Gazette letters: Environment, coloured canes and Highbury Corner roundabout

The Extinction Rebellion protests highllighted strong feelings. Picture: PA

The Extinction Rebellion protests highllighted strong feelings. Picture: PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

World Biodiversity Day was on May 22 and I’m writing to congratulate Islington Council for having a Biodiversity Action Plan which came into action around the time I had my son in 2011, writes Glada Lahn, Canonbury, full address supplied.

Suddenly we noticed wild flowers like campion, borage and even primrose - coming back. And with them came more bees and butterflies. It is wonderful when children can wander through the long grass and tell the time with "dandelion clocks" as if they are in the countryside.

The United Nations has designated the next decade (2021-2030), the Decade of Ecosystem Restoration and we desperately need it. There is so much to be done, as the Extinction Rebellion protests highlight, but this May we have noticed especially rich dawn choruses in Islington. We have seen wrens, finches, bluetits and woodpeckers right here in the city. So it is a start.

Places like the New River Walk and Gillespie Park are beautiful examples of public space that everyone can walk through. We are also doing our bit - I work with the Transition garden, in the corner of Christ's Church - next to the clocktower where we encourage wild space next to the organic fruit and vegetables.

I hope that councils including Islington stop their use of the toxic weedkiller glyphosate altogether and let this ecosystem restoration continue. I have heard that Islington Council just renewed its contract for glyphosate spraying and there is a new campaign where streets will be able to say no to this and organise a weeding party instead.

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I would like to try and make more people aware of what white canes are and what red and white canes are for, writes Leanne Tracey Goulding, Islington.

A small white cane means you have got a little bit of sight but not much. A long white cane means that you are registered totally blind and you have no sight at all. A small white and red cane means you can see a little bit but if you see the colour red on the cane it means that someone is deaf as well.

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A long white and red cane means that someone is registered totally blind and if you see the colour red is on the cane they are deaf as well.

I live in Islington and I have a long white cane and I have had some very bad experiences.

I go down the road most days of the week and a lot of people say to me where am I and I say to them how can I tell you because I cannot see and I say to them do you not know what a white cane is and most people walk by or they say no.

People have seen me at the bus stop and they have said to me why have you got that? It is happening so much now I cannot take it anymore.

A lot of my friends are having the same problems. It is a big world out there and there are so many people who do not know about this and I think it is about time that we try and get the information out there to make people more aware of this.

If we can it would help blind and partially sighted people because we have so many problems.

I see that in several local newspapers, the people who decided that Highbury Corner roundabout was "allegedly" dangerous for pedestrians because of all the nasty road traffic thought that by putting it back to a new layout would improve matters, writes Mr J E Kirby, Clissold Crescent, Stoke Newington.

I'm sorry to say that it appears to be far from safer for pedestrians. This week for instance, I was trying to cross St Paul's Road on the new controlled crossing adjacent to the pub on the corner of St Paul's Road, the pedestrian lights were green but traffic from Holloway Road was still going across the crossing.

Also, there seems to be a never ending tailback along St Paul's Road from the Highbury corner. It is back way past Highbury Grove at most times of the day and also in the evening. It has been almost back to the bend in the road before you get to Harecourt Road. Improvement? Pull the other one.

The other point I would like to make is why do we have to keep on having road works in Highbury Grove Park between Highbury Barn and Grosvenor Road? It seems as though as soon as one lot is finished then about two weeks or so later another lot start. If it isn't the road being dug up then it is the pavement being ripped up and pedestrians forced into the road with barriers causing traffic lights to be for alternate working.

Another favourite place is Grosvenor Road halfway between its junction with Highbury New Park and Canonbury station. It always seems the same place is either blocked completely or with traffic lights. It seems that anybody can come along and decide to dig up this bit of road again and again, water, power and so on. This situation then goes on for days, if not weeks.

Now that the new cycle/pedestrian friendly roadway is in operation, writes Benita Jones, Highbury New Park, Islington,

with the resulting queues of cars idling at the traffic lights, has anyone thought to monitor the air quality in the area?

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