Monday 4 December 2017 We invited our Brentford Councillors to visit Bonnington Square with us to experience in person this amazing green enclave on the outskirts of a busy traffic zone. Taking the train from Brentford to Vauxhall, we walked through the tunnel at South Lambeth Place, across the road and down Langley Lane. Already containers of all shapes and sizes sat outside homes, overflowing with plants. Space had been made around the bases of trees to plant grasses, shrubs and palms. The garden at the centre of Bonnington Square has made full use of the space, transforming it in to a haven of calm for all to use. Residents around the square have fully embraced the value of green infrastructure and have integrated plants wherever possible, bringing life to otherwise uninspiring streets. It’s great to see how the square changes throughout the year – see our September trip here.
Our aim is to make Brentford’s streets and spaces a lot greener to help mitigate the harmful effects of traffic pollution, by adding shrubs, bushes, hedges, trees and planting wherever possible. Hope you’ll join us in this venture!!
September/October 2017 This seems to be the time of year for funding applications and we have applied for CiL funding from Hounslow Council and a small forum grant to see if we can help improve the green infrastructure in Brentford. We hope that some of our applications are successful.
The projects we have in mind are:
1) Hedge or living wall at the railings in between Middlesex Court, Glenhurst Road, Brentford and the busy A4 traffic, see above. We have spoken with TfL about planting here to help mitigate the harmful effects of air pollution from the traffic, both for the residents of Middlesex Court and also the neighbouring residential roads beyond. It’s possible that TfL could help with match-funding this as this is their land. Continue reading
30 June 2017 We attended a Sustainability Summit at Kew House School, organised by InterClimate Network, a charity who work with secondary school students to inspire them to take action in Climate Change, asking ‘What can I do to make a difference?’. Schools involved were Kew House, Gumley House, Isleworth Boys and Hammersmith Academy. Guest speaker Dr Michal Nachmany (Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at LSE) was inspirational, and not just for the students. She discussed how as humans we become addicted to our lifestyles, even if we know it’s bad for us. Plastics, use of electricity, animal products (making 1/4 of emissions in the world) are difficult to step away from. The most vulnerable populations in the world are the most effected by climate change. There is a need for a) Regulation, b) Motivation, what makes people want to change and c) Alternatives.
Air Quality Brentford went along with members of BRAG (Brentford Recycling Action Group) to lead mini-workshops to discuss issues of Air Quality and Recycling, alongside others discussing Transport and Resources. It was a wonderful afternoon and the brainstorming ideas from the pupils were a joy to witness, see above. We hope to work further with these schools in the Autumn term, giving our air quality mini-talk, and look forward to helping them put their actions in to practice to help make our air cleaner.
June 2017 We might not all have the luxury of a front garden but adding greenery to the front of our houses and flats, even in a window box, is one way of helping to combat air pollution. Continue reading
22 March 2017 That was the question posed by Caroline Russell last night at a content-packed meeting of over 80 representatives from every London borough. There were informed mini-presentations from Simon Birkett @CleanAirLondon, Prof Frank Kelly (Kings College), Alice Monroe (Doctors Against Diesel) @DieselDrs, Louise Francis @Mapping4Change, Andrea Lee @Client Earth, Prof Andrea Seller @Sellerthechemist, Lara Houston and Dr Jennifer Gabrys @citizensense.
All the participants lived outside the proposed ULEZ extension zone of the North and South Circular and were fully aware of very high measurements of NO2 and Particulate Matter polluting their air quality. ‘We want to breathe clean air too’ and this won’t happen without change. Last night we investigated ways that we can encourage more people to sign the petition to extend the ULEZ to the whole of Greater London: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/extend-the-ultra-low-emission-zone-to-the-whole-of-london Continue reading
Green Dragon Primary School received their free packs of Woodland Trust trees and hedges last week, the little saplings arriving just in time to plant during their Science Week. We went along to see how they got on. Each class was given the responsibility of planting one tree each throughout the week, labelling them with their class name and watching over them as they grow. Trees and plants take in Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and in return create Oxygen (O2) which we all need to live. They also help to absorb the toxic emissions of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) and Particulate Matter (PM10) which are made in particular by diesel vehicles driving along our busy roads, so we are encouraging the planting of trees, plants and flowers everywhere in Brentford.