Important: Richmond Park needs your help
Please act before 4 March
Heathrow Flight Path consultation
Heathrow wants to route new flight paths directly over Richmond Park. The aircraft will be low, loud, very frequent and most days. They will start in two years’ time (2021) and become the norm when/if the 3rd runway opens in 2026.
Heathrow are consulting on these proposals now, but nowhere in the consultation documents do they recognise the importance of Richmond Park. We must change this.
If you care about Richmond Park, please stand up for the Park and email them now, making the points below. We’ve had expert advice that this is a critical stage in Heathrow’s development of the new flight paths and if we don’t act now we will have no voice in the decisions.
Please email your views to Heathrow at: feedback@
Make the email as personal as you like, for example how long you’ve known the Park, how you use it and how much it means to you. But please also be sure to make some or all of the following points which we think will have the biggest influence:
Richmond Park is a special and much-loved place
It’s the quietest and, at night, the darkest place in London
Its peace and tranquillity is a critical escape from the noise and bustle of London
It’s for all Londoners not just locals, with rapidly increasing numbers of Londoners visiting it – it has 5.5 million visitors a year
It’s the largest Royal Park, a National Nature Reserve (NNR), a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a European Special Area of Conservation (ESAC).
It is a haven for wildlife with a fragile ecology
Aircraft flying over the Park would destroy the peace that people come here to find
… and would have a serious impact on the wildlife, especially of bats and owls susceptible to noise
The email is better if you write it in your style and the consultation doesn’t receive a lot of emails with exactly the same wording, but if you want some example wording we have included it at the bottom of this email, below the background and Q&A.
Finally, it would be very helpful for us if you can forward your email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org (please don’t c.c. us on your email to Heathrow) – but don’t feel obliged to.
In January, Heathrow Airport launched a consultation on future flight paths, starting in 2021 (two years’ from now) and when/if the 3rd runway opens in 2026. The proposals are very complicated but the impact on Richmond Park is simple and disastrous. Today a few departing aircraft fly directly over the Park.
In future, depending on the wind and which runways are being used, we could have 47 arriving flights an hour (i.e. every 75 seconds) or 17 departing flights an hour directly over the Park at 1,000-2,000 feet.
The consultation documents and questionnaire are equally complicated (you can find them at www.heathrowconsultation.
Instead we want you to email feedback@
Here we’ve tried to answer some of your likely questions:
Don’t I need to complete the questionnaire to get my views registered? No, Heathrow say you can either do the questionnaire or write/email them. The expert advice we’ve had is that an email is just as valuable as completing the questionnaire.
What if I’ve already completed the questionnaire as a local resident concerned about my area? You can still e-mail your views about Richmond Park and they will be considered.
Isn’t it a case of flight paths over Richmond Park or my house? No. So far Heathrow have published only ‘envelopes’ of flight paths and the advice we’ve had is that there is plenty of scope for designing the flight paths to avoid or minimise the impact on both the Park and residential areas nearby.
What personal details should I give? This is up to you; your email will already give Heathrow a contact, but we suggest you also give your name and postcode (not your physical address).
Isn’t this all a long way off and anyway the 3rd runway won’t be built? Heathrow want to make these changes anyway. While the full force of the new flight paths will be felt with the 3rd runway after 2026, they will start to have an effect in 2021/22, i.e. in two years’ time; by then it will be too late to object to them.
What evidence is there that aircraft noise affects wildlife in Richmond Park? No research has been done for Richmond Park specifically but there is research elsewhere that, while some species adapt to noise from overflying aircraft, others can be severely affected especially those with sensitive hearing.
Here’s some example wording for the email to Heathrow:
I have been visiting Richmond Park for ten years now, as a walker, cyclist and more recently a dog walker, and I love it. Its quiet, peace and tranquillity is a wonderful escape from the noise and bustle of everyday life in London. I have friends from across London who visit the Park for the same reason – it’s a park for all of Londoners not just locals.
So I’m appalled at your proposal to route flight paths over Richmond Park. This is a very special place loved by over 5 million visitors a year. It’s the quietest and darkest place in London. It’s a National Nature Reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a haven for wildlife with a fragile ecology and many vulnerable species. Flying aircraft over it – one a minute at low levels and with loud noise – will destroy both the peace I and many others find here and seriously impact the wildlife. Please think again.