Arcadian Times



Ham & Petersham - The Green Champions

Ham and Petersham is fast becoming the environmental champion of the borough, wherever you go in Ham there is an environmental initiative and a growing sense of community pride in the area. With the Thames and the Hamlands, not to mention grazing cows in the summer on the Petersham meadows, the area is a unique place in the suburbs of London, it is only the aircraft flying into Heathrow that reminds you that you are not in the countryside.

The area of Ham that includes Petersham Village consists of 6,750 people in 3,875 homes, various Churches, around 60 businesses, a good selection of public houses (one of which dates back 300 years) and of course the jewel in the crown the historic Ham House. With the natural physical boundaries which set Ham and Petersham apart from their neighbours, Richmond, Twickenham and Kingston, the area maintains an identity and a sense of community that is perhaps easily engendered with its geographical and historical position.

In a global context, Ham is home to the German School, a Polo club that attracts international players and the resting place of Captain George Vancouver the discoverer of Vancouver in Canada and the childhood home of Cardinal Newman, soon to be beatified with personal interest from the current Pope. Ham certainly has strong international connections.

It is within the environmental context that Ham and Petersham have been very active in the recent past and the area is fast becoming The Green Champion of the borough. Now offically a Low Carbon Zone, the area has secured funding from the Mayor of London and also from British Gas and their Green Streets project. The residents of Ham aim to make Ham and Petersham a more sustainable place to live, to stop wasting money on energy bills and reduce human impact on the environment. The local library in Ham has much information on this initiative as do the Richmond Environment Network (REN) and the The Ham United Group (HUG).

An innovative and exciting project comes from the Ham Hydro group who are proposing to produce hydo power to create energy for up to 900 homes using Teddington Weir as the power source. The Ham Hydro group have submitted a a proposal to to run the project to the Enviroment Agency. Here Chas Warlow talks about the project. There have been other expressions of interest and the final decision on the contractor for the project will be decided at the end of May.

Ham and Petersham residents have also formed a Friends of Hamlands group. The Friends of Ham Lands is a voluntary group dedicated to protecting Ham Lands as a place of natural beauty, public enjoyment and an ecological site of great value.

In short Ham and Petersham are actively reducing their carbon footprint, creating a green energy source and protecting their environment. These initiatives are fast making Ham and Petersham the Green Champions of the borough and a model of what a community can achieve. The new decade promises to be exciting for Ham and Petersham.

Article: Arcadian Times, May 3rd, 2010