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.

Heathrow Villages awarded £7000 to create a Neighbourhood Plan

Posted: November 4th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Events, Residents | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »


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.”

Sun 15 Sep: Harvest Festival & Community Food Growers’ Network Jamboree

Posted: August 31st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Events, Gardening Club | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Community Food Growers’ Network summer harvest jamboree is coming up on Sunday the 15th September at Grow Heathrow.

Full information is copied in below so tell your friends and come along for an afternoon of gardening fun. The day will include horticultural games, workshops of many shapes and sizes, an allotment produce competition, a shared dinner and plenty of dancing.

Outline of the Day:

11:30 – 12 Arrive and have tea.

12 – 1 Site Tour of Grow Heathrow and practical Horticulture session. This is a chance to have a tour of the garden with one of the growers and learn more about the site. There will also be a parallel workshop on saving your own seed: an introduction to the politics, poetics and practices of seed saving in community gardens.

1 – 2 Lunch: Bring a contribution to share.

2 – 3 Workshops: ‘Growing to sell in a community food setting’ and ‘An introduction to the Landworkers Alliance and La Via Campesina in the UK’.

3 – 5:45 Horticultural games and allotment produce competition: The famous horticultural games will be held to include salad tossing, potato and knife race and sack race. Prizes and prestige to be won. Taste based allotment produce competition – entrants to bring 2 pieces of their best leaf, root and fruit, which will be judged on taste by a panel of experts.

6 -7 Closing CFGN plenary.

7 – 9 Shared Feast, Music and Dancing: Please bring along a contribution of your produce for the shared dinner, which will be prepared in the afternoon, or a contribution in kind. There will be music and dancing too.

Face painting and crafts alongside the events all day!

Allotment produce competition: Gardeners from all over London will be taking part in the great taste based produce competition. Anyone wishing to enter should bring along 2 pieces of their best root, fruit and leaf. Remember we are using botanical terms here so your tomatoes and cucumbers will be considered fruit.

Sharing Food: Bring along some of your harvest, or a donation to cover costs. Produce will be cooked up into a shared lunch and dinner with some special pizza from the clay oven.

Thanks to Jonathan Goldberg for putting together the awesome photo montage of our third birthday party: jongoldberg.co.uk

Mon 22 April: how to forage wild chervil without dying

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

On Wild Food Mondays, visitors to Grow Heathrow have already learnt how to make cherry plum blossom tea, chickweed salads, and horseradish sauce. Now, on 22 April, we’re hosting a day dedicated to wild chervil (anthriscus sylvestris), also known as cow parsley.

Learn how to tell it apart from its poisonous lookalikes hemlock and fools parsley, so you can avoid the death that Socrates suffered at hemlock’s hands. And discover this extremely common plant’s potential for tabouleh, plus experiment with lacto-fermenting some in brine. Bring a bike for the foraging; after learning the key ID features, we’re cycling to the lake to test out our skills telling it apart from its lookalikes and to gather basketfuls!

The wild chervil wild food workshop runs from 2 – 5pm on Monday 22 April. It is free to everyone, but a donation of £5 is welcome from people who can afford it. Any donations will go towards Grow Heathrow getting a new chainsaw to help process timber for our off-grid wood powered shower and burners.

Come along to HASRA’s AGM

Posted: April 1st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Events, Residents | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

The AGM of HASRA’(Harmondsworth and Sipson Residents Association) is coming up.

Come along to discuss the future of the Heathrow villages. John Mcdonnell MP and John Stewart (HACAN chair) will be in attendance to answer questions. Wednesday 1st May 7.30 pm – 9.00 pm Heathrow School Hall.

Some seasonal outreach

Posted: January 21st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Residents | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Outreach 1

Last month while Heathrow villagers were gearing up for their winter holidays Grow Heathrow pounced on the opportunity to spread some environmental gospel.

Free wreath making and a restocked free shop went down a storm at the rather rainy Harmondsworth Christmas market; punters wove Laurel, Ivy, Holly and other foraged foliage to create their circular masterpieces.

At the grand unveiling of Sipson’s first community Christmas tree, roasting and distributing free sweet chestnuts, locally sourced of course, was a tasty treat even John Mcdonell (MP) couldn’t resist. Our warming snacks also delighted many at the Com. Cafe hosted, Mayor’s Carol event, the following week.

Not only does outreach of this kind leave a sweet taste in the mouth, it also encourages local people to think more about where their produce is from. Nature provides a wealth of glorious bounty whatever the season.

Free film showing in The Five Bells

Posted: December 3rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Film | Tags: , , | No Comments »

On Thursday 13th December, from 7pm in the Five Bells Pub, Harmondsworth; Transition Heathrow have organised a FREE film screening of climate change documentary ‘The Age of Stupid’.

It will be an opportunity to get local community groups together, so we can share what we all are doing, look for collaborations and to think about how our community can become more resilient in the economic and ecological crises. And of course, there will be popcorn on hand too.

Please pass on this call out and poster above, and put the date in your diary. Would be great to see you or a representative from your community group there.

*** The Age of Stupid is a 90-minute film about climate change, set in the future. Oscar-nominated Pete Postlethwaite (In The Name of the Father, Brassed Off) stars as a man living alone in the devasted world of 2055 …………. Why didn’t we stop climate change when we had the chance? ***

The Five Bells Pub is in Harmondsworth. More info here: http://www.beerintheevening.com/pubs/s/10/1023/Five_Bells/Harmondsworth

Reshuffle has “u-turn” written all over it

Posted: September 12th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Media | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

Like the steady roar of planes coming in to land over West London, the aviation industry keeps droning on about expanding London’s airports. Last week’s reshuffle shows Cameron and Osborne are listening to them too.

