WHO ARE HANWELL NATURE?
Here is a rough time line of our involvement in campaigning for Warren Farm, and information on the campaign to save it before our successful legal action, saved Warren Farm from development in 2020.
Hanwell Community Nature Reserve is formed
2018: The group “Hanwell Community Nature Reserve” initially came together to prevent a potential ‘Wildlife Crime” happening; should the proposed landfill works go ahead whilst protected Skylarks were nesting on Warren Farm. Calling on Ealing Council to protect it as a nature reserve. https://www.facebook.com/hanwellcommunitynaturereserve/
Hanwell Nature is formed
2019: HCNR was reformed into Hanwell Nature. We began a passionate campaign to enlighten Ealing Council as to the many rare, endangered wildlife and vulnerable species that this inappropriate permission to build would entirely destroy. We continued advocating for Warren Farm to be made into a Nature Reserve.
We share our new vision of a Nature Reserve for Warren Farm
2019: Hanwell Nature publish an open letter to Ealing council on our POST HERE calling on Julian Bell, the then leader of the council to meet and talk with us to discuss our Alternative vision of Warren Farm being protected as Nature Reserve.
Warren Farm placed in top 4 'best loved' London parks
2019: Warren Farm was one of four green spaces in London (the only one in Ealing) which placed within the top 20% of all nominations nationally in voting for UK’s Best Park 2019. Each of these spaces receives ‘Much Loved’ status, recognising the support they have received this summer from those who use and love them. Read Post
New Legal action begins
2019: Legal action was taken by Samantha O’Connor one of our founder members, against the decision to grant planning permission to develop the site. Everyone said it was “a done deal, and nothing could be saved”.
Permission granted to seek a Judicial review!
2020: The Hon Mrs Justice Elizabeth Laing DBE rules in the claimants’ favor.
She confirmed that their case against Ealing Council had sufficient merit and permission was granted to proceed toward a full Judicial Review of Ealing Council’s decision not to require an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). The Judge saw clearly that there was a strong arguable case, and she has allowed it to be heard in full at a 2 day Judicial Review hearing.
2020: When Ealing Council and QRP chose not to defend the legal case – the matter was then settled out of court, and development had to be abandoned. Ending the 8 year battle to save the land for nature and the community.
BRCS & newly formed Warren Farm Nature Reserve join the campaign
2021: B.R.C.S and Warren Farm Nature Reserve Groups join to support the campaign to turn Warren Farm into a nature reserve.
New Petition by Warren Farm Nature Reserve group is launched
Calling on Ealing Council to support the existing campaign by granting Warren Farm
Local Nature Reserve status. Our members and those of the previous Save Warren Farm group sign the petition.
New Skylark protection zone Launch
2021: Hanwell Nature volunteers began a friendly education drive, and could be seen daily handing out leaflets to alert visitors of the ground nests soon to be filled with eggs/ tiny chicks. Read Our Post
It is our mission to support, protect, and nurture the environment and wildlife on Warren Farm by inspiring users to share the space with Wildlife.
We meet with the political parties on Warren Farm
2021: Hanwell Nature raise awareness with the political parties during the lead up to the London Assembly and local elections, gathering vital commitments of support. Read our post
New Development plans
2022: Peter Mason the new Leader of the Council, announces that we must prepare for the arrival of new Sports facilities. This tragically puts the flourishing established wildlife and the re-wilded space in danger again. Hanwell Nature continues to challenge the narrative that we must compromise nature for sport.
Council launches consultation on the future of Warren Farm
A consultation is opened for residents to choose what sport might be needed for Warren Farm. Locals flood the consultation requesting no sport for the meadow, but Nature Reserve Designation instead. Read our post
Council push ahead with plans to develop Warren Farm Nature Reserve
Hanwell Nature were given 3 mins to speak at the Cabinet decision meeting. Sadly Ealing Councils determination to ignore local residents wishes was strident and resolute.. Read our post
ARCHIVED OF PAST HISTORY ON WARREN FARM
HANWELL NATURE ARE A COMMUNITY ENVIRONMENTAL TEAM, CAMPAIGNING FOR THE PROTECTION OF NATURE ON WARREN FARM - FOR CURRENT AND FUTURE GENERATIONS.
HANWELL NATURE started out as a group of concerned residents who had observed the growing biodiversity flourishing at Warren Farm. It was clear we had to encourage the Council to urgently respond to protect Warren Farm at a crisis point for climate change.
So, in collaboration with nationally recognised experts in their fields, we conducted many ecological surveys on the meadow, identifying rare species, some using reference material at The Kew Gardens Herbarium, and the London Natural History Society.
