We're grassroots Heathrow residents proving that communities less dependent on oil can be more resilient, stronger and happier. We take direct action on climate change and shrinking supplies of cheap energy by transitioning to a post-oil, community-led future for the Heathrow villages.

Winter Shazam! – can you offer a skill?

Posted: December 2nd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Education, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

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Building on the success of our autumn program of Shazam events and workshops, which included building a bike powered washing machine, solar panels and more, we’re going for round 2, and are planning a winter workshop program. Do you have a skill you can offer?

Winter Shazam will run in January and February 2015 and we’d love it if you were involved.

We’re looking for people and organisations to offer workshops, events, performances, skill-shares, talks or just whatever it is that you do best, that can run at Grow Heathrow or in the wider villages between January and February. If you think you can contribute to furthering the aims of Grow Heathrow, or know someone else that might, then please email us with a proposal of what, when and how, by Wednesday 10th December to info@transitionheathrow.com Education for the Future.


Save the date, Grow Heathrows 5th birthday 28th Feb / 1st March!

Posted: December 1st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Education, Events | Tags: , , | No Comments »

We’re holding out for that chilly start of Spring and hoping we’ll be able to mark our 5th year in this incredible place.

Grow Heathrows birthday is on the weekend of the 28th Feb / 1st March so save the date and keep your fingers crossed that we’ll be celebrating together.

What do you want Grow Heathrow’s 5th Birthday to look like? We want your thoughts and involvement, so get imagining. We’ll also be looking for people to get involved in preparing, cooking, creating, teaching etc, so have a think about what you could offer on that weekend / the week run-up. More info soon.

info@transitionheathrow.com

 


Grow Heathrow shows solidarity with Hambacher Forest in Germany

Posted: December 13th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Responding to a recent call out, Grow Heathrow sent wishes of solidarity to Hambacher Forest on Thursday.

Hambacher Forest is a camp comprising four occupations in the Rhineland of Germany, which is protesting against the expansion of one of the largest opencast brown coal mines. The mine is a disaster, not only in terms of the impact on the climate from this dirty fossil fuel, but also for the local residents of the nearby villages that would be destroyed to make way for the mine’s expansion. In addition the natural ecosystem would be totally devastated.

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In recent weeks activists in Hambacher Forest have been carrying out a number of actions against the felling of this ancient forest. There have been a number of arrests and one of the tree-occupations was evicted at the beginning of December.

You can find more information about the occupation and the recent actions at Hambacher Forest’s website.

Grow Heathrow wishes to show support for the continued struggles in Hambacher.

Love and Solidarity

x


Harmondsworth Christmas Fair

Posted: December 12th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

On Saturday 29th November, Harmondsworth held its annual Victorian Christmas Fair at St Mary’s Church. This was a great chance for the local community to get together, with a variety of different stalls and events.

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Grow Heathrow, in collaboration with the local Scouts group, organised a Conker-tition. This was a knock-out tournament of conker smashing, but with a twist. The winner of each round was encouraged to graciously make a pedal powered smoothie for the loser. Loads of local kids got involved with the games and everyone had a cracking time, whilst enjoying healthy eco-friendly treats at the same time.

After the main day’s activities were done, we all moved down to the village green for carol singing followed by the turning on of the Christmas lights by local MP John McDonnell. Grow Heathrow were really pleased to be out and about in the community and be a part of such a wonderful day.

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Heathrow’s expansion plan mired by trust issues at public consultation

Posted: December 5th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Action | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

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This Wednesday the Heathrow Park Inn Hotel hosted the Airports Commission’s most recent public consultation on the proposed plans for expanding Heathrow Airport. Local MPs, councillors, campaigners and businessmen gave speeches expressing a range of views regarding the plans, some in support of an expansion and others in vehement opposition.

Headed by Sir Howard Davis, the Airports Commission has been charged with identifying the best course of action for dealing with Britain’s supposed need for a hub airport to compete with other European airports. The panel was presented with the two proposals relevant to this area: a proposal from Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) for a third runway to the northwest of the airport, and independent promoter Heathrow Hub’s rival proposal to lengthen the North runway. These sit alongside a third option to expand Gatwick, due for public consultation later this month.

