June 2011 


What we’ve been doing

The weather on Easter Sunday was excellent, and we had a very enjoyable time on our stall at the Perivale Wood Open Day. Our theme was recycling, with particular reference to composting and gardening. It just happened that we were asked to take on an activity showing children how to pot up plants, which fitted in very well.


A few days later we joined Hounslow and Brentford FoE on a stall for the St George’s Day/Royal Wedding celebrations, another fun event. We made a little money selling second-hand books.


Sadly the weather was not good for the Litten Reserve Open Day, with rain off and on during the afternoon discouraging visitors. However it was quite pleasant to shelter under the trees and think how good the rain was for them! When it wasn’t raining we engaged visitors with our ever-popular Lucky Dip tips and occasional prizes of lemons, seeds, camomile teabags.



What we’re going to be doing

We’re having a stall at Hanwell Carnival on Saturday 18 June (12 noon – 6.00 pm). Any offers of help welcomed – please email vfassnidge@yahoo.co.uk or call 020 8847 0016.

The following weekend we are joining Hounslow & Brentford FoE’s stall at Osterley Day on Sunday 26 June. This is a fun event with free activities and entertainment for all the family, including free entry to the House and Gardens all day.



Plug Us In

At these stalls, and elsewhere during the summer, we will be working on preparation for Friends of the Earth’s forthcoming campaign about our energy future. The Government is working on plans to redesign our electricity system as old power stations are due to be replaced. FoE wants to change the way that people think about electricity generation – to show that a renewables revolution is possible.


To help shape and prepare the campaign, FoE wants local groups to find out: what people care about and how we can best make the case to them for a different energy future; how much support there is for renewable energy in our community; who’s interested and who benefits from green energy and who we could work with locally. There are two activities designed to help with this: a survey to learn what members of the public think about energy, and creating case studies based on interviews with local businesses and organisations involved in green energy projects.


More about this at the meeting on Wednesday 15 June


Future meetings: Wednesday 20 July, topic tbc;  Wednesday 17 August: social event tbc


West London Waste Authority’s Waste Prevention Strategy and Action Plan


You’ll remember that in February Sarah Dickinson, WLWA ‘s waste minimisation co-ordinator, visited us to outline their strategy for waste prevention. The strategy has now been approved.

A composition analysis carried out in October last year identified the materials in the waste thrown away by West London residents. The most common items thrown away in the residual waste (i.e in bins or bags, not recycled or composted) were: paper (other than newspaper and magazines) including telephone directories, junk mail, tissue and paper towels; cardboard (including tetrapaks); plastic film; textiles and footwear; disposable nappies; food waste including peelings and uneaten food. In Ealing, this last item made up just over 26% by weight of the residual waste.


Other data included waste from schools, items taken to household waste and recycling centres and bulky items.


The strategy will focus on items that materials that have a high negative impact on the natural environment, cannot also be recycled or have a higher value when either prevented or reused. The following material streams will be prioritised:

  • Food (preventing waste)
  • Textiles and shoes (encouraging reuse)
  • Disposable nappies (preventing waste)
  • Electrical items (encouraging reuse)
  • Furniture (encouraging reuse)

Sarah would be very pleased to visit us again to discuss WLWA’s plans for waste reduction, and if there is any particular material stream we’d like her to focus on she would be happy to do so. There are opportunities for us to get involved in some of the activities if we would like to, e.g. food waste prevention and composting awareness events. She welcomes comments on the website www.westlondonwaste.gov.uk     and suggestions for content.


Urban Gardens


The Royal Horticultural Society has just launched a new campaign on the importance of urban gardens based on quite extensive research .The key findings were: urban garden plants and trees help to cool the air in towns and cities, helping to combat dangerous temperatures caused by heat waves; trees and hedges can bring energy costs down in winter by providing insulation; garden plants and trees intercept intense rain and slow runoff, while garden soil absorbs rainwater, reducing the risk of flooding; urban gardens support a range of wildlife and help to maintain biodiversity; gardening has a beneficial effect on mental and physical health. There are some potentially negative aspects of urban gardening, in particular the need for water, and the indirect contribution to carbon emissions through the consumption of manufactured and transported horticultural goods and the use of power tools.


The RHS has produced a useful 4 page leaflet which can be downloaded here:



and you can find much other valuable information on sustainable gardening on their website, including a number of leaflets on conservation and environmental issues.