The results clearly show that there are many rare and protected species of plants and wildlife flourishing here. This precious meadow is a haven for nature and is species-rich of high ecological importance to London and the UK.
There is no comparable replacement for this massive loss of biodiversity, so vitally needed in the borough, to meet the Mayor’s urgent environment strategy that hinges on the preservation of green spaces in the capital.
Ealing must align with this urgent strategy. Read more about the Mayor’s strategy
Whilst some still glibly “green wash” and suggest the biodiversity loss can be replaced or replicated elsewhere through mitigation, our ecological experts tell us it cannot.
Biodiversity loss is just that, it is a loss, and we should not be lulled into a false sense of security.
Warren Farm is in the Brent River Park, designated by the Greater London Authority as a Grade 1 Site of Borough Importance for Nature Conservation for its flora and fauna, surrounded on all flanks by Jubilee Meadow (SINC), Long Wood (also a Grade 1 Site of Borough Importance for Nature Conservation) and the Grand Union Canal, whilst being part of the All London Green Grid.
Warren Farm has birds and mammals of conservational importance that are Schedule 1 and Red-Listed (of highest conservation concern in the UK) such as Barn Owls, Starlings, Linnets, Mistle, Thrushs, Woodpeckers, Bats, and the only breeding Skylarks in Ealing. A vast number of invertebrates have been recorded by our experts including species categorised as ‘vulnerable’, ‘notable’, ‘scarce’ and ‘Red Listed’.
WHY SHOULD WE CARE?
ACCESS TO NATURE MATTERS TO ALL OF US.
Warren Farm is a sanctuary on our doorstep. Expert ecologists know once it is lost, it is lost forever, and every resident of Ealing, London, the UK and the world suffer the consequences. Every country in the world has its part to play, and we cannot be seen to be failing our collective duty to meet our country’s environmental and climate change targets.
Now that Warren Farm has been fully reclaimed by nature, we need to be considering a “new deal”, putting nature’s needs first over elite property developers requirements, by preserving what has naturally become Ealing’s largest Nature Reserve.
WE NEED NATURE TO SURVIVE
As the first country in the world to declare a climate emergency, and the first city to become a National City Park, we cannot be seen to rest on vacant words, when intervention could
create an invaluable and irreplaceable legacy for Ealing’s administration and future generations.
What Londoners need is access to nature, providing places in which we can step away from busy streets and relax. It is our collective duty to protect the open spaces we have – they are irreplaceable.
We can destroy and degrade our natural capital for short-term gain, and leave an impoverished inheritance for future generations. Or we can preserve and enhance the world for ourselves, and for all the other creatures who share the globe with us.
Once it is lost, it is lost forever.
NATURAL HABITATS ARE CRITICAL TO THE FUNCTIONING OF THE CITY AND THE MENTAL HEALTH OF ITS OCCUPANTS
Natural habitats are an important element of ‘green infrastructure’. Wild green spaces can help with city cooling and enhance air quality, providing places in which we can step away from increasingly stressful lives and recover in nature. These ‘ecosystem services’, so often taken for granted, are increasingly being recognised and evaluated as being important to people’s quality of life and the city’s functionality.
Therefore, protecting Acid Grasslands, Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC), Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) habitats, preserving the connectivity between wildlife corridors, of which Warren Farm is all of these things, is more than just nice to have; it is essential to making Ealing a more pleasant place to live, work and play.
WILL OUR CHILDREN THANK US OR BLAME US?
” Our children are future stewards of the earth. In order to raise adults who are passionate about protecting the environment and preserving our planet, they must first develop a deep love for it. The only way to enable children to grow comfortable in nature is to open the door and let them out to explore the wonder and awe of the natural world”.
Many eminent studies suggest that visits to natural spaces early in life has a long-term benefit by improving a person’s childhood as well as giving them an appreciation of nature, which means they are likely to continue engaging with nature in adulthood.
Urban children exposed to nature develop empathy
Studies show that urban Children exposed to nature at an early age, in Exploration and Experience Under Authentic Situations in Nature “exhibited a sense of pride and responsibility towards nature.
Enriched enjoyment from free exploration of habitat fosters a connection to nature, and helps develop sympathy towards nature and animals. Nurturing empathy is required for them to grow up as effective stewards of their environment.
Contact with nature during childhood leads to better mental health in adulthood.
Exposure to natural outdoor environments has been associated with several health benefits, including a better cognitive development and better mental and physical health, according to a new study by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), an institution supported by “la Caixa,” involving four European cities.