The panel listened as local MPs John McDonnell and Zac Goldsmith drew attention to the huge scale of the affect an expansion would have on people living in West London. An estimated 4000 homes would be either demolished or rendered unliveable, leading to the break-up of local communities, and hundreds of thousands of people more would be directly affected by greater noise levels and pollution.

HAL CEO John Holland-Kaye’s many promises of fairly mitigating the harms that future generations will face from an expanded Heathrow airport were brought into doubt by Christine Taylor of Stop Heathrow Expansion, who drew attention to HAL’s statement from the Terminal 5 inquiry in 1999 that a third runway should be “ruled out forever”. Moreover, HAL has consistently failed to address the problem of air quality despite pollution levels being higher than EU regulations. The assumptions behind their advertising campaigns’ assurance that Heathrow’s expansion would boost Britain’s economy by £100 billion have been seriously questioned in an independent report by Prime Economics.

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Last week an article in the Sunday Times accused the interest group Back Heathrow of “astroturfing”, feigning to be a grassroots residents organisation representing local people yet funded in the £100,000s by Heathrow. Gatwick Airport’s chairman, Sir Roy McNulty, has accused the group of scaremongering by suggesting in a questionnaire distributed to 750,000 households that without expansion Heathrow would close, as reported on Wednesday in both The Guardian and The Telegraph. In the commission hearing Zac Goldsmith also commented on HAL’s smear campaign against councillor Ray Puddifoot, accusing Heathrow of funding a campaign to undermine the democratic process. When asked by John McDonnell if Heathrow would cease funding of Back Heathrow, John Holland-Kaye avoided giving a definitive answer.

During the consultation climate change was low on the agenda, with only one mention that carbon emissions were relevant to the discussion. The UK Climate Change Act requires legally binding reductions in greenhouse gases, yet increasing air traffic will seriously undermine the aviation industry’s commitment to this goal. In a desire to stimulate debate about the true viability of airport expansion, two environmental activists from Plane Stupid held up a banner from the hotel entrance canopy that read ‘Any new runway is Plane Stupid’, as reported in the local Uxbridge Gazette.


Making Soap at Grow Heathrow

Posted: November 19th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Education | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

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What a success, mint, rose petal, oats and lavender soap, homemade at Grow Heathrow…

Soap is made using 3 different kinds of oils or fats, an alkaline substance and flavouring. This time we used coconut oil, olive oil and vegetable fat…maybe one day we’ll process our own oil from sunflowers and alkaline substance from ash or sea-shells… not to mention the bike powered mixer…

The more help we can get the better though – let us know if you’d like to come on board the Grow Heathrow providing for ourselves train..

And watch this space for Shazam round 2, winter program..Education for the Future

 

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Bike Workshop & Organic is Affordable Workshop – Saturday 15th November

Posted: November 13th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Bike, Events | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

This Saturday in Grow Heathrow, we have 2 activities to choose from:

12-4pm: Bike Workshop. Come and repair your own bike, or learn how to repair bikes in general.

1.30-4.30pm: Organic is affordable! A workshop about organic food, and especially how to buy and cook in such a way that you can keep it affordable for yourself.

In the latter we’ll be discussing the benefits of organic food, why it costs more, how to change your cooking and shopping patterns, how to store food, and more. There will be tasting and learning new foods and we’ll exchange information about where to get affordable organic food.

Come and have a fun day with us! Do let us know if you’d like to attend either workshop so that we have an idea of numbers for lunch: info@transitionheathrow.com.

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Day of degrowth!

Posted: November 12th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , | No Comments »

On Saturday 25th October we held a full day workshop at Grow Heathrow, exploring the concept of degrowth.

The day was well attended, with around 20 participants taking part including residents of Grow Heathrow, family members and visitors. We began the day by discussing what degrowth means to each of us. This generated a variety of ideas and related discussion.

The group identified that degrowth is a holistic term and aims at moving society away from an obsession with economic growth, placing the focus instead on well-being and ecological sustainability. Degrowth is very much about ‘living well with less’.

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We were also able to dispel some myths about the idea of degrowth. For instance, it needn’t entail a smaller economy but instead a shift away from the economics altogether, and that there is no such thing as sustainable or green growth that can go on forever. Furthermore, whilst some of us perceived the term as pejorative, we discussed its use as a “missile word” which can be thrown into a debate to stir up stale ideas about sustainability and economics.

