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.

Spring at Cranford Park

Posted: April 9th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events, Gardening Club, Growing Group | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

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If you have thought of volunteering in the park, now is the time! Just turn up at one of Cranford Park Friends’ monthly sessions, meeting at the Secret Garden beside the Stables, on the second Sunday of each month… the next session is this coming Sunday April 13 at 10am (see below). No experience or tools are required.

Some other event highlights for the coming months are listed below. Other news in brief:

Repairs to the Stable Block roof, weatherproofing and ivy removal have been completed by the London Borough of Hillingdon’s contractor. So the building is weatherproof at last. Unfortunately there was a break-in in the early hours of March 9, the doors were damaged and some of our tools stolen. If you have spare garden tools you could donate to fill the gap, please contact the Secretary.

Towards a Lottery bid. LB Hillingdon has shown great faith in our group’s achievements by ring-fencing £25k to fund a Feasibility Study, the first step towards a Heritage Lottery Fund grant application. It has been declared a Hillingdon Improvement Project, for the buildings and park. Winning a Lottery grant will be a long and complicated job but success could mean wonderful enhancements, of benefit to the whole community. A Steering Group has been set up and the Friends are well represented on it. We hope you will be able to help us – more details in due course.

CRANFORD PARK EVENTS 2014 All events except *are free. Address: The Parkway (A312), Hounslow, TW5 9RZ.

Sunday 13 April, 10am – 12 noon. Secret Garden Opening & Volunteering. Help us prepare the garden for summer. Refreshments will be served to volunteers. The garden will open at the same time on the second Sunday of each month (11 May, 8 June etc.). The entrance is adjacent to the stable courtyard.

Saturday 26 April, 11am. Bluebell Walk. Join Countryside & Conservation Officer Alison Shipley for a guided walk through the bluebell woods. Meet at information centre.

Sunday May 11, 10am -12 noon. *Secret Garden Opening & Volunteering. *See above.

Saturday May 17, 11am. ‘Knights, Earls & Ghosts’ History Tour. A 90-minute guided history walk around Cranford Park. Meet at information centre.

Thursday May 22, 7.30pm. Cranford Park Friends’ Quarterly Meeting. Crane Community Centre, Fuller Way, Harlington (off Cranford Drive, bus E6). All welcome.

Sunday June 8, 10am -12 noon. *Secret Garden Opening & Volunteering/Balsam Bash. *See above. On the river we join the River Crane-wide event removing Himalayan Balsam, a highly invasive plant along the river. Please wear long trousers and long sleeve shirts.

Sunday June 22, 11am – 4pm. Grand Union Canal Boat Trip on the Elsdale. *(Members of *Cranford Park Friends and families only; booking essential). Departs from and returns to Packet Boat Marina, Packet Boat Lane, Cowley UB8 2JJ. A leisurely cruise and social event for members and their families. Free (donation of £3 suggested). Please bring a packed lunch. Licensed bar also serving hot and soft drinks. On-board toilets. Includes short talk on canal history, and local wildlife. Places limited, please book with Dhush Selvarajah, tel. 077180 43105, email dhush.selvarajah@groundwork.org.uk.

Saturday June 28, 11am. Butterfly Walk. Join the Countryside & Conservation Officer for a guided walk looking at the many species of butterfly found in Cranford Park. Meet at information centre.

Saturday August 2. Cranford Park Remembers. A friendly day for all the family with a medieval encampment, a memory wall where you can leave your park memories, activities for kiddies and more. The 18th century Stables and St. Dunstan’s Church will be open; tea garden refreshments. Details to follow nearer the date. Volunteers will be needed well in advance.

Saturday/Sunday September 20 and 21.* Open House London 2014.* Cranford Stables & Secret Garden and St Dunstan’s Church open. Members of the Friends’ History & Conservation working party will be in attendance.

Saturday/Sunday September 27 and 28, 3pm. *W*heat to War 1780-1918.*Celebrate local life in this hour-long outdoor spectacular for the whole family. Outline Theatre performs popular songs, dance and drama. A moving tribute to our local Great War Heroes, marking the centenary of World War I. Tickets £4 or 4 for £14, Under 5′s free; book online at www.outlinetheatre.co.uk. Box Office, tel. 01895 851936.


Wild and free salads: Fri 18 April, 1-3pm

Posted: March 25th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events, Foraging | 2 Comments »

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Well hello foragers. 2014 is on us and we’re partying hard with an ID walk and salad making stroll from 1-3pm on Fri 18th April.

