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.

Bike workshop

Posted: April 7th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Cool Projects, Events | Tags: | No Comments »

Bike workshop flyer

Join us at Grow Heathrow on the third Saturday of every month to learn basic maintenance and repair skills with tools and friendly support.

When:

Every third Saturday of every month, 12-4pm

Where:

Grow Heathrow, Vineries Close, Sipson, West Drayton UB7 0JG

For more info, contact us at info@transitionheathrow.com or 07890751568


Growing Sundays

Posted: February 28th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Growing Group | Tags: | No Comments »

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Come along to Grow Heathrow every Sunday to help us return the Berkeley Nurseries site back to its intended purpose – a thriving market garden that will provide our community with locally produced, organic fruit and veg as well as a venue for new and interesting projects and workshops.

All ages, abilities and gardening experience welcome! Find out more about Grow Heathrow and how to find us here. You can contact us on 07890751568 or at info[at]transitionheathrow.com.

>> We are also hosting an Introduction to Gardening course (sign up by 9th March). Find out more here


Introduction to Gardening – course at Grow Heathrow

Posted: February 28th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Gardening Club, Growing Group, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

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Come and learn how to grow abundant and healthy fruit and vegetables in an organic way at the Community Market Garden GrowHeathrow this spring!

What? This course is for those who want to gain basic horticultural skills, build knowledge and confidence of organic foodgrowing within a community garden context or at home in your garden. Designed to build basic and technical skills through a combination of practical training within the Grow Heathrow growing space along side supported theory sessions on these methods of growing.
When? Running through 5 sessions from March – July 2014;      10am-4pm Lunch provided. One Sunday a month confirmed dates;
  • 16th March
  • 20th April
  • 18th May
  • 15th June
  • 20th July
Where? Grow Heathrow site with potential trips to local allotment and growing sites. Site address; Grow Heathrow, Vineries Close, Sipson, West Drayton, UB7 0JH

Course Content that will be covered over the 5 sessions:

  • 1. Planning a Growing Space; Organic vegetable garden design techniques including site and location, crop rotation and companion planting.
  • 2. Soil Care; study of different soils, and soil cultivation techniques; a look at composting, mulching and green manures for soil care.
  • 3. Propagation; Indoor seed sowing techniques, and how to prepare ground for sowing and planting. seedling aftercare
  • 4. Seasonal garden maintenance; specific techniques for vegetable and fruit production. organic weed management, home made organic fertilisers, appropriate tool -use    and ongoing care.
  • 5. Inviting Wildlife; enhance biodiversity in the garden to help with pest and disease management. Basic plant identification

Suggested donation for the full 5 sessions £30 for food and printing costs (open to sliding scale donations according to what people can afford, contact for more information)

Each session will build on the previous ones  so commitment and attendance for the full course is required. Drop-in gardeners are welcome at our Growing Sundays, the ‘Introduction to Gardening’ course is for people who can attend all sessions.

Spaces are limited, please send confirmation by the 9th March. We’d especially like to hear from people living in the local area and who’ve been involved with GH in the past, but all are welcome. Get in touch with any questions or come to Grow Heathrow’s 4th Birthday on Saturday 1st March, you can speak to someone in the Growing Space and have a look around the site.

We’re really excited to be able to offer this course, we look forward to hearing from you!

Contact: Aimee Lormand, 07592945249 aglormand@gmail.com or info@transitionheathrow.com


Fracking test site blocked by wind turbine blade

Posted: December 16th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Action | Tags: | 1 Comment »

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This morning fifty pro-renewables campaigners delivered a 17 metre, 1.5 tonne wind turbine blade as “Christmas gift” for fracking company IGas. The entrance to the Barton Moss test site has been blocked, to prevent drilling vehicles from entering.

At 5.30 this morning (Monday 16th December 2013), fifty people blocked the entrance to IGas’s exploratory drilling site in Barton Moss with a giant wind turbine blade. The campaigners arrived at the site in Salford in Greater Manchester, proceeded to unload and assemble the 17-metre blade from its three component segments. They were spotted by a security guard who called the police, but the officers who arrived on the scene were too late to prevent the blockade from being set up.

The campaigners then left, leaving the heavy wind turbine blade in place across the entrance, complete with a large red Christmas bow. Currently all vehicle access the site is being severly disrupted by the 1.5-tonne blade, which cannot be moved without large numbers of people or specialist equipment.

