Les & Len

Les and Len are Newham Conservation Volunteers and they have carried out a lot of work in clearing up the area around the Bow Back Rivers - now part of the London 2012 Olympic site. They planted many trees and shrubs in the area incuding the willow tree in the centre backgound of the picture.

Interview

Listen to an interview with Les & Len.

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You can also read excerpts from the interview below.

About this painting

Oil on canvas, 95x64cm, 2008

Les & Len

From the interview

On the River Lea conservation

On the old River Lea, we spent several weeks getting rid of Japanese knotweed and putting in lots of (railway) sleepers to hold back the embankment. We planted lots of different types of trees: oak, ash, alder, lots of holly, and honeysuckle to cover up the fence. Hawthorne did very well! Last time I looked, the trees were enormous, but there was no sign of the knotweed. I've been told that Japanese knotweed doesn't like the shade!

A lot of the factories did give money for brightening up the river. (The factories backed right onto the river.) Their employees, when they had their breaks, instead of just going in the canteen, they were sitting out on the river embankment.