WHO ARE HANWELL NATURE?
Hanwell Nature are a community environmental team, campaigning for the protection of Nature on Warren Farm - for current and future generations.
HANWELL NATURE are committed to ensuring Ealing Council, protect our land, and meet their moral, social and environmental obligations to Warren Farm and residents of Ealing and London.
HANWELL NATURE seeks to
provide advocacy for Warren Farm, for wildlife, land conservation, and
protection of Ealing and London’s natural resources, adopting a
scientific, evidence-based approach.
To ultimately work together to gain
funding for land preservation, that protects threatened species, and
advocates for environmentally responsible biodiversity policies that
benefits residents and nature.
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.
OUR HISTORY & TIMELINE OF EVENTS
After 6 long years and 2 failed judicial reviews, exhausted campaigners had walked away saying “it was now a done deal” there was nothing more that could be done. Hanwell Nature was then formed from those ashes, to pick up the baton and keep the campaign to save Warren Farm going on behalf of the community and residents of Ealing.
At a time of perilous climate change and the world’s attention firmly on creating solutions to protect our environment, Hanwell Nature 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.
Our 8 month campaign fell on deaf ears. See our Twitter and Instagram feeds @HanwellNature for the many pictures and tweets to Ealing Council and the Mayor of London asking them to reconsider this environmentally disastrous decision.
Left with no other choice, and armed with their legal team’s considered advice that Ealing Council had made an error in the way it has approved the planning application, Samantha O’Connor a founder member of the Hanwell Nature team personally took legal action to ensure there was a judicial review of the decision in the High Court.
We felt strongly that Ealing Council had a duty to protect our open green spaces, and the environment that we all share. Undaunted by the seemingly bleak odds of securing a success, the legal action that saw Ealing Council brought back to court one more time was issued in Dec 2019.
On 2 April 2020 in one of the first new online hearings,The Hon Mrs Justice Elizabeth Laing DBE ruled in the claimants’ favor.
VICTORY FOR WARREN FARM
The judge confirmed that the case against Ealing Council has 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 so ruled to allow it to be heard in full at a 2 day Judicial Review hearing.
For the first time Ealing Council’s decision to grant planning permission and the full details of that decision would be examined in full, in public, in court. This was a major breakthrough for the campaign.
With a court date agreed between the parties to hold that judicial review, Q.P.R and Ealing Council subsequently declined to defend the case, and pulled out of the proceedings, the matter was then settled out of court.
This meant that the granted planning permission was quashed, and Q.P.R then made the decision to abandon the development, rather than re-apply for new planning permission for the site.
Q.P.R then announced it had found a new site for their training ground, and Hanwell Nature had finally secured that previously illusive milestone victory in the 10 year battle to save Warren Farm from inappropriate development.
Residents of Ealing rejoiced, we had finely saved Warren Farm from the year long landfill scheme, and destruction of the meadow we all held dearly in our hearts.
Everyone had said it was a done deal, and nothing could be done. This shows that communities should never give up, when it comes to protecting nature.
TIMELINE AT A VIEW
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.
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 blog, calling on Julian Bell, the then leader of the council to meet and talk with us to discuss our Alternative vision of Warren Farm as a 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.
New Legal action begins
2019: Legal action was taken by 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.
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.
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.
WE HAVE A ALTERNATIVE PLAN
A plan that does not destroy irreplaceable nature.
please click on images to view some of our ideas.
WE ARE CAMPAIGNING TO ALLOW THE EXISTING WILDLIFE TO FLOURISH. PROTECTING THEIR IRREPLACEABLE HABITAT.
Whilst supporting the community that values and treasures Warren Farm as open green space.
Now that Warren Farm has been fully reclaimed by nature, we need to be considering a “new deal”, putting nature’s needs first over sporting requirements, by preserving what has naturally become Ealing’s largest Nature Reserve.
There are many available sites for sport provision currently existing 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 is a sanctuary on our doorstep. Expert ecologists know we cannot afford to loose one inch of it without disturbing the delicate balance of nature that is now established there.
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.
What the community needs is open, free community access to nature, and we have a plan that will:-
- Allow continued free access for all residents of Ealing and London, at no cost to the borough.
- That enhances and increases the “nature interest” on the meadow.
- That does not require any major development – disturbing the delicate balance of nature existing on Warren Farm.
- A plan that will not require excessive building works.
- That will allow local volunteers to assist core experts and interns to create year-round educational programs, and conservation initiatives, as advocacy efforts continue to grow.
- Allow access to funding to achieve this.
INSPIRING THE COUNCIL
We seek to 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.
Given due consideration, we believe Ealing Council will join with residents to embrace our plan to make Warren Farm a Nature Reserve. We are sure they will be able to see the benefits of supporting and protecting the existing wildlife, bringing a much needed bio-diversity gain to the borough.
The London Plan identifies the need to protect biodiversity and to provide opportunities for access to nature. It recommends identifying and protecting a suite of sites of importance at Metropolitan, Borough and Local Level in order to protect the most important areas of wildlife habitat, providing Londoners with opportunities for contact with the natural world.
Warren Farm has birds and mammals of conversational importance that are Schedule 1 and Red-Listed. Barn Owls, Red Kites, Woodpeckers, Bats, the only breeding Skylarks in Ealing. One of only 2 sites in Greater London.
The Mayor’s Biodiversity Strategy sets out criteria and procedures for identifying such land for protection. His strategy hinges on the preservation of Green Spaces. Warren Farm represents a vital opportunity to fulfill this strategy.
HANWELL NATURE do not support the current plan or the unproven assertion that we must have sport on the site. We believe it is entirely unrealistic to carve it up in an attempt to provide sport and improve nature at the same time. You just end up doing both badly, as their needs are so divergent and do not sit well when forced to together.
Let us focus on what already exists, what nature has already provided, and build on the Nature Reserve that is already there.
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.
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.
Wildlife currently existing on Warren Farm.
WILL OUR CHILDREN THANK US OR BLAME US?
We owe it to our children to protect access to green spaces where they can explore and learn about rewilded nature, away from the pressures of competitive sport, iPads and computers, inspiring the next generation of Ecologists, and guardians of their planet.
Wildlife currently existing on Warren Farm.
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