Another interesting publication is London: Garden City? a research project carried out for the London Wildlife Trust, Greenspace Information for Greater London and the Greater London Authority.


Gardens cover nearly a quarter of Greater London, and as already outlined, they are valuable in many ways. But they are under threat. This project establishes the current garden resource in London, quantifies recent land cover changes in London’s gardens, and provides evidence for campaigns, policy and other action to promote and protect gardens as an important environmental asset.


It highlights the significant changes that have taken place in recent years: garden greenspace has been lost at the rate of two and a half Hyde Parks per year and hard surfacing increased by over 25% in the 100-month study period.


A summary of the report can be downloaded from the London Wildlife Trust’s website www.wildlondon.org.uk


Ealing Green Drinks

This event, hosted by Ealing FoE, is now at the King’s Arms, The Grove, W5 5DX, on the last Tuesday of each month from 8pm till closing.


Civic Day 2011

Saturday 25 June, 2.00 pm Northala Fields Visitors Centre, Kensington Road, Northolt UB5

Ealing Civic Society invites you to celebrate Civic Day 2011 at Northala Fields, Ealing’s newest country park. There will be a short talk on the design and construction of the park, followed at 2.30 by a guided tour.

See www.ealingcivicsociety.org for further details



Walking with Wildlife:  More of John Wells’ highly recommended wildlife walks


Saturday 2 July: Let’s explore the Triangle’s wildlife.

Meet: At Gunnersbury Triangle Nature Reserve entrance in Bollo Lane 2pm

Public Transport: Underground (District Line), Chiswick Park Station. Buses 27,237, 267,272,391,440 and E3 pass nearby.                                                                                                    Note: On behalf of The London Wildlife Trust.


Sunday 3 July: A summer wildlife stroll around Bedfont Lakes.

Meet: At the Clockhouse Lane exhibition centre 2pm.

Public Transport: Bus 116 to Clockhouse Roundabout then 15mins walk.

On behalf of Hounslow Countryside Rangers.                      Please note Hounslow charge a fee of £2 (£1 concessions).


Friday 8 July: A history and natural history walkabout of Brentford with John and historian Diana Willment 

Meet: Outside Goddards/Half Acre at 6.30pm (and end at The Watermans Arms pub!)

Public Transport: Brentford Station (South West Trains) then 10 min walk. Buses 95, 235,237,267,E2 and E8.


Sunday 10 July: A wildlife walk by the river from Richmond to Kingston via Ham Lands.

Meet: Richmond Station 10am.  Bring lunch and water.


Saturday 16 July: The butterflies and dragonflies of Bookham Common.

Meet: Richmond Station 10am (buy a day return to Bookham via Clapham Junction.  Bring lunch and water.


Sunday 31 July: A wildlife walk about the green belt farmland of Chessington.

Meet: Chessington South Station 11am

Public Transport: Chessington South Station, South West Trains (check for engineering works!) and bus 71 (bus 65 if coming from Ealing to Kingston then bus 71 - allow at least 1.5 hrs!).  Bring lunch and water.



Thames 21

Thames21 is an environmental charity working with communities to bring London's waterways to life. Every year thousands of volunteers clean up waterside grot-spots, remove graffiti and create new habitats for wildlife. It also runs nature walks in various parts of London. To find out more visit www.thames21.org.uk


Clean-up events include:

Friday 8 July, 10.00 – 1.00: Gunnersbury Park Regeneration Event

Removing brambles to open up the pond area. Location: The museum in the Large Mansion in Gunnersbury Park.

Wednesday 20 July, 10.00 – 1.00: Hanwell Side Ponds Regeneration Event Activities include, painting fences, removing litter, and creating pathways. Location: Meet end of Green Lane, Hanwell, London, W7 2PJ

No experience is required and all equipment is provided. Wear clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty.

No need to register just turn up on the day! 


Walks include:

Monday 22 June, 10.30 – 2.00: Walk from Osterley Lock to Greenford (8.8 km)

Monday 11 July, 10.30 – 12.00: Elthorne Park Nature Walk (3.2 km)

Monday 18 July, 10.30 – 2.00: Richmond Bridge to Osterley Lock Nature Walk (8 km)

To find out about/register for local walks, see website or email judith.ressler@thames21.org.uk