This year, if for some embarrassing reason you haven’t heard, weekly Foraging Fridays are mutating into bigger workshops around once a month from February till September. Maybe we’ll go for an appley extravganza in October too, if you’re good.

Salad plants we’ll find:

  • Hoary cress (lepidium draba)
  • Chickweed (stellaria media)
  • Smooth sow thistle (sonchus oleraceus)
  • Cow parsley (anthriscus sylvestris) – and its poisonous almost identical lookalike, hemlock (conium maculatum)
  • Cress, unfairly branded ‘hairy bittercress’ (cardamine hirsuta)
  • nipplewort (lapsana communis)
  • borage (borago officinalis)

blah blah blah. And possible ones nearby:

  • three cornered garlic (allium triquetrum)
  • horseradish (armoracia rusticana)

Bring your party clothes


50,000 mobilised against Nantes expansion

Posted: March 24th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Action | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Peasant mobilization was strong in Nantes, where the procession was attended by 530 tractors.

A huge protest took place in Nantes on 22nd February, against the planned new replacement airport to be built at Notre Dame des Landes, some miles to the north. The organisers estimated some 50,000 protesters, who came in from supportive groups from regions all across France. There are reported to have been 65 coach loads of protesters who travelled to Nantes to take part, and 520 tractors, brought by supportive farmers from surrounding areas. The protests were put down with considerable force by the police, using water canon, rubber bullets and tear gas.

The full report is at Airport Watch, including an article from Le Monde, video of police response, and a blog from John Stewart of HACAN about the origins of the resistance to the airport.

John Stewart’s blog from 24 February begins:

In a blog about the huge demonstration, part of which turned in to rioting, at Nantes against the proposed  new airport, John Stewart looks at how this protest came about – and its relevance to other large infrastructure projects in Europe. The Nantes protest organisers say as many as 50,000 people attended, from supportive protest committees from areas across France. The politics of this airport project have taken on national interest and significance, and also linked into opposition to “Les Grands Projets Inutiles Imposes” (useless, imposed mega-projects).  The people passionately fighting plans for a new airport in unspoiled French farming countryside are linked to those opposing HS2 and other schemes like a high-speed rail in Northern Italy and cyanide-mined gold extraction project in Romania. All these projects have managed to get support from very disparate sections of society. They all have real doubts about the economics or the necessity of the project; also they have land, homes, countryside or communities to defend; there is significant local opposition; and they also attract in outside opposition, from people with a variety of  perspective as well as environmental.


We’re open again in February, but busy reviewing in January.

Posted: December 18th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Residents | Tags: | No Comments »

kitten-sleeping-1 We won’t be open for workshops of visits during January, as we’re spending a lot of time reviewing and evaluating the last year to help plan for the future.

This includes our structures of working groups, our growing, and how effectively we welcome volunteers and support them to get involved. It also includes exploring wellbeing and working relationships in the collective, visioning of our aims for Transition Heathrow and Grow Heathrow’s futures, and how we sustain resistance. We’ll be open again in February with a bang for loads of preparation for the biggest party of 2014: our fourth birthday on Sat 1st March. Be there.


Have you got a van?

Posted: November 25th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Residents | Tags: | No Comments »

bikes

We only have bikes.

If you have a van, we’d love to be able to use it for a day or two to get waste slabwood from a local sawmill to build a new compost loo as our current one is filling up ominously. If we manage to get hold of one, we’re hoping to also pick up a wood-burning Rayburn/AGA stove that will help us move away from using fossil fuels to cook with.

donkey

 


Legal update: no news

Posted: November 25th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: legal | Tags: | No Comments »

I love Grow Heathrow mural

Well, here’s the long-awaited legal update: there’s no news.

We’re still trying to negotiate with the landowner to buy the land, and the legal process seeking to apply to appeal to the Supreme Court is still trundling along.

We still haven’t heard anything from the landowner following the 3 July court decision granting him possession, so we don’t know if he has plans to hire bailiffs, which he could now do.

Grow Heathrow - how can you help

Come down and visit! Come and help out at a DIY Thursday (9.30am till mid afternoon) or run a workshop here.

Third runway? Resistance is fertile!

