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Grow Heathrow

On March 1st 2010 Transition Heathrow members swooped on an abandoned market garden site in Sipson; one of the villages to be completely tarmacked to make way for a third runway at Heathrow airport.

30 tonnes of rubbish was cleared, the greenhouses re-glazed and over a year later the site has been transformed from a derelict mess into a beacon of community strength and an example of how to live sustainably on this planet.

9-13 April group: fully booked

Or choose your own date to visit and volunteer

The land had previously been problematic for the local community and was often a site of anti-social behaviour before it was virtually abandoned. Traditional Transition Towns often have a strong emphasis on growing your own food, so we decided to incorporate that with a squatted community space where people could come together, and spend time as a community.

The project aims to return the Berkeley Nurseries site back to its intended purpose – a thriving market garden that will provide our community with locally produced, organic fruit and veg as well as a venue for new and interesting projects and workshops.

The site is a hub for local residents and environmental activists to share knowledge and practical skills such as organic gardening, permaculture design, bicycle maintenance and wood and metal work. Over the past year and a half the site has played host to a wide range of political gathering for groups such as: Climate CampReclaim the FieldsThe Transition NetworkNo Tar Sands NetworkThe Kick Nuclear CampaignPEDAL and many more.

We are also now well on our way to a position of self-reliance. We produce our own food, use solar and wind power meaning we’re completely off grid, we collect water from the greenhouse roofs to feed the plants, fruit and vegetables, we use the rocket stove invention to heat our water and are equipped with four fully functioning compost toilets. Grow Heathrow accepts and is grateful for voluntary donations from guests for the continued running of the project.

Volunteers will get involved in the daily running of the community garden.  This will be mainly focused on fruit and vegetable production including tasks such as seed sowing, digging beds, tending to growing plants, watering, and composting. Other tasks around the site include sustainable construction work, feeding the chickens and cooking. On arriving at  Grow Heathrow, we will work out together where people’s interests are, and what work we can do.

You will have a place to sleep in the Grow Heathrow Guest Cabins.

9-13 April group: fully booked

Or choose your own date to visit and volunteer

To book your place as a volunteer, please email us at info@transitionheathrow.com, or phone us on 07890751568. We welcome all ages, abilities and ideas. You should bring a torch, sleeping bag, sturdy shoes and clothes for gardening. Please arrive on the 9th for lunch and an introduction to the site.

Directions:

Our address is Grow Heathrow, Vineries Close, Sipson, West Drayton, UB7 0JG.

From Central London: Travel to West Drayton in TfL zone 6 in 20 minutes by train from Paddington. From West Drayton either take the 222 bus towards Hounslow and get off in Sipson Village or follow the cycle path towards Sipson. Our site is a 1 minute walk from the King William Pub which is in the middle of town

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