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Bow Riverside, River Lee Navigation, East London

The footbridge at Bow Riverside on the River Lee Navigation, near to the Bow Interchange.
It was on Saturday 20th October, a somewhat murky afternoon, that a group of us decided to walk the towpath of the Lee Navigation from Hackney Marshes to Limehouse Basin. The Lee Navigation itself is a canalised section of the River Lea and forms a part of a complicated network of rivers, cuttings, overflows channels and streams - one of which runs past the rear of my flat - that dominate the geography of the local area.

About 3½ miles into the walk, with the rain beginning to fall, we reached the point where the Lee Navigation meets Bow Back River. 

I immediately fell in love with the relatively new bridge that crosses the river at this point. I think what fascinated me about it wasn't so much the angular design of it, but more the way in which it blended perfectly into this strange urban-rural hinterland - or 'edgeland' as some have called such landscapes.

The navigable river, with its old trees and foliage on the banks, gives the walker a sense of seclusion from the urban environment around them, yet the warehouses and brownfield sites just a few metres further away on either side of them remind them that they're still in a built-up and industrialised area. A strange feeling indeed.

This crossing of wood and metal, with it's rusted looking fenders that protect not just the bridge, but the planted reed-beds in which wildlife can thrive, seems to bridge the gap between urban and rural perfectly.

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