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Heathrow Airport is planning to add up to 60,000 new flights a year over Richmond Park, as part of an airspace modernisation plan that threatens to destroy the peace and tranquility of London’s most important nature reserve, according to the Friends of Richmond Park

The park is home to some of the capital’s rarest species and a haven for people and families seeking respite from the city and The Friends of Richmond Park have launched a campaign called Say No tom proposed new flight paths.

According to the Friends, the impact of the new flights over Richmond Park – up to 235 a day, one every 90 seconds at peak time – will be catastrophic, if Heathrow’s plans are approved by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

They say the 60,000 new flights over the park threaten the thousands of rare species that live here, through harmful increases in noise and air pollution:

Birds of prey such as owls, kestrels and buzzards that use sound, and bats that use echolocation to hunt risk being harmed by very loud aircraft noise, especially in the early morning and at dusk, posing a risk to their survival.

Air pollution from aircraft emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) could, over time, severely damage the Park’s sensitive acid grassland and 1,200 veteran trees, which have existed for hundreds of years in an environment of very low nitrogen levels. Any decline will affect wildlife which depend on them, such as deer, rare fungi and stag beetles.

The Friends say people too will suffer if increased aircraft noise is allowed to destroy the Park’s character.

The 5.5 million people who visit the park each year value its calming effect on their wellbeing and mental health. This was highlighted during the pandemic, when visitor numbers rose dramatically.

(*) The figure of up to 60,000 new arrival flights a year over Richmond Park is calculated as the total number of arrivals per year at Heathrow (240,000) multiplied by the percentage of days when flights land toward the west due to the prevailing winds (70%) multiplied by the proportion of the planned arrival flight paths going over Richmond Park (16 out of 43 or 37%).

Members of The Friends of Richmond Park will be updated through regular bulletins and those interested can follow news and developments on social media: #SaveRichmondPark

If you are not a member of the Friends and would like to be kept updated with the campaign, please join The Friends of Richmond Park:  https://www.frp.org.uk/membership


To find out more and sign up for regular updates see: https://www.frp.org.uk/save-richmond-park/?fbclid=IwZXh0bgNhZW0CMTEAAR1c69jWeFHZBRlu4f-LIW9zQ2Bm4N7T_b6bIdf19QSllxHLhqwUVuGkWss_aem_AWe72wBGA8QaFv8DxVxnlUzCdCjEzg3S6qcpbbUtc6aUaXl2Yv8wzCOvEXiK7it3yQdrNTIWy_a4JF8gT2pFQ_wr

The full proposal can be seen here: https://www.frp.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/12_Step2B_Initial_Options_Appraisal_v1.0.pdf



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