Later in the day we brainstormed a comprehensive list of problems associated with economic growth, such as climate change, resource wars, corporate monopolies, even anxiety and stress. These enabled us to consider the ‘sources’ of degrowth, the positions from which we can critique a system based on economic growth as well as proposing sustainable alternatives. We then discussed how we might get to a degrowth society, with a general sense that a combination of various reforms, educational changes, personal choices and direct action will all be needed to make such a radical shift.

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In the last session we did a card game simulation of different forms of currency and exchange. We simulated four scenarios: bartering, alternative currency, debt-based currency, and gift economy. This gave us an insight into how structural features of our monetary system affect how we behave, how inequality is created and why there is a built-in necessity for growth due to interest on bank loans.

Following the day’s workshop there was interest in continued discussion on degrowth. There is already a possibility that the same workshop will be run again soon in central London. We’re also currently planning our next round of workshops (Shazam #2) at Grow Heathrow, and this could see more sessions linked to the idea of degrowth – so watch this space! If you’d like to be involved with these discussions or have an idea for a workshop, feel free to get in touch via info@transitionheathrow.com.

Visit www.degrowth.org for a wealth of research and resources on the topic.


Making Solar Panels

Posted: October 20th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Energy, Events | Tags: , , | No Comments »

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Guest blog by, Rachael Anne Roberts, workshop participant and volunteer at Grow Heathrow

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of visiting Grow Heathrow, a place of beautiful greenery and a worthy cause to fight for, not to mention to friendly residents who happen to have immense cooking skills! And if that all wasn’t reason enough, there was a certain workshop drawing me to the site: Learning How to Build Your Own Solar Panel, run by Demand Energy Equality.

I was unsure what to expect from the workshop. Before visiting the Grow Heathrow website and seeing the list of workshops, I was unaware that it was even something that could be done by hand.

The workshop was put on by a lovely lady called Emily Donavan from Demand Energy Equality. She taught us the science behind how solar panels work as well as how to actually build them, a process that I was soon to learn was a lot simpler than I had expected! Fun science fact that I was reminded of: Power = Voltage x Current!

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We were making fairly small, 18 watts solar panels, enough to charge a phone but not quite a house. Which makes it the perfect, simple, and not to mention handy, accessory to any home. The material of the solar cells that we used to build our solar panel was made out of thin silicone and if held too tightly, would crumble in your hands. Cautiously soldering the metal strip over each solar cell to attach the current to each, there were a few cracks and mishaps, but Emily’s patience and light hearted attitude never faltered. And she had expected this and brought plenty of spares!

Next came the gluing the solar cells to the glass and placing another glass panel over the top of it, using more silicone glue to seal around it, keeping the glass panels in place together. Making a solar panel was so much fun, but requires a steady, gentle hand. I began to feel guilty of the amount of solar cells that was being wasted when cracked. However after a few breakages, we started to get into the rhythm of solder, solder, glue, glue and the whole process of making a solar panel became far less complicated than I had previously imagined.

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The whole process took a lot longer than previously expected but we were all having so much fun, it was not an issue, in fact we were al more than happy to stay at Grow Heathrow for longer. Although a fiddly process, making a solar panel by hand is rewarding not just in the sense of a unique achievement, but also that you now have free, renewable energy which you were able to achieve by yourself – saving more money and is even better for the environment!

My home made solar panel turned out a lot better than I had expected. I decided to donate it to Grow Heathrow, since I figured that they may make a better use out it then I will. I had such an amazing weekend at Grow Heathrow that I have been to visit again since the solar panel workshop and will most definitely be going again soon. After all, I need to see how my home made solar panel has been put to such a good use!

 

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Film Screening: Zones to Defend! 14th of October, 7pm

Posted: October 7th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Film | Tags: , | No Comments »

Zones to Defend!

Tuesday 14th october 2014, 7pm at Grow Heathrow

Some videos and informal discussion around resistance on protest sites in France.

La ZAD (Zone a defendre) – is Europe’s largest land occupation and exists to resist the proposed building of Notre Dame airport near Nantes. There is a widespread alliance between activists, local residents and farmers, which after an eviction in 2012 saw 40,000 people reoccupy the site!

ZAD: Testet http://tantquilyauradesbouilles.wordpress.com

ZAD: Notre Dame Des Landes http://zad.nadir.org

xxxxx