IGas have obtained permission to drill a 3000 metre (10000 foot) test well at Barton Moss, in the hope of extracting both coal bed methane and shale gas. If the tests prove successful, IGas would then be likely to use the controversial extraction method of horizontal slickwater hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) to blast gas out of the ground. In the US, where fracking has been underway for several years, the practice has been linked to water contamination, air pollution, and risks to local water supplies, with over 1000 leaks and spills reported in one year in North Dakota alone. If fracking were to spread across the UK, it would lead to the extraction of large amounts of oil and gas that would otherwise have remained in the ground, with serious consequences for the climate .

The fracking industry itself has admitted that the practice is unlikely to bring down energy bills , and economist Nicholas Stern has accused the Government of “baseless economics” for claiming otherwise. Meanwhile, the Government’s own Committee on Climate Change has released a report showing that a shift away from fossil fuels to renewables and energy efficiency could save the UK public £85 billion per year .

Following a summer of high-profile anti-fracking protests at Balcombe in West Sussex, which ended when the drilling company Cuadrilla withdrew its fracking application, Barton Moss is now widely seen as the new frontline in the battle for clean energy in the UK, and in November 2013 a “Barton Moss Protection Camp” was set up at the site. Actions are frequently launched from the camp to disrupt drilling activities at the site, and at least ten people, including local residents, have been arrested in the last few weeks. This year’s anti-fracking protests seem to have shifted public opinion; according to national polling by the University of Nottingham, support for fracking dropped significantly after the summer protests at Balcombe.

Today’s action was carried out by a group of people from all over the UK who had been inspired by the Reclaim The Power protest camp at Balcombe earlier this year. Sandra Denton, who was one of the people who put the blade in place, said: “We’ve delivered this early Christmas gift to IGas to remind them that we don’t need damaging, risky and polluting energy sources like oil and gas to power the UK. The Government and the big energy companies are planning to build a new wave of gas-fired power stations, partly fed by thousands of fracking wells across the British countryside. This would lock us into using this expensive and dirty fossil fuel for decades to come, trapping us in a future of spiralling energy prices and disastrous floods, storms and droughts as climate change kicks in. Meanwhile, a shift to properly insulated homes powered by clean, community-owned or publicly-controlled renewable energy would rescue millions from fuel poverty, prevent thousands of winter deaths and give us all a decent chance at avoiding runaway climate change.”

Rachel Thompson of Frack Free Greater Manchester, a separate local group who are campaigning against fracking in the area, said: “The Government’s plan to increase our reliance on gas – including fracked gas – would lead to higher energy bills and more pollution. The only reason they’re going down this path is because of the power and influence of the big energy companies. The Big Six can make far bigger profits from fossil fuels than from clean energy or home insulation schemes, which is why they’re using their cosy relationship with Government to block renewable alternatives and keep us all burning their expensive gas. That’s why we all need to stand up for a fairer, cleaner, more democratic energy system without the Big Six profiteers in charge.”

Pearl Hopkins, a local resident, said, “I didn’t know today’s action was going to happen but I’m very glad it did. It’s great that people are coming from all over the country to support us at Barton Moss – and with creative blockades like this one. Local people have tried using all the official channels to object to this scheme, but the Council and IGas seem determined to brush our concerns under the carpet and carry on regardless. We’d like renewable energy for the future – not the destruction of our towns and countryside with thousands of drill sites.”

More information on what’s going on can be found on The Northern Gas Gala website.


Heathrow Villages awarded £7000 to create a Neighbourhood Plan

Posted: November 4th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Events, Residents | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

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A group of residents from Harmondsworth, Sipson and Harlington have successfully bid for a £7000 grant to give villagers a greater say in future development and planning issues. 

The money has come from the Community Development Foundation, one of the organisations administering a £9.5 million government fund to support communities creating a Neighbourhood Plan for their area.

The plans can deal with a wide range of subjects, such as housing, employment, heritage and transport, or may focus on one or two issues that are of particular importance to local people.

Holly Crofter, a resident at Grow Heathrow in Sipson and now a member of the Heathrow Villages Planning Committee (HVPC) that will be using the grant, is enthusiastic about the project: “The Neighbourhood Plan will give our villages a say in development decisions that have, in the past, been difficult to influence in a meaningful way.  It’s particularly important for this area, which has suffered the blight caused by airport-related development for decades.”

Having secured the grant with the help of the Harmondsworth and Sipson Residents’ Association and arranged for the charity Groundwork to accept the funds on their behalf, HVPC are eager to move forward with the process to draw up an approved Neighbourhood Plan.  This includes finding seven residents from each village to join a Neighbourhood Forum.

A public meeting about the project is being held at St Mary’s Church Hall in Harmondsworth on Thursday 14 November at 7pm.

Harlington resident and HVPC member Christine Taylor is hoping for a good turnout: “To complete this project it’s vital that people from all three villages get involved. This is our chance to tell the planners and developers what we want in our area and, just as important, what we don’t want.”


Guest blog: Eddie

Posted: November 3rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Residents | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

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GROW HEATHROW

I’m currently staying/participating at a squatted site called Grow Heathrow. It is proving to be quite an important time for me. Politically affirming. I came here to learn skills, connect with others who have similar ideas about how we provide for ourselves, and give my support to a cause/project I’m passionate about. The squat originated from a need to confront the proposed plans for a third runway at Heathrow Airport. The government in the UK has been looking at airport expansion for a while now – there’s still talk as to where this expansion will take place. If they opt for Heathrow, they’ll have to remove the squatters from this land and tarmac over the village of Sipson; one of the principle aims of the project is to instil community resistance in Sipson against Heathrow Airport Holdings (formerly British Airports Authority), if they come knocking.

The attitude here is great. People are focused. It’s a working squat. People arrive for many reasons. I’m here to work. That’s where my head is at the moment – I want to be productive, to be useful. Other visitors are here to enjoy themselves, relax and talk with others. This is a haven for free thought – a space to breathe for those disillusioned with materialism.

Here there’s no room for the workings of capital – no pressure to work the 9 to 5. It is a kind of political expression that directly challenges labour, the 9 to 5 grind. It is this kind of political expression that interests me at the moment, as opposed to attending the monthly anti-war protest/demonstration. Protest is important, but we must also set the agenda. ‘If all we do is oppose what they are trying to do, then we simply follow in their footsteps’[1]. We need to carry on with our activity that isn’t determined by money. We must dedicate ourselves to what we consider necessary or desirable. We must live the world we want to create[2]. Besides, protesting wipes me out (as I recently experienced at the protest against Fracking at Balcome). Not sure I want to devote my time and energy to protests, where we shout, confront police etc. It’s not in my nature to use physical force against other humans. Probably too middle class. It’s not in my nature to shout about things, sing chants etc. Perhaps if it’s a cause that really riles me up, then I might reconsider.

At the squat there is a non-hierarchical, anarchistic set up. No one is instructed to work. People work when they feel ready to. There are always tasks to be done. People wake up, a group gets together, starts talking – momentum starts to build and we work on a project. And we work hard. But it doesn’t feel like work. Because we’re there at our own will, because it’s a cause we believe in, there’s such comradery in our collective work. It’s fun and social. What great conversations emerge during work. Working together on something, where there’s a common goal, an objective, sometimes sparks more interesting conversations than assembling with the intention to socialise. During the summer there seems to be a huge flux of international travellers who have heard about the project. The squat reminds me of travelling in hostels – spaces to socialise, unwind and talk idealistically.

A working mind is a healthy mind. People are happy when they’re productive, when they’re being useful. Their self-esteem grows, their self-confidence and sense of value to the group benefits.  During this first month, I have easily forgiven those who have not managed to work and contribute fully.  There will be a long history of reasons as to why some are able to contribute more than others. Those that don’t, we should have sympathy for and try to understand why, rather than resent them. I guess I am just grateful I have this working mind, this motivation. I’ve only been here for a month, and my feelings on this may change. Without special resolve and grit, I imagine it is easy to lose patience over time.

The experience thus far is fulfilling a personal need to experiment with new forms of social relations outside capitalism. Grow Heathrow is an open project with plenty space for people to join the site. Contrary to other squats, it is the project that brings the inhabitants of the site together, rather than a group of friends. This kind of experiment in communal living has its rewards and challenges. There are those that use this space as some kind of refuge from some torment in their lives outside the squat. Although they are often unable to contribute to the collective in a variety of ways, the space must try to accommodate their distress. The community must do its upmost to prevent looking inwards. One older lady, who was previously in a mental institution, has benefitted immensely from gardening, working outdoors and being with people. She tells me how lonely she gets in the evenings on her own in her flat. Living communally trumps any discomfort from sleeping without a mattress.

The squat relies on solar panels and a wind turbine for its electricity, has no running hot water from the tap (although an impressive warm shower wood burner has been built) and there’s a compost toilet on site, minimising water usage. Almost all the food consumed is either grown on site, taken from bins outside supermarkets, or from food wholesalers giving away waste food. I must say, I do get a sense of gladness as I walk about doing my daily activity without barely any ecological footprint.

