Located just across the road from Chiswick Park Underground Station on Bollo Lane, Gunnersbury Triangle opened to the public in 1985, having been saved from development by local campaigners, supported by London Wildlife Trust and the former Greater London Council. It is now a statutory Local Nature Reserve.
Gunnersbury Triangle is a popular reserve, enjoyed by large numbers of visitors and school groups. Owned by London Borough of Hounslow and managed by London Wildlife Trust, the reserve is cared for by a small onsite Trust staff team and a dedicated group of volunteers.
Dilapidated and temporary units which have served the site for more than 30 years, and are no longer fit-for-purpose, will be replaced by a new education and visitor centre. The centre will enable many more school children to attend inspiring learning sessions and provide volunteers, staff and locals a hub from which to deliver vital nature conservation work on site and across the community.
The plan sees the visitor centre incorporated into a development of nine new homes, largely built on the grounds of a former scrapyard next to the nature reserve, and replacing the current cabins. These homes will be constructed as part of a joint venture between EcoWorld London and London Borough of Hounslow’s development vehicle, Lampton 360.
With support from the local Steering Group, London Wildlife Trust has provided extensive advice on the conservation of biodiversity and enhancement of natural features of the reserve, all of which has been incorporated. The proposals provide an imaginative, effective and pragmatic solution, creating a single structure to house the visitor centre and residential units. Open mosaic green roofs, green walls, an invertebrate wall, bat and bird boxes and other landscaping will be incorporated into the development. Similarly the railway lineside habitats which act as a wildlife corridor will be maintained.
The new building will at its highest point be five stories high, and located so that only a marginal part of the reserve will receive any additional shading in early summer mornings.
The new facilities will ensure that Gunnersbury Triangle remains an important asset to local residents, visitors, and to the wildlife that makes a home within this very special nature reserve.
The Trust is very grateful to London Borough of Hounslow for their support in these new and exciting plans.
Work is likely to start in the first half of 2019.