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Dr Sean McCormack speaks out: Warren Farm is not the place for sports facilities and Ealing Council plans and leaders are undermining democracy

Dr Sean McCormack, founder and chair of Ealing Wildlife Group writes of his deep concerns over plans by Ealing Council and its leadership to allow a large sports facility to be developed on Warren Farm.

“I’m very disappointed that our leaders are pushing on with plans to destroy half of one our most biodiverse habitats in the borough, home to many rare species and the only site in Ealing where Skylarks can breed, a red listed bird of highest conservation concern. Having contributed to Ealing’s Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) which vows to protect and enhance habitat for this rare bird it’s shocking to hear that it’s apparently either Skylarks or sports facilities for children. This is disingenuous and misleading. We can have both. It’s also extremely concerning to see a real misuse of the term ‘rewilding’ when the plans involve the opposite, de-wilding. Warren Farm has already rewilded. It’s ecocide to undo that process.

Skylarks on Warren Farm
Skylarks on Warren Farm

“Warren Farm is not the place for sports facilities. And Natural England will categorically not grant this plan for Local Nature Reserve status when it will cause local extinction of this precious Skylark population if it goes ahead.

“There are lots of sports grounds that children can use, and far more suitable sites to make new ones that won’t obliterate nature on such a concerning scale.

“There’s only one place in Ealing where we can show children Skylarks, an indicator species for a really rich and valuable ecosystem. I’m sure many children would agree to save this amazing natural asset we are lucky to have on our doorstep, and if they had a vote, would ask their Council leader Peter Mason to reconsider this ill thought out plan. It’s stubborn, ignoring the overwhelming consensus of the local community and undermining democracy at worst, and ecologically illiterate at best.

“The Council needs to listen to experts on this if their Climate and Ecological Emergency policy or Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) mean anything at all. Skylarks, Barn Owls, Slow Worms, rare plants and insects, Bats and many other threatened species rely on this whole vast site to thrive, not a damaged portion of it left after new sports facilities swallow it up and leave the remainder for wildlife to share and make do with alongside a more concentrated public using the site currently for exercise, recreation and enjoying nature. The remainder will be a poor replacement and wholly unsuitable for Skylarks who need the large scale meadows currently there to avoid predators, as they are vulnerable ground nesting birds.”

For more information on the work Ealing Wildlife does and its projects, click here.

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