Justine Greening and Theresa Villiers, two Ministers with whose opposition to the third runway was well known, have found themselves shunted out of the Transport Department. A Number 10 official sniggered that Greening would “have plenty of time to think about runways as her flight to the next developing country circles the airport yet again.” (Which doesn’t even make sense, because why would a plane flying to a developing country be circling at Heathrow? Unless Cameron thinks the UK is a developing country? Anyway, I digress.)

Cameron and Osborne have established an inquiry to look into “the scale and timing of any requirement for additional capacity to maintain the UK’s position as Europe’s most important aviation hub”. Lest this loaded question prove anything other than a licence to lay tarmac, they asked the former head of the Confederation of British Industry, Howard Davies, to oversee it. Davies was once a special adviser to the climate change denier Lord Lawson. He had to leave the LSE after he was busted for nodding through some chunky donations from Gaddafi’s son. Davies won’t decide to build a third runway until 2015, which means all three parties get to run on a “no third runway unless the commission tells us to build it” platform at the next election.

Residents needn’t worry though, because Boris Johnson is on the case. He’s set up a rival inquiry, proving that the invisible hand of the free market will ensure competition. The Mayor’s inquiry will report in 2013 and, like the government’s commission, will conclude that we need lots of more runway space, because that’s what it is being asked to do. Given that no one is going to build a runway in the Thames Estuary – his preferred solution – Boris gets to oppose the third runway while making it ever more likely that Sipson and Harmondsworth will be buried under tarmac.

None of this means that the third runway will be built, of course. The strongest argument against it isn’t climate change, it’s that the damned thing has no purpose. There is bags of spare capacity at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports, which is why Virgin Atlantic was able to offer new routes between London and Manchester days after losing its West Coast train franchise. Using all that spare capacity would be stupid, of course, because flying causes climate change, makes loads of noise and pollutes the air we breathe. But let’s not forget it’s there.

This blog post was taken from the Plane Stupid website

Harmondsworth Great Barn saved

Posted: February 10th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Cool Projects | Tags: , , | No Comments »

This week the infamous Great Barn in the village next door to us, Harmondsworth was saved! After years of controversy over what would happen with it, English Heritage have finally purchased it for £20000.

The building once dubbed “the cathedral of Middlesex” is Grade Ι listed and was being looked after by community group ‘The Friends of Harmondsworth Barn’ who have been working tirelessly to secure it and are extremely pleased to have it back. The Barn will now be available for use by local communties and plans are already in place to open it for free to the public on two Sundays each month from April. Barn dance anyone?

Come to the Harmondsworth Xmas Event THIS FRIDAY!!!

Posted: December 11th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , | No Comments »

Poster by Olive Morris award winner- Missbadchild


Friday 16th December 2011

Time/ Location:

Bulb planting for spring, 2.30pm-3.30pmHarmondsworth Recreation Ground

Decorate the village christmas tree, light the lights, christmas songs, hot drinks and mince pies, 3.30pm-4.00pm, Harmondsworth High Street, UB7 0AQ

For more information get in contact with Kate Birch, Heathrow Villages Community Development Officer 
kate.birch@groundwork.org.uk / 07726694342  /   Facebook:Kate HeathrowVillages  

With special thanks to:

Harmondsworth and Sipson Residents Association, London Borough of Hillingdon Green Spaces Team, Com.Cafe, Transition Heathrow, The Five Bells Pub, Groundwork Thames Valley, Hillingdon Community Trust and Heathrow Small Awards

A Fun Day in Harmondsworth

Posted: November 24th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Last Saturday saw Harmondsworth host a celebratory day of village life. A crowd of around 350 people turned out in the bright autumnal sunshine to enjoy the activities put on by local community groups, including Transition Heathrow.

Our contribution to the day saw us hosting a conker championship on the village green in front of the Five Bells pub, which saw a persistent stream of young contestants engage in a bout of conker-swinging action. Usually, the key to victory is to pick the right conker, and many of ours proved to be particularly resilient since they had been in storage for over a month, which was plenty of time to season the center to the point where it could take some serious punishment. The result of most fights ended up being determined by the string breaking before the conker.

Another activity that proved to be extremely popular was the planting of bulbs on the green, as overseen by Joe throughout the afternoon. The bulbs (from Ansells Garden Centre) were varieties that were especially selected to complement the area, and for their ability to thrive naturally. Come spring, the planted bulbs should bloom to produce a colourful floral arrangement at the heart of Harmondsworth.

Elsewhere the Com.Cafe crew were keeping the kids entertained in their usual inimitable way, Kingsley from Hayes FM was knocking out tunes and compering, the Five Bells barbeque was delivering tasty burgers, Groundwork Thames Valley’s Spots and Stripes team was on hand with a range of giant games, a raffle was held by local Sipson resident Danny with prizes donated by local business and Mallow the miniature pony was on hand to offer rides.

Jane Taylor from HASRA who was running the Heathrow Village Life stall said of the day “This is fantastic – it’s great to see people coming out of their houses and meeting new friends and neighbours. This is just what we needed.” It was also good to see the Deputy Mayor and Mayoress ofHillingdon and John McDonnell MP present to support the event. The incredible turnout of families and obvious enjoyment was topped off with a spectacular twenty minute fireworks display on the recreation ground after sunset.

None of this would have happened without the contribution of a wide range of people from the Heathrow Villages, but especially the hard work and dedication of Kate Birch, our local Community Development Officer. There’s no doubt in our minds that the event was an unqualified success, and we look forward to helping out with whatever Kate comes up with next.

For some more photos of the day, see our Flickr set.