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MAY 2022

We know Grove Farm Local Nature Reserve already plays an important role for conserving nature and enhancing biodiversity in North Greenford but why stop at this when there is a rare opportunity to expand and improve this incredible nature reserve? Specifically, we call on Ealing Council:  

  1. To extend the boundaries of the statutory Local Nature Reserve to include the whole of the existing SINC area and the rest of the Metropolitan Open Land, excluding the fenced off areas used by David Lloyd and Busy Bees. 

See map below. For this, we want:

  • The privately owned SINC land to be added to the LNR either by agreement or, failing this, by the Council implementing its statutory powers.  

  • The Council to seek agreement from David Lloyd, the leaseholder of the remaining area of the SINC, for it to be added to the LNR.  

  • The Council to seek agreement with David Lloyd, the leaseholder for the area called ‘the former Ealing Northern Sports Ground’ which is currently designated a MOL, to bring the area into active conservation management, designate the site a SINC and then progress to LNR designation.  

These actions are in line with POS3 & POS17 in the BAP 2022.

Map of Grove Farm

Map of Grove Farm's vision

The current LNR is shaded yellow. We propose the current LNR boundaries be expanded to include the whole of the SINC (shown in red) as well as the former Ealing Northern Sports Fields (MOL) (shown in purple). The grey hashed area is the proposed Park View Place development showing eight new towers (in white). Some will extend into the current SINC. The green hashed area shows the proposed Transport Yard development of three towers which borders the current MOL land to the north-west of the site.

2.  To provide two new buffer zones, one to protect the water course catchment on the east side of the site (within the grey hashed area), and one between the proposed LNR extension on the north-west side of the site (within the green hashed area) and the projected housing developments.

In particular, the watercourse running along the edge of the current LNR should be protected by a 10m buffer zone wherever possible from the proposed new development of tower blocks. The proposed LNR extension should be protected by a buffer zone of 5m from the Transport Yard development on the north-west side of the site. 

3.  To develop a new site specific management plan for the whole of Grove Farm, including the extended LNR and buffer zones.

This would fulfil action POS7 of the BAP 2022. The management plan to provide a clear, current work programme for contractors and volunteers, including conservation management activities and ensuring that paths are mown and kept clear of obstructions, any fly-tipping and litter is cleared, graffiti removed, vehicle gates are kept locked, anti-social behaviour deterred, and boundaries and fences maintained in good repair.

4.  To ensure and maintain responsible public access within and across the extended LNR

This would be ensured by  the creation of a network of accessible footpaths and entrances, including gates which deter fly-tipping, and clear signposting to facilitate community usage.

5.  To recognise the importance of green corridors for wildlife which connect Grove Farm to nearby open land and extend the existing corridors to include Whitton Avenue West and connections to the Piccadilly line. 

Green corridors are a planning designation which recognise the importance for wildlife of green linkages between open spaces. Currently there is a gap in the recognised connectivity between the Piccadilly Line, Grove Farm and Horsenden Hill. This aligns with action WD4 of BAP 2022.

 6.  To increase engagement with the local community by working with Friends of Grove Farm to: 

a.   empower the community and local volunteers to participate in conservation management and biodiversity monitoring of this Local Nature Reserve;

b.  introduce and maintain appropriate information boards and signage for visitors;

c.  engage with local schools and youth groups to raise awareness of  biodiversity and nature, using Grove Farm as an outdoor classroom;

d.  engage with local residents to promote awareness of nature and the benefits of connecting to nature in Grove Farm.

Local Nature Reserves are places to play, learn and explore nature that can also deliver significant physical and mental health benefits, thus it is crucial to engage and empower the local community. Friends of Grove Farm are already working to meet the objectives above with the help of the Park Rangers but could be aided by further support and training from Ealing Council, for example with training for governance, health and safety, to run citizen science initiatives and provision of insurance to cover their activities. This aligns with actions POS4, 6, 7, 8, 18, 19, 21, WW16, 17, WD7. 


  7.  To commit to consult and work in full partnership with Friends of Grove Farm and the local community.

Building on our collaboration with Ealing Park Rangers, we ask the Council to ensure that the local community is fully consulted by all departments of the Council in an inclusive and transparent way on matters that affect the LNR and the surrounding area . 

Friends of Grove Farm offer our support to Ealing Council to achieve this Vision. We stand ready to work in partnership with Ealing Council and all others who commit to it. 

The policy context

Ealing Council declared a climate emergency in 2019 and in their Climate and Ecological Emergency Strategy have highlighted the importance of nature, expanding natural infrastructure and enhancing biodiversity. Building on this, Ealing Council’s Biodiversity Action Plan 2022 (BAP 2022) presents a vision “To conserve and enhance habitats that create better, and more interconnected places for wildlife across Ealing” and “To increase awareness of biodiversity and encourage more people to connect with nature and by doing so, take positive actions that benefit biodiversity in Ealing”. 

Natural England declares that “LNRs are an essential part of the country’s green infrastructure. They are an important way to enhance and conserve nature and ecosystem services – the services nature provides to benefit people – against threats like climate change, declining biodiversity and lack of access.”
It is with these important local and national environmental policies in mind and building on the work that we have started in conjunction with Ealing Park Rangers, that we have consulted with experts and written a New Vision for Grove Farm. All these ideas are subject to public consultation and council approval. 

Appendix A - Terminology

Local Nature Reserve (LNR)
“LNRs, a statutory designation, are places with wildlife or geological features that are of special interest locally and are recognised by the planning process giving them protection against proposals that would harm their value.“ (BAP 2022: 10). An LNR is a statutory legal designation prepared in agreement with Natural England and, as such, provides greater protection to green spaces.

Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC)
“SINCs are non-statutory designated sites, recognised by the planning process giving them protection against proposals that would harm their value. [...] Sites of Borough Importance are selected for their contribution to the borough’s biodiversity and for enabling local communities to have access to a diversity of wildlife habitats and species in their local area. There are 2 grades for these sites based on their quality in terms of their wildlife and value to people.” (BAP 2022: 10)

Metropolitan Open Land (MOL)
“These are areas of strategic importance which have the highest level of protection from inappropriate development (“except in very special circumstances” (, 2012) in planning policy and are a vital component of London’s infrastructure [...] These areas receive the same level of protection from inappropriate development as Green Belt.” (BAP 2022: 10)

Appendix B - Map Sources

The baselayer of the map is from OpenStreetMap: 

The boundaries of the LNR are taken from Defra’s Magic Map: 

The boundaries of the SINC and MOL are taken from Ealing’s Local Plan Map:  

The map of the proposed Park View Place development is taken from:

The map of the proposed Transport Yard development is taken from: 

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