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Did someone say Barton Moss? Not for shale…

Posted: November 18th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Action | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

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A lot changes in a few decades. I wonder what those 60s activists saving the whale would think of us now, as thousands of people across the UK sign up for text alerts so that they can pitch up a tent near Manchester to stop fracking. They’ll have to accept that activism’s moved on. Marine mammals have got to try a bit harder or they’ll be forgotten to the 21st century’s totally new narrative. It’s 2013. We’ve got to save the shale.

Welcome to the Northern Gas Gala.

24 hours after first major activity begins at IGas’ Barton Moss site, people will be converging for The Northern Gas Gala. All are warmly invited to join residents in a show of front-line protection against those that threaten us and our environment. Stay informed by signing up at northerngasgala.org.uk, to ensure you receive an invitation to this most poignant of parties.

All those signed-up at northerngasgala.org.uk will, when the Gala beckons, receive a text message with a start time.

WARMING! The arctic is melting. Frack less. Fly less.


Straw bale work week: Mon 21 – Thu 24

Posted: October 21st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Cool Projects, Events | Tags: | No Comments »

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We have an exciting new week to finish the roof of our wonderful straw bale house. It’s a whole insulated barn built out of waste, where all we’ve spent is £80 on some sand for the mixture of clay, sand and straw that protects the outside of the straw bales.

The local building materials make the environmental impact and embodied energy tiny, and the insulation means we need to burn much less wood to heat the space. It’s a brilliant buiding to learn about.


Oct 5: Save legal aid

Posted: September 3rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Reblogged from ukuncut.org.uk:

The government is about to launch its biggest attack yet on our rights, freedoms, and equality. They want to completely block access to justice for all but the rich, and they want to do it by the end of the year. Such an historic attack on people’s rights cannot, should not and will not go unchallenged. On 5th October, join UK Uncut as we take mass civil disobedience to show that we won’t take this assault on our equality before the law.

 The government have forced through devastating cuts in every area from education to housing, welfare to healthcare, and now they want to stop us challenging their unfair and unnecessary decisions, and to stop us from resisting  injustice.

If these proposals go through they will stop people from disputing unfair evictions from their homes. They will stop babies from having their interests represented in family disputes. And they will stop the families of people killed in custody or detention from fighting for the truth.

This isn’t a cut that we’re talking about. The changes to legal aid won’t save even one penny, in fact they will cost money by causing havoc to the legal system. They are not motivated by a need to save money – these are ideological changes aimed at ruining justice for poor people and handing more contract cash to G4S and Serco.

So join the UK uncut collective in blocking roads outside of courts around the country.  In an act of direct action, we will stand against these dangerous changes that will destroy democracy and ordinary people’s lives.  We know that this will be disruptive. We know that it will stop the traffic. But we know that this kind of direct action works, and that we need to use it to save justice.

We already have the support of DPAC, Defend the Right to protest, Women Against Rape, Plane Stupid, Kent Refugee Help and BARAC UK.  But we need your help to make this huge. Get a group together, meet and come up with some ideas for your own act of creative civil disobedience. Start planning, find your nearest court, list your action on the action section of our website and get in touch if we can help.

Blocking roads has an important and effective history in direct action in the UK, and given the government has ignored petitions and protests, civil disobedience is needed to defend our rights against this attack. By blocking roads outside of courts, we will be symbolically highlighting the devastating effect the changes will have on access to justice. If you’re angry that the government is blocking justice for the poorest and most vulnerable, join us on the 5th.  Tell all your friends, family and colleagues. Shout about it, tweet it, facebook it.

See you on the streets

Read the rest of this entry »


Call for action: rolling blockade blocking Balcombe fracking

Posted: September 1st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Action, Energy | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

28 Days Later: Please spread far and wide

A Rolling Blockade of the Balcombe fracking site, 1st September – 28th September

Fracking company Cuadrilla’s governmental licence to drill in Balcombe ends on September 28th. The government may be allowing them to drill but they have no social licence from the people of Balcombe to frack their land and threaten their water supply.  Neither do they have any mandate to begin an entire wave of fracking across the country. The vast majority of people in the UK want cleaner, greener energy.

After the upsurge of climate activism at Reclaim the Power in August, let’s make these last 28 days count. Let’s halt their work at Balcombe, and also send a strong message to those wanting to frack elsewhere.

A blockade has been on-going at the drilling site, but trucks have still been getting through. Now it’s time to up the ante.

We invite groups from around the country to come and play a part in a 28 day rolling blockade.

Think creatively and act responsibly. Pick a weekday before September 28, gather friends and useful kit get yourselves to Balcombe.

Fracking is stoppable, another world is possible.