EFoE news November 2013

 Annual General Meeting

At the AGM last month, Jules Tennick stood down as Co-ordinator. Alastair MacLachlan agreed to take over and was duly elected. Catharine Browne was re-elected as Treasurer and Virginia Fassnidge as Chair, with Mike Tyzack as Deputy Chair.


Catharine presented the accounts (already circulated). Expenses had exceeded income by about £90, but it was noted that we had not made any great efforts to fundraise during the year (September 2012 – August 2013).


We had however been quite active. Several of us attended the Local Groups Conference in September.  We had stalls at the Hanwell Bunnies table top sale, Animal Welfare Bazaar, Perivale Wood, Mayor’s Charity Fete, Litten Nature Reserve, and Hanwell Carnival (also taking part in the procession).


Most of these events were used to promote the Bee Cause, which has been our main campaign. We gave out information, got many signatures asking for a National Bees Action Plan, and amused numerous children with our “Get the Bees to the Hive” game, which made use of some of the knitted bees given to us by Marianne Gilbert.


Our November meeting “Bees in Danger” with invited speakers Rob Mitton of Royal Holloway College and Quentin Givens from FoE attracted about forty people and raised much discussion.  In March Virginia spoke about the Bee Cause at a meeting of Ealing Green Drinks, and in August we organised a Bee Walk in Acton Park, led by local naturalist John Wells and attended by over twenty people.


We were successful in getting all three Ealing MPs to back the Bee Cause, and in June we were delighted to learn that the Government is to produce a National Pollinator Strategy.


It wasn’t all bees, however. Mike Tyzack gave a presentation on Positive Money at Ealing Green Drinks. Celia Roberts completed FoE’s Big Green Bike Ride (she said it was great fun and she’s hoping someone else from EFoE will join her next year). Andrea Davies put in work on EFoE’s position paper on the proposed Park Royal Waste Recovery Centre, while Nic Ferriday kept us up to date on the Warren Farm sports site plans.


We had our traditional Christmas get-together at La Siesta Tapas Bar. In the summer we joined other campaigners to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the proposed North Circular widening across Ealing Common, which was defeated after massive public objection. We also had our August walk, this time to Fox Wood and Hanger Hill Wood.


What we’ve been doing since then


We’ve had two film shows. The first was “More than Honey”  (yes, bees again). This was a joint event with Ealing Transition, who opened the evening by speaking briefly about their work, particularly their Beeshare initiative, which allows people to buy “shares” in a community beehive (entitling them to a future share in the honey). After the film, Virginia spoke about the Bee Cause and the National Pollinator Strategy, and urged people to sign the new postcards asking the Bees Minister, Lord de Mauley, to ensure that the strategy covers all causes of bee decline and all British bee species.


The film was very well received. Even an audience fairly well clued up on bees found some of the contents new, striking and in some cases shocking. Many of the comments related to the way in which commercial bees were treated, and to scenes showing hand-pollination of fruit trees in China, necessary because overuse of insecticides has killed off the pollinators.


We got about 50 postcards signed - good, though perhaps a bit disappointing in view of the size of the audience (around 100). This may have been because people had already signed the previous cards and thought these were the same ones. However, donations were generous enough for us to be able to send £50 to FoE for the Bee Cause.


The second film, “Mother” was shown jointly with Population Matters. This documentary about population growth was followed by a discussion of the issues, which would have been more stimulating if there had been any real argument. Most of the audience seemed to agree that there was a problem, but somehow the questions and comments weren’t quite focussed enough. Maybe it needed a few provocative statements to set the discussion on fire?


Together with members of Hounslow & Brentford FoE, we took part in the Fracking Day of Action and got a picture in the local paper.


Park Royal Waste Recovery Centre (aka Incinerator)


This was due to be discussed at Ealing Council’s Planning Meeting on 6 November but was withdrawn from the agenda. There doesn’t seem to be anything on the Council website to explain why this was or when it is likely to go to Planning again. Meanwhile you might like to have a look at Angie Bray MP’s comments. She was down to speak at the meeting and has used the GetWestLondon website to publish the speech she would have given that evening. See http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/news-opinion/angie-bray-mp-council-must-6278176


Warren Farm


The development agreement between the Council and QPR was expected to be signed at the end of last month. The community plans to take the Council to court through a judicial review, and is looking for support and donations. See www.savewarrenfarm.com  to read more about this.

A recent poll on Ealing Today website showed 65% against leasing Warren Farm to QPR – see http://www.ealingtoday.co.uk/default.asp?section=info&page=eawarrenfarmoct001.htm


Gunnersbury Park


Ealing and Hounslow Councils are planning a major project to upgrade the Park and Museum. You can hear about the plans at a public consultation event on Saturday 23 November, 2pm in the Small Mansion. There will be a presentation about the proposed work and you’ll be able to see the draft plans and talk to members of the project team.


Email gunnersbury@ealing.gov.uk or call 020 8825 6742 to reserve a place. If you aren’t able to make the consultation, the plans will be on display near the café in the park until 9 December.



Love Christmas, Hate Waste?


West London Waste is looking for individuals, couples and families to challenge themselves to go green this Christmas. Week by week they will be helped to save money, the environment and time over the festive season with tips on how to reduce, reuse and recycle items that might otherwise end up in the bin.


The challenge involves ideas about gift lists, festive food, party clothes, decluttering and much more. For this and other wastebusting ideas visit http://westlondonwaste.gov.uk/love_christmas_but_hate_waste/



Nature Walk


John Wells’ last walk of the year is on Saturday 14 December.  It’s a seasonal walkabout in Bushy Park. Meet EFOE members at 10am at the 65 bus stop opposite South Ealing Station or John Wells at Kingston Bridge (Kingston end) at 11.15am. Lunch in the park café, then a festive pub visit!




Recycling Inhalers


73 million inhalers are used in the UK every year for asthma and other respiratory conditions. A new scheme allows for them to be recycled rather than sent to landfill. They can be taken to your nearest participating pharmacy. Local ones are: Boots and Superdrug in Ealing Broadway Centre, Superdrug in West Ealing, Tesco in Syon Lane (Isleworth), Co-op at 333 Greenford Avenue (Hanwell).


The inhalers are collected as part of routine deliveries, so no extra miles are involved in the scheme. They are then taken to a waste management company to be sorted for recycling or recovery. Recovery means using the non-recyclable inhaler waste as fuel or other means to generate energy. The scheme is operated by GSK but accepts any make of inhaler.  See http://www.gsk.com/uk/consumers/complete-the-cycle.html for more information.



Falling Leaves

These make a great soil conditioner. Collect them in bin liners with holes, sprinkle with water, tie up and leave in a shady spot for a year. They can then be dug into the soil, used as a mulch or as winter cover for bare soil.  Left for longer, until they are dark brown and crumbly with no trace of the original leaves, they can be combined with sharp sand and garden compost to make seed or potting compost.