Posted: 01.02.21 at 17:38 by Dimitris Kouimtsidis
A CAMPAIGN to get Warren Farm in Southall designated as a Nature Reserve has reached 5,500 signatures in in the first 10 days since its launch.
The plan would see Warren Farm and its surrounding meadows by the river Brent classified as a Statutory Local Nature Reserve (LNR).
This would help preserve it for future generations and ensure the protection of its rare and endangered species such as the Skylark, a red-listed bird facing extinction in the UK.
Since Ealing Council stopped using Warren Farm as a sports facility, the meadows have rewilded and now form a unique urban grassland.
Species of birds, mammals, reptiles, insects and plants which are rare in London have been reported thriving on the land.
The proposal for LNR status has been put forward by the Brent River & Canal Society (BRCS).
The Warren Farm Nature Reserve organisation started the petition to raise awareness.
Ealing Council voted over a decade ago to seek LNR status for the surrounding meadows but have yet to complete this process.
BRCS is keen to work with the Council to see this vision extended to include a much wider area of the Brent River Park (BRP), including the abandoned sports fields of Warren Farm.
The Warren Farm Nature Reserve campaigners aim to see this on the agenda for the Mayoral election later this year and the 2022 Council elections.
Campaign organiser and BRCS trustee Katie Boyles said: “The Wildlife Trust has called on the government to create ‘Wildbelt’ land across urban areas of Britain – land specifically designated for nature recovery.
“We don’t have to look far in Ealing because we can do just this at Warren Farm.
“With only 2% of wildflower meadows left in the UK, it is crucial that these meadow habitats are safeguarded from future development.
“We are also facing a climate emergency and with the UK being ranked as one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world, there has never been a more crucial time to protect sites such as Warren Farm.”
BRCS trustee and local naturalist Phil Belman added: “Our expert surveys have provided overwhelming evidence to justify the Statutory Local Nature Reserve designation.
“BRCS offers our support, experience and expertise to assist Council Officers to achieve this vision and we stand ready to work in partnership with Ealing Council and all others who sign up to it.”
The inspiration for the campaign came, initially, from young conservationist and wildlife writer Kabir Kaul, who said: “It has been wonderful to be part of this campaign and I have learned so much about this precious green space in the heart of Ealing as a result.
"This magnificent grassland habitat is home to several rare and red-listed species, including Skylarks: it brings me, and many others, great joy to hear their song in the borough."
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