The results show that adults who were less exposed to natural spaces during their childhood had lower scores in mental health tests, compared to those with higher exposure.
We owe it to our children to protect access to green spaces where they can explore and learn about rewilded nature, away from iPads and computers, inspiring the next generation of Ecologists, and guardians of their planet.
WHAT WILL YOU TELL YOUR GRAND CHILDREN WHEN THEY ASK WHAT YOU DID?
DID YOU TAKE ACTION TO PROTECT ENDANGERED RARE BIODIVERSE GREEN SPACE IN EALING WEST LONDON ?
THIS IS NOT A GOOD DEAL FOR EALING, LONDON OR NATURE
“PAVED PARADISE AND PUT UP A PARKING LOT”
In the outdated old plan, residents were said to be receiving a state of the art football facility, which on the surface almost makes the development sound desirable, and in some peoples’ minds ameliorates the destruction of 61 acres (24.9 Hectares) of valuable green assets.
However, when we drilled deeper beyond ‘marketing hype’ into the detail of the current plan, the football pitches were not exclusive to the Community, and there was only limited paid for access for only 30 weeks of the year. It didn’t represent a good deal for residents for the next 200 years, in terms of sports provision, and was unacceptably destructive environmentally erasing an invaluable UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) habitat, contrary to the ambitions of The Mayor of London’s Environmental Strategy.
Equally unacceptable were the plans to deny open access for residents of all ages, backgrounds and abilities, and those that enjoy the space for unstructured recreation in nature, who had no requirement for football, who would have lost access to the site and its benefits forever.
There are many sites for sport in the Borough, however there is only one Warren Farm and if preserved, it will create the largest Nature Reserve in the entire borough open to all.
Warren Farm was voted in the top 4 best loved green spaces in London, when the public voted for UK’s Best Park 2019. Each of these spaces received ‘Much Loved’ status, recognising the support they have received this summer from those who use and love them for their biodiversity and natural open space.
IT WOULD HAVE BEEN ENVIRONMENTAL VANDALISM
!THIS IS NOT A GOOD DEAL FOR EALING - IT'S TIME TO SPEAK UP! THAT IS WHY WE ARE TAKING ACTION TO PROTECT ENDANGERED RARE BIODIVERSE GREEN SPACE IN EALING WEST LONDON
WE ARE AT A CROSSROADS
The breakdown of our climate is no longer a fringe concern, but is increasingly recognised by the public as an urgent threat to both nature and human society. The gap between our awareness of that threat and the inadequacy of our current response has become clear. The time for action is now. It is impossible to tackle climate change without halting biodiversity loss.
Biodiversity is the foundation for human health: the continuing loss of green open spaces on a global scale represents a direct threat to our health and well-being and very future exisitence of our families.
It is vital to protect this legacy so that it can be enjoyed by future generations in the same way that we have enjoyed it.
WE HAVE A PLAN
BUSINESS AS USUAL CANNOT CONTINUE
Hanwell Nature’s Warren Farm vision finally addresses the required ecological argument – against the backdrop of drastic measures to address Climate Change. Hanwell Nature’s alternative plan for a nature reserve at Warren Farm, is a plan that works ‘in partnership with nature’, a plan that will fulfil a more eco-friendly vision that maintains our precious nature for future generations.
That is why we are advocating for Ealing Council to take its commitments to protecting the borough from Climate Change seriously, and get behind the new vision for Warren Farm, creating Ealing’s largest nature reserve.
A plan that continues to gather considerable local support, growing exponentially to include many residents of Ealing, Norwood Green, Southall and London as a whole – who share Hanwell Nature’s passion to protect Warren Farm, creating a true genuine biodiversity gain for the borough.
Given due consideration, we believe Ealing Council will embrace our plan to give it Nature Reserve designation. We know they will be able to see the benefits of keeping the land open to all for the next 200 years, whilst supporting and protecting the existing wildlife, on Warren Farm.
It would show a positive message of Ealing Council’s commitment to residents for generations to come. A message that demonstrates a valiant and fiercely protective stance towards the environment, biodiversity and green open spaces for all.
TAKE ACTION WITH US NOW
With your help we can inspire Ealing Council to undertake all due diligence to protect our land, and ensure they are meeting their moral, social and environmental obligations to Warren Farm and residents of Ealing for the next 200 years and beyond.
The time for action is now. Protecting bio-diverse ecosystems at Warren Farm is vital, if we are going to create biodiversity gain for the Borough going forward.
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