London reserve saved following council rethink


Warren Farm Nature Reserve has been saved after Ealing Council reversed its plans to develop the site.

Ealing Council had announced plans to convert the site, which is a 25-ha unofficial nature reserve in Norwood Green in West London, into eight football pitches and renovate derelict, asbestos-filled facility buildings. 

However, a new proposal has revealed that the site will in face be 'rewilded', with the sports pitches to be built on additional land, adjacent to the site, to avoid disrupting wildlife. 

Ealing Council previously revealed plans to build eight football pitches on the land at Warren Farm (Ealing Council).


Warren Farm saved

Council leader Peter Mason said: "We're over the moon to have agreed with Imperial College that the new pitches can go on their land to the north of Warren Farm. We continue to want to work in partnership with residents and campaigners to deliver a bold, community-led plan to safeguard Warren Farm's open and biodiverse future."

The decision follows a year of campaigning after the council outlined a scheme that would have destroyed more than half of Warren Farm's wildflower and grassland meadow.

A petition started by Warren Farm Nature Reserve, calling for the decision to be reconsidered, received more than 25,000 signatures. There was also a protest outside Ealing Town Hall and support from wildlife conservationists and organisations.

Warren Farm NR campaigner Katie Boyles said: "Credit to the council for taking stock and reversing plans that would have been hugely environmentally damaging. This is a unique opportunity to set a precedent for other councils up and down the country. This doesn't just stop with Warren Farm NR."