The Gunnersbury Triangle, a local nature reