineers, awarded a new Best Arts and Green Energy Project Award with a £1000 prize to the winner, to raise awareness on how artists can help us address the challenging issue of tackling climate change.
Congratulations to Woodberry Down Wetland for winning the People’s Choice Award of Hackney Design Awards
The Design Awards are a celebration of the great design and architecture in Hackney. The Hackney Council launched the first Hackney Design Awards in 2004. These biennial awards are just one of many initiatives aims at achieving high quality development that supports the Council’s wider sustainability objectives. The Council recognises the importance of high quality design and appreciates the positive contribution it can make to the lives of the residents and the whole community.
This year, nominations for the awards came from all areas: the architects who designed the scheme, the residents who now inhabit the homes, or people inspired by the look of a building or place. Some 50 projects were received and we are pleased to announce that from the 16 schemes shortlisted in September 2016, this year's independent judging panel has selected 7 winners and Woodberry Down Wetlands is one of them.
Woodberry Down Wetlands which is a major heritage and landscape conservation project allowing public enjoyment of the East Reservoir is also the People's Choice winner this year.
The Hidden River Festival is an free annual waterside festival, giving local people a chance to enjoy a mix of live music, food stalls, art and fun for all the family with the aim of connecting the communities living alongside the New River, which runs through Hackney and Haringey.
The New River is the inspiration for the festival, but it is neither new nor a river. It was built over 400 years ago to bring Londoners fresh water from the springs of Hertfordshire and provides a beautiful green way through this part of the city, which Manor House Development Trust invites people to come and celebrate every year to discover this unexplored oasis and wildlife haven.
The festival launched with the 2013 festival held in Finsbury Park with 2,000 people in attendance with comedy, swing dancing and a specially commissioned New River Cantata choir. The 2014 festival took place at the West Reservoir Centre.
The Hidden River Festival 2016 was situated along the New River Path beside the East and West Reservoirs at Woodberry Down on the 10th of September. Rainy weather didn’t stop visitors to enjoy a day of activities, music, food and many other interesting stalls.
Lee Valley Hydrocitizenship held a cultural mapping stall at the festival and engaged with the local people about their views and perceptions of this rapid changing neighbourhood.
Firs Farm Wetlands Festival
The festival was great success thanks to organisers and volunteers. The range of activities and stalls kept the festival ground busy all day long. Lee Valley-Hydrocitizenship team hosted a cultural mapping stall during the festival.
The festival was great success thanks to organisers and volunteers. The range of activities and stalls kept the festival ground busy all day long. Lee Valley-Hydrocitizenship team hosted a cultural mapping stall during the festival. Hydrocitizenship stall was one of the liveliest areas of festival along with London Wildlife Trust, Love the Lea/Thames 21 and Thames Water. More than 20 people took part in the cultural mapping study and shared their experiences and ideas about living around Firs Farm. Thanks to Luciana Alves (PhD student at the Department of Natural Science, Middlesex University) for her help during day. Detailed analysis and results report will be available on our website soon.
The East End Canal Festival
The East End Canal Festival took place on Sunday June 26th at the Art Pavilion, Mile End Park. The event celebrated and promoted the canals as a community asset for the East End.
The turn out was great and people were very much interested in the activities and exhibition. The Festival builds on the work of the East End Canal Heritage Project, run by Laburnum Boat Club and supported by funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Festival showcased the project's work uncovering the stories and images of the Regent's and Hertford Union Canals over the last almost 200 years, which was moving and interesting. Activities including boat trips, workshops, art exhibition and stalls captured the interest of locals. Overall, it was a very good way to relax, learn and enjoy a sunny Sunday by the canal.
Come and chat to the Hydrocitizenship team outside the House Mill, Three Mills during National Mills Weekend (14-15 May 2016) to share your experiences and ideas about living, working and relaxing near the Three Mills and River Lee.
Also, find out more about the Active Energy project where the outflow from part of the Three Mills heritage site will be utilized to drive a slow moving stream wheel. This will generate sufficient power for an aerator that will help oxygenate the water to counteract the effects of pollution and support the survival of fish.
Looking forward to seeing you all and celebrating the National Mills Weekend.
Silvia is an artist working with organic sculpture to explore creative pathways for the knowledges, skills and practices of artists to help inform and enable more sustainable water environment-human relations. Her canvas or living lab is Walthamstow Wetlands an important focus for the Hydrocitizenship work in the Lee Valley case study. A self-labeled ‘artist in residence’ she has made the wetlands her artistic home for the last nine months. Immersed in this space and using it as inspiration for her art and subject for her research findings our paths of exploration crossed in Autumn 2015 and we have worked together since then to share ideas and to deliberate over our respective findings. This has been a serendipitous collaboration with both parties playing the role of research participant, special adviser, facilitator and co-researcher for the other. The flow of ideas has manifest through the everyday participatory devices of conversations, sharing and relationships. This has involved: taking part in guided walks and talks around the wetlands together; acting as mutual network builders to enable knowledge and skills to be shared and relationships built; and engaging in active deliberation via informal social media interactions and through the more formal channel of our respective interviews. This process has helped us evolve our thinking around the wide ranging relations expressed at the wetlands in terms of how citizens value, understand and relate to water, wetlands flora and fauna, water resource management, industrial water heritage and this water landscape more broadly. While we have used different approaches to exploring ideas around what we call ‘hydrocitizenship’, there is a good deal of common ground in our thematic findings, and this ongoing process of research collaboration has for me highlighted the importance of multi-disciplinary teams working together to explore and understand hydro-social relations.
[Dr Jo Orchard-Webb, Research Fellow, Lee Valley Team]
Lee Valley Hydrocitizenship team has celebrated the World Water Day (22.03.2016) with water and sediment sampling in the Lower Lee with Luciana Alves and Prof. Lian Lundy.
Luciana’s PhD research focuses on the impacts of an urban catchment on water and sediment quality of a receiving river in the case of lower River Lee. While water quality has been the focus of several academic research and EU/national documents, little has been done with regard to sediment quality. River Lee has been subject to increasing urbanisation in the last 100 years and it receives major discharges of treated sewage effluent.
The research involves a combination of field, laboratory and desk-based studies. Alessandro and I joined Luciana and Lian for the collection of water and sediment samples from 11 sites selected to represent variations in drainage and land use activities. Samples are analysed for heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants.
We started the day at 8am at the Middlesex University car park and visited all the sampling points by 4pm. Luckily, it was a blue sky, beautiful London day and it was quite pleasant to spend it by the water and nature.
Luciana’s work helps to enhance understanding of the process of pollutant release from sediment to water. The combined output of the this research will inform the development of a GIS-based model to enable stakeholders, e.g. the Environment Agency, to identify and prioritise pollutant sources within a catchment based on their potential to negatively impact on water and sediment quality.
Reference: Alves L., Lundy L., Revitt M., Wildeboer D. (2015) Evaluating the impacts of an urban catchment on water and sediment quality of a receiving river, Poster Presentation, Middlesex University
Lee Valley News
This blog contains news from the Lee Valley Hydrocitizenship team.