West London FoE response to Airports Commision Consultation

The Airports Commission consulted on the provision of a 3rd runway in the south-east of England. 

Our reply is here


The University of West London wants to build luxury houses rather than landscape this public gift.

 Campaigners are fighting to save a piece of greenery in Ealing W5.

The owners have put in a planning application to Ealing council to fell trees and build executive houses on the site. See the campaign leaflet here for more details. [add leaflet]

The owners, the University of West London, were gifted the land by Ealing council and are now asking the council to grant planning permission which will give them a windfall profit of around £9m.

This is purely a money-making scheme by the University. It has no benefit for the community. It does not, for instance, provide student accommodation or ‘affordable’ housing. Ealing council has no responsibility for financing universities, so it has no legal or moral responsibility for supporting this money-making scheme by the university. In contrast, the council has got a responsibility to its residents.

The council should therefore turn down the application and save the green space for the benefit of local people.

If you wish to object to this proposal, send an email explaining your concerns to planning@ealing.gov.uk,  with the reference “Objection to application PP/2014/2592".

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Safety Improvements have seen fall in pedestrian accidents

Safety measures carried out in 2012 involved the installation of green man crossings on all arms of the Lido Junction. This was as a result of pressure from local groups including EFoE & EPTUG. 

In the 12 months prior to this there had been 10 pedestrian accidents. Over the same period afterwards there were only two.

A rare feature of this junction is that when the green man is showing it shows on all arms simultaneously - thanks to pressure from EFoE.

Creative Concern are working on behalf of Brompton Dock in Ealing to promote a cycle hire scheme. They say it's really affordable, easy and fun to use.

They can offer EFoE members a special promotional code

You can  find out more at: http://www.bromptondock.co.uk/


Stephen Pound MP backs the Bee Cause Angie Bray MP also backs the Bee Cause

Stephen Pound added his support to the Bee Action Plan, which protects all 267 British species of bees, and tries to ensure the way we farm our food and plan towns and cities is appropriate for them.


Photo by Virginia Fassnidge

Angie Bray wrote in a letter to one of our members "I am really delighted to be supporting the Bee Action Plan and do please let me know when there is more to be done that I can do in Parliament"
Climate change - the climate fights back Science Museum
A study published Monday 8 April 2013 in the journal Nature Climate Change predicts that global warming will cause bumpier transatlantic flights by the middle of this century. Watch this space. Did you know that the Science Museum is open for adults only between 18.45 and 22.00 on the last Wednesday of each month? It’s a chance to have a look round in relatively quiet conditions, and you don’t have to fight small children for a go on the hands-on stuff.                                                                                 more ...
Motorists subsidised by £300bn a year Government traffic forecasts are too high

The perennial complaint from drivers that they are excessively taxed has been challenged by a study which concludes that road accidents, pollution and noise connected to cars costs every EU citizen more than £600 a year.

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 Since well before the recession, people in the UK have been making fewer car journeys and using trains more. Total traffic started to fall in the mid 2000s and the recent National Travel Survey shows this welcome trend is continuing.

But – curiously – every year for the past 24 years, government forecasts have been way too high. And this year government is still forecasting major traffic increases. Why is this?

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The Bee Cause Logo

Bees and other pollinating insects are vital to:

·         our food supply – they pollinate most of our fruit and vegetables

·         our economy - without bees, the costs for farmers would rise, leading to higher food prices

·         our quality of life – our gardens, parks and countryside


And bees need us. British bee numbers have fallen dramatically in recent years, and the way we farm our food and plan our towns and cities is making the problem worse.

FoE is asking David Cameron to help save bees by introducing a National Bees Action Plan. Visit www.foe.co.uk to sign the petition.   


Bee Photo Competition Results

Bees are pretty difficult to photograph, as they are quite small and tend to move away when you get close to them, so we’re very pleased to have three winning pictures to display. 


When they took their photos, Elyse and Mina were in Year 7 at Brentford School for Girls, and Oliver, who lives in Greenford, was ten years old.

Elyse Thompson managed to catch a bumblebee in the act of landing on (or perhaps taking off from) a dogrose Mina Falilh Flaih was able to get close enough to get a shot of a honeybee feeding on a flower Oliver Ryder was lucky enough to see a whole swarm of honeybees in his front garden. The beekeeper told him there were 60,000 bees there!
Population Crisis

A public meeting on the issue of population was held at the Polygon, St Mary’s Church in South Ealing on 5th December 2011.