After 5 months in Salzburg (or rather a lifetime) of talking about the problems of the world, and what needs to be done, I am finally in a living and working arrangement that satisfies my political need to get to grips with the ‘doing’. When I wake up in the morning I feel as though I’m in the right place. At least for now. We’ll see how it goes this autumn.

The land that the community is occupying is up for eviction. So there is that added insecurity that for some residents makes long term-commitment/planning difficult. Indeed, their innate instability and transitory nature is a key criticism of squatted social centres. I seem to forget that bailiffs could start breaking through the gate any minute. Part of me doesn’t believe it will happen: Who would break-up such a peaceful, well-meaning, environmental project? I come across as naïve to some of the old-time squatters, who tell me I’ll soon understand what we’re fighting against when I see the State use its might to destroy any dissenting activity. Property is king. I wonder where I’ll be, what I’ll do when we’re being evicted. I probably won’t know how I’ll react until it’s happening. Can physical force ever be successful against the State? History shows that violence and aggression is what it often does best. Why play them at their own game? But if someone is evicting you from your home – if I develop some emotional attachment to this place – there’s no knowing how one might react.

 


[1] Holloway, J. 2010. Crack Capitalism. London: Pluto Press, p.3.
[2] Holloway, J. 2010. Crack Capitalism. London: Pluto Press, pp.3-4.

Upcoming events at Cranford Park

Posted: October 14th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Events, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Cranford Park

Message from Cranford Park:

Book now for one of the highlights of our year, the HALLOWE’EN SPOOKY SPECTACULAR on Thursday 31 October at Cranford Countryside Park. As this is a popular (and free) event, booking is essential (see below or poster attached for details).Join a group of actors for a ghostly walk around the park. There are three ‘showings’, one for children and two for adults – please specify which when you book.

3.30pm: For accompanied children. Make Hallowe’en lanterns followed by a spooky talk and ghostly walk at 5pm.

7pm & 8pm: For adults. Ghostly walk and terrifying talk for adults.

How to book: Booking is essential, please do NOT reply to this email but reserve spaces with Countryside & Conservation Officer Alison Shipley. Email: ashipley@hillingdon.gov.uk or tel. 01895 250647.

Plus…

HEALTHY WALK. Thursday 17 October 11am. A brisk 2-3 mile walk around the park in good company. No need to book.

AUTUMN COLOURS WALK. Saturday 9 November, 11am. Guided walk around the park enjoying the beautiful autumn colours in good company. No need to book.

Advance notice: Cranford Park Friends AGM - Thursday 21 November, 7.30pm Crane Community Centre, Fuller Way off Cranford Drive, Harlington UB3 4LW. All welcome.

For all events except the AGM please meet at Information Centre, Cranford Park, The Parkway (A312) Harlington/Hounslow, TW5 9RZ

Thank you all VOLUNTEERS who have been busy around the park, especially the Woods, in the Secret Garden and clearing ivy from the Ha-Ha wall, an 18th century historic feature near the Information Centre. To see photos of this and the park’s amazing variety of wildlife – including kingfishers, owls and weasels – read member Wendy Marks’ fascinating October blog here:

http://winowendyswildlifeworld.blogspot.co.uk/

Calling all CYCLISTS and JAZZ MUSICIANS. A group interested in doing easy, level and (mainly) traffic-free cycling around Cranford Park, Minet Park, Heathrow Villages and West Drayton areas is being started. It will go at the pace of the slowest rider. We are also looking for trad jazz musicians/ skiffle players who might like to help stage an event next year remembering Ken Colyer’s Crane River Jazz Band which began around Cranford Park in the 1950s. For either of these please reply to this email.

We hope to see you in the park again soon.


Foraging excursion

Posted: October 7th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

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Join Grow Heathrow on a foraging excursion in Hyde Park!

Meet at Hyde Park Corner tube // Sat 12 Oct // 4pm


Made Possible By Squatting

Posted: September 9th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Cool Projects | Tags: , , | No Comments »

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See http://www.madepossiblebysquatting.co.uk/ for more info, including an outline of all the upcoming events.


Picnic and public meeting

Posted: July 22nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Events, Residents | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

 

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You are invited to a picnic and public meeting to discuss the future of Transition Heathrow.

Join us tomorrow, Tuesday 23 July at 6.30pm at Grow Heathrow.

Bring food and drink to share, plus your thoughts on the future of the project in light of our recent Court of Appeal verdict and the airport’s new proposals for expansion.

For how to find us, follow this link.

See you in the meadow!