Across Ealing borough, LAGER Can volunteers have made a difference at key litter hotspots by clearing huge quantities of historic rubbish and looking for solutions to stop it building up again. Here are some of our success stories.
When Queens Park Rangers pulled out of a controversial deal with Ealing Council to create a new training ground, Warren Farm was left scarred by years of neglect.
Fly-tipping and vandalism were rampant. When it seemed things couldn’t get any worse, a fire destroyed scores of redundant wheelie bins being stored at the site, creating a landscape so dystopian it inspired a spoof horror movie.
In a series of socially distanced LAGER Can litter picks during the summer of 2020, hundreds of bags of rubbish were removed.
Working with Ealing Council contractors, the Ealing Wildlife Group and Hanwell Nature we’ve helped to transform the 61-acre site into a wildlife haven. More than 10,000 people have signed a petition to the London Assembly calling for Warren Farm to be protected as a nature reserve.
In the first nine months of 2021, LAGER Canners made more than 125 group or individual visits to Horsenden Hill.
Horsenden Lane North, which links Perivale with North Greenford, was notorious for fly-tipping. To deter dumping on the verges, LAGER Can volunteers built a series of earth embankments dubbed ‘The Great Walls of Horsenden’.
The walls have been visited by Ealing North MP James Murray.
LAGER Can have liaised with Horsenden Hill Activity Centre and a local scrap metal dealer to remove several broken lawn mowers and redundant metal lockers from the car park. The dealer donates the proceeds of sale to help sick and abandoned animals.
Compton Crescent, Northolt
A section of the Dog Rose Ramble footpath off Compton Crescent lay derelict until LAGER Can came to the rescue.
LAGER Canner Jane Ruhland was one of the first to raise the alarm. She said: “During the first Covid lockdown I decided to explore my local footpaths and the nearest one to home is the Dog Rose Ramble. What I discovered was a massively neglected and rubbished path.”
90 bags of waste were collected at LAGER Can’s first event in September 2020, with volunteers crawling through vegetation to dig out tonnes of fly-tipped household and commercial rubbish. Hillingdon Council winched out five deeply embedded tractor tyres. There have been 30 more visits since, with more than 1,000 bags of rubbish recovered.
To the delight of LAGER Canners, residents have adopted a former fly-tipped mound and transformed it into a flower garden.
Eva Smith has been one of the hardest working volunteers. She and her dog Buddy are delighted with the transformation!
The clean-up also yielded 2,600 golf balls, which were painstakingly handwashed by Gracie and her team. Kirsty Clark raised £100 selling the best quality balls. The rest were returned to the neighbouring West London Golf Centre who made a generous donation to LAGER Can funds.
Hanwell Rose Garden
In one of LAGER Can’s earliest projects, this neglected garden between Alwyne Road and Manor Court Road was cleared of litter and has been lovingly restored to its former glory.
Quantities of fertilizer, compost, digging and planting by our volunteers have resulted in the range of seasonal colour that visitors to the park enjoy today.
LAGER Can founder Keith Freegard said: “We raised some funds from Hanwell local ward funding and then started work in February 2020. We mostly had six people working. When the Covid lockdown started, we acquired a lot of new plants though an appeal to donate unwanted garden plants. There is now a regular team of gardeners and support people doing watering and weeding, etc.”
Grove Farm, Sudbury Hill
LAGER Can volunteers have successfully tackled a historic rubbish problem at Grove Farm.
Several abandoned rough sleepers’ camps were cleared. Some mattresses had been dumped so long ago, trees had begun to grow through them. On one of our 50 visits, 100 rubbish sacks were filled in a single afternoon.
Following a request from Cllr Amarjit Jammu, LAGER Can helped one resident clear a fly-tip near her home. She installed her own security camera and helped to get a fly-tipper prosecuted.
Witham Road, West Ealing
Fly-tipping has been a problem in the service area behind a block of shops and flats even though the site is right across the road from Ealing Magistrates Court, vividly demonstrating offenders’ brazen disregard for the law.
Huge piles of rubbish, including fly-tips, bags of residential rubbish and a butcher’s bins overflowing with stinking waste have been causing misery for residents.
One told LAGER Can: “I’ve complained so many times. It’s just annoying as they don’t live here and leave it in a horrible state. I have to kill over 20 flies every day and don’t even mention the wasps. My children hate it. Nothing has been done to keep the place clean and pest free. There are rats and foxes that go through all that cardboard.”
After LAGER Can raised the issue with Ealing Council’s Environmental Heath team, the butcher was ordered to keep the waste indoors until collection day.
In an earlier success, LAGER Can intervened to get bins for flat tenants who had nowhere to put their rubbish, despite appeals to the council.
A LAGER Can team collected 40 sacks of rubbish and a mountain of fly-tipped junk in a single afternoon.
South Ealing service roads
Tucked away behind shops on South Ealing Road, the service road between Airedale Road and Temple Road was blighted by fly-tipping and drug dealing.
LAGER Can liaised with Ealing Council to have residents’ wheelie bins kept in purpose-built stores. There were hopes of a further improvement after police shut down a business suspected of illegal activity.
Hayes Bridge Allotments
LAGER Can was called in to help clear a plot for the community interest company Urban Trailblazer to grow vegetables for underprivileged people.
With fellow community group Green S Welfare we removed more than 100 sacks of rubbish from the allotments plus a similar amount of unbaggable junk. Urban Trailblazer’s Hildreth Alexander described the operation to clear the site in Southall as “amazing”.