Over 40 people attended the meeting, which was organised by Population Matters and EFOE.


Nina Clarke and John Collier, speakers for Population Matters, showed how the earth’s population has rocketed in recent decades and how it is forecast to increase.


Nina said: “It is not good enough to say resignedly that with population growth we will need many more resources both in the UK and abroad.  We must have the courage to consider population growth itself as an issue both at government level and within our individual lives and learn to appreciate the benefits for us and our children of smaller families.”


Nic Ferriday, speaking for EFOE, showed how environmental impacts are related as much to population as to over-consumption or inefficient technology.


Nic said “All environmental impacts increase and become harder to solve with more people. Whether it is air pollution, destruction of forests or climate change, controlling our population is essential if we are to safeguard the future of the planet and its people.”  

Recycling Light bulbs 7,000,000,000 people and counting

Old-style incandescent bulbs have to be disposed of with general waste (preferably wrapped in case of breakages). They should not be put with other glass items as they contain metal.                                                                          more ...

The United Nations designated 31st October 2011 as the day that the seven billionth citizen was born.  World population has been increasing more and more in the last few decades, and the trend continues upwards.                                                                                                                                     more ...

Ealing Broadway Interchange

Urban Gardens

Ealing Council's consultants' report on possible new arrangements for buses at Ealing Broadway has now been made public.  The council intend to take forward 3 of the simplest and cheapest options. These are estimated to cost between £4m and £10m. If they get funding from TfL they plan to put these to public consultation in 2014.

In the meantime we would like to offer a new alternative arrangement for traffic and buses which should make life easier for bus passengers.

Nick O'Donnell, Assistant Director of Strategic Transport at Ealing Council, has said he is happy for this option to be included in the later consultation on options.

The Royal Horticultural Society has just launched a new campaign on the importance of urban gardens based on quite extensive research .The key findings were: urban garden plants and trees help to cool the air in towns and cities, helping to combat dangerous temperatures caused by heat waves; trees and hedges can bring energy costs down in winter by providing insulation; garden plants and trees intercept intense rain and slow runoff, while garden soil absorbs rainwater, reducing the risk of flooding; urban gardens support a range of wildlife and help to maintain biodiversity; gardening has a beneficial effect on mental and physical health. There are some potentially negative aspects of urban gardening, in particular the need for water, and the indirect contribution to carbon emissions through the consumption of manufactured and transported horticultural goods and the use of power tools.


The RHS has produced a useful 4 page leaflet which can be downloaded here:


and you can find much other valuable information on sustainable gardening on their website, including a number of leaflets on conservation and environmental issues.

Another interesting publication is London : Garden City? a research project carried out for the London Wildlife Trust, Greenspace Information for Greater London and the Greater London Authority.


Gardens cover nearly a quarter of Greater London, and as already outlined, they are valuable in many ways. But they are under threat. This project establishes the current garden resource in London , quantifies recent land cover changes in London ’s gardens, and provides evidence for campaigns, policy and other action to promote and protect gardens as an important environmental asset.

It highlights the significant changes that have taken place in recent years: garden greenspace has been lost at the rate of two and a half Hyde Parks per year and hard surfacing increased by over 25% in the 100-month study period.

A summary of the report can be downloaded from the London Wildlife Trust’s website www.wildlondon.org.uk


Congestion zone removal caused increase in traffic

Mayor claims removal of Western Extension did not affect air quality

In the first 12 weeks of 2011 traffic entering the former Western Extension to the congestion charge zone during charging hours increased by 8 per cent when compared with the same period in 2010.  In terms of air quality, TfL modelling showed that the removal of the Western Extension would have a very small impact on pollution concentrations.  The available data so far for 2011 shows that air quality in the former Western Extension zone has behaved in the same way as that in the rest of London and there has not been a discernable ‘WEZ removal effect’. 
Night flight ban is good for the economy

Helping you change the way you think and act on energy

A major report launched in the House of Commons on 27th January 2011 at a meeting hosted by Zac Goldsmith MP shows that a ban on night flights at Heathrow before 6am could be expected to have overall benefits for the wider economy.

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The Centre for Sustainable Energy has produced a series of advice leaflets telling people how they can cut their fuel bills and keep their homes warm.

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Boris' plans to tackle pollution

The Localism Bill

School run mums who leave their engines 'idling' whilst dropping off children could face fines of up to £120. The move is part of Mayor of London Boris Johnson's Air Quality Strategy which also seeks to target delivery van drivers, taxis and buses.

Under the plans, no-idling zones which target drivers who are parked rather than those stuck in traffic could be established within months with an information campaign aimed at mothers who leave cars running when dropping off or collecting school children.

The Government's Decentralisation and Localism Bill is set to radically change the planning framework for local communities - undermining local democracy and action to tackle climate change. FoE are launching a new campaign to tackle these issues, so 

keep an eye out for future actions.

Advice on feeding birds Mega Dairies - No thanks!


Over half the adults in Britain feed birds in their garden.

 But some food can do more harm than good. 

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It is encouraging to know that a number of MPs across all parties have expressed concern at the plans by Nocton Dairies to build a vast factory complex housing up to 8000 cows. The cows would be kept indoors for most of their lives “zero grazing”. This “farm” would be the first of its kind in Western Europe .

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Planet Friendly Farming

Ealing Friends of the Earth supports planet-friendly farming


Ealing Friends of the Earth visited the Farmers’ Market at West Ealing on Saturday 9th October 2010 to ask the public to support ‘planet friendly farming’.


Virginia Fassnidge, food campaigner for Ealing Friends of the Earth, said: “The way we produce food has a huge impact on the environment. Unfortunately many of our meat producers are causing wholesale environmental damage by the way they feed their animals. Rainforests are being destroyed in South America to grow soya beans for animal feed in Britain . We are asking our MPs to support the Sustainable Livestock bill, which will encourage farmers to feed animal on home grown and rainforest free crops.”


Friends of Earth wants the government to stop subsidizing this environmental destruction.


Virginia added “Even as world leaders are meeting to discuss how to stop deforestation, the UK Government is propping up damaging factory farms with millions of pounds of taxpayers' cash - leaving the public unwittingly caught in a food system that's destroying Brazilian wildlife and rainforest. The Government must support British farmers to feed their animals homegrown feed - so our Sunday roast doesn't cost the Earth.”



1. British imports of beef and soy for animal feed from Brazil last year are estimated to have caused the loss of an area of Brazilian rainforest and grassland twice the size of Greater London, according to a new report launched by Friends of the Earth on 10th October.

2. The green campaigning charity's report, From Forest to Fork, shows that increasing demand for animal feed produced in Brazil for British factory farms, along with beef imports, are estimated to have caused around 1,200 square miles of deforestation in 2009.

3. Friends of the Earth is calling on the Government to introduce a Sustainable Livestock Bill to reduce the impact of meat and dairy production and consumption in the UK which is causing wildlife, rainforest and livelihood destruction abroad.  Factory farms - dependent on feeding animals soy protein grown in South America - are subsidised by UK taxpayers to the tune of £700 million a year.

Campaign against agrofuel power station in Southall is successful

Ealing London Borough Council's rejection of a proposed agrofuel power station in Southall has been upheld by the Secretary of State, following a planning appeal and public enquiry. More than 1,000 people, mostly from Southall, had objected to the planning application, both because of concerns over further increasing the demand for agrofuels, and over air quality impacts in a heavily polluted urban area.


How to take on the Climate Change Deniers

Sceptic questions/claims:

1. Climate changed peaked in 1998 and the world has been cooling
since. Why is this happening when CO2 is still rising relentlessly.

2. Solar activity caused the warming.

3. The polar ice cap has recovered all its recently lost area.

4. Sea level is not rising.

5. The cold winter of 2009/10 in the UK and Europe disproves global warming.


1. 1998 was an exceptionally warm year (global average) but several years in the 2000s were very similar, within the accepted margin of error of the measurements (ie about 0.1 C). It is true that since the late 1990s, the warming curve has flattened out, but it is totally untrue that global average temperatures have fallen back. 

Overall the 2000s were warmer than the 1990s showing that the decadal mean is
still rising (UK Met Office). The sceptics do accept that CO2 levels are rising but try to de-link this with global warming. They fail to understand that the temperature curve will not exactly match the CO2 curve year to year (see response 2). 

(Temperature data source NASA GISS).


For further claims & responses see  www.campaigncc.org/sceptics         




Airlines to cut emissions?


IATA (International Air Transport Association) which represents 93% of the world's airlines has unveiled plans to halve emissions but 

not until 2050.

The industry will not even achieve carbon-neutral growth until 2020. They have only made these promises because environmental groups such as FoE have criticised them for not doing enough to prevent climate change.