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.

4 Years and Counting

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

 

Credits to Community Food Growers Network for this report and photoscrowd kidsonlogs

Grow Heathrow, the squatted community garden by Heathrow airport, celebrated it’s 4th Birthday on Saturday the 1st of March.

People came from Bristol, Cambridge and France to kick off the celebrations with ‘Three Acres and a Cow’ on the Friday evening- a people’s history of Britain through folk songs, stories and poems connecting The Norman Conquest and Peasants’ Revolt with the 80′s road protests and Occupy via the enclosures and Highland Clearances.

Over 50 folk sat down for a hot skipped meal to watch the show which included performances from ‘Crazy Dvine’, Mark Brown, storyteller Nick Hunt, and Keely Mills who is Poet Laurette for Peterborough.

Saturday morning arrived and saw 150 people pass through the gates for site tours, cob-oven pizzas, seed sowing and sunshine.

The highlight of the day was definitely the Cake competition which saw the site turn into a kind of amphitheater arena with the audience finding viewing points on piles of logs, the cabin and whatever else they could find!

Cakes were followed by some top speeches from local campaigner Tracey, John McDonnell MP, Grow Heathrower Sam and supporters of the project.

As the blight of the Heathrow Third Runway still threatens the village of Sipson, and the Con-Dem government continues its mania of austerity cuts, it was once again inspiring to see Grow Heathrow thriving- putting politics into practice and building community power in the face of economic, ecological and democratic crises.

To find out more about Grow Heathrow visit www.transitionheathrow.com

And to learnt about storyteller Nick Hunt’s new book ‘Walking the Woods and the Water’ see  http://nickhuntscrutiny.com/

Music from 3 Acres and a Cow at https://soundcloud.com/crazydivine

Credits to Community Food Growers Network for blog and photos

http://bit.ly/1gPTYan

We fought the Law!

Posted: January 10th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: legal | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

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After all these years Grow Heathrow have finally come to the end of our legal battle!!

We  were not able to take the appeal to the supreme court, as the case was not awarded legal aid, by a body that is being cut heavily by this government. Read more about cuts to legal aid here: http://www.savelegalaid.co.uk/

However, the case has set a positive precedent in housing law that will be able to be used in future cases on evictions for both squatters and exploited tenants. The last appeal heard at the High Court was the first case of it’s type where article 8, the Human Rights Act, was ever deemed to be relevant. Big news in a time where squatting is being criminalized in the middle of a housing crises.

Where does that leave us?

Basically in a similar place to where we were before. Grow Heathrow is still under possible threat, much like the last 4 years, but business as usual continues. The Wind Turbine is still soaring, the Chard is still growing and the compost loo’s are still being stirred!

Mainly we are still trying to create negotiations with the land owners to ultimately and ideally secure the site. With the 3rd runway back on the cards, we are not going anywhere. Watch this space…


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.”


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


The fight goes on…

Posted: July 3rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Events, legal, Media | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Residents and supporters of Grow Heathrow outside Central London County Court

Update on the Court of Appeal verdict:

The judges failed to reach a unanimous decision on the case but by majority, our appeal was dismissed and permission was granted for the owners to seek a warrant for an eviction.

On the plus side, one of the judges found that squatters as well as tenants are entitled to respect for their home under article 8 of The European Convention on Human Rights and that the court should consider the individual circumstances of those affected when deciding how soon to make an eviction.

We are now working with our lawyers on a further appeal to the Supreme Court to define the arguments about whether article 8 is relavent to private land owners.

In the meantime, there is a low risk of imminent eviction and we’re asking for support on site over the next few weeks. Come along today for dinner and help us make plans for securing our future.

See here for directions to site. If you plan to stay the night, please bring a sleeping bag and tent if you can.

Grow Heathrow campaigner Joe Rake said:

“We think it’s important to challenge a law that protects the right of irresponsible landlords to trash the heart of a community.  We are still following up options to appeal to the Supreme court and hope we can come to an agreement so that we can carry on working with the local resident’s association and our MP to make sure ‘Grow Heathrow’ exists as a community resource in the long-term.”

Sipson resident Tracey Howard commented:

“At a time when harsh austerity cuts are effecting people across the country, ‘Grow Heathrow’ is a great example of what can be done when a community takes back control of its land to meet its own needs.

Spread the word and thanks for your support!


Come along to HASRA’s AGM

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

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.


Be a friend of Cranford Park

Posted: January 19th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Events, Foraging | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

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The fantastic Friends of Cranford Park are running some awesome events.

Grow Heathrow (currently known as Snow Heathrow) will be be going to the winter tree identification walk at 11am, Sunday 16th February. Meet at the Cranford Park visitor centre.

Join the Friends of Cranford Park Facebook, or follow @cranfordpark for the latest updates.

Outdoor events take place whatever the weather. Unless stated otherwise, please meet at the park information centre, near car park.

 Second Thursday of every month, 10am – 1pm Cranford Park Volunteers

Feb 14, March 14, etc. Help with a variety of jobs in the park and woodland.  Meet at park information centre. Contact: Alison Shipley, ashipley@hillingdon.gov.uk

Third Thursday of every month, 11am. Feb 21, etc. Cranford Park Healthy Walk. Brisk two-mile stroll in friendly company. Why not include this as part of your new year fitness regime? Led by Countryside and Conservation Officer Alison Shipley.

 Saturday February 16th, 11am. Winter Tree Identification. A winter wonderland walk through the park with tips on how to identify trees when not in leaf. Hear about historic uses for trees and how to assess their age. This event has been rescheduled from Saturday, January 19th

Friends Event: Sunday February 3, 11am – 1pm. Tall Tales and Trash!

Everyone welcome to join a community litter pick, hearing tales from Cranford’s exciting past and identifying wildlife as we go. Hear some true stories about your park and help smarten it up at the same time. Gloves, tools etc provided. Led by Bob Barton (CPF) and Billy Coburn (Thames 21).

Friends Event: Thursday February 28, 7.30pm  Cranford Park Friends Meeting. Crane Community Centre, Fuller Way, Harlington UB3 4LW (Bus E6)

General meeting following on from our AGM in November. All welcome.

Saturday March 2, 11am. Signs of Spring! A guided walk around the park looking for spring’s first stirrings. Led by Alison Shipley (LBH).

Friends Event: Sunday March 17,  11am – 1pm. ‘Secret Garden’ Spring preparation. Come along and help with some light gardening, including sowing wild flowers. All welcome, bring the family. Tools, good company and light refreshments provided. Meet in the small walled garden, adjacent to the Stable Block (with Macmillan Cancer Support). If there a garden enthusiast who would like to help lead this on the day please contact Bob Barton.

The Green Spaces Events Booklet details activity in parks throughout the Borough of Hillingdon and includes the above events.


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


Pics from Open Day

Posted: September 10th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Events, Residents | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

The open day on Saturday saw over 100 people flooding through the gates at Grow Heathrow to enjoy the community space in the hot sunshine. Local residents, families and visitors from London came to enjoy site tours, pizzas, smoothies, games and most took some vegetables home with them after a big harvest.

Thanks to everyone that came including John McDonnell MP and local newspaper Uxbridge Gazzette – you can now see the pictures up on our Flickr Page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/47991844@N06/sets/72157631495818466/