Across the borough, the council is promoting green growth by expanding meadows and hedgerows, planting thousands of trees and boosting biodiversity as part of its new climate emergency strategy.
The bold new plan will see decisive action taken to improve on Ealing’s already impressive green spaces with new measures to increase biodiversity and natural carbon capture, and help to reduce harmful emissions.
This includes a commitment to increase the number of trees to the point where there will be canopy cover for 23% of the borough in the next 10 years; and to increase meadows by 10%.
The draft strategy, which was confirmed by the council’s cabinet in May, also commits increasing the area of flower-rich grassland by creating new meadows in parks, housing estates, new developments, schools and community gardens. Existing meadows will also be enhanced using new management, planting and grazing practices.
There have already been some great success stories so far when it comes to greening the borough –including 250,000 square metres of wildflowers recorded this year, and an amazing 4,000 street trees planted by the council in the last four years alone.
But the community is always at the heart of improving our green spaces, which is why the council’s Transform your Space (TyS) is backing local projects to transform underused and unloved areas into valuable local assets for both local people and the environment.
There a number of projects taking place across the borough and local people can contribute by supporting crowdfunding drives, or even directly getting involved. The Do Something Good website is packed with information to help local people do just that.
‘Safeguarded space for nature’
The Ealing Wildlife Group (EWG) is working on a project to create a nature reserve, and the council is backing it with some TyS funding.
Sean McCormack, EWG founder, explained: “The derelict Costons Lane allotment site is a crucial green island right in the heart of Greenford’s centre which acts as a wildlife corridor and refuge.
“It will become not only a safeguarded space for nature, but a real community asset where local people can come and be part of its creation, learning about wildlife and getting outdoors to meet like-minded people.
“We need everybody’s help, from residents to businesses.”
Designed to directly empower local people by putting them in charge of shaping their schemes, TyS offers support to successful projects in the form of guidance, advice and funding from the council.
This time round, residents can get involved with the projects directly by volunteering as well as contributing to the crowdfunding drive.
Councillor Mik Sabiers, cabinet member for environment and highways, said: “We can only play our part in tackling the climate emergency and improving air quality by working with the local community, which is why it so positive to see the EWG’s latest work to create green spaces in the borough. Costons Lane occupies a crucial location by connecting local wildlife to a network of ‘green corridors’ from one open space or habitat to another.
“TyS provides opportunities for residents to help create a sense of pride in their local area and we have already seen some amazing projects come to life already.”
GOT IT COVERED
Increasing the number of trees in the borough is a critical part of the council’s climate emergency draft strategy.
Ideally, an area would have a minimum 23% of ‘canopy cover’ – meaning almost a quarter of the borough shaded by trees. But we only have 16.9% in Ealing currently. So, the council aims to plant the required number of trees by 2030.
The benefits of this level of canopy cover are varied – ranging from their ability to clean the air by ‘eating’ carbon and producing oxygen, to providing shade in the hotter summers and roots to absorb the increase in water in our wetter winters.
You can email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have feedback on the council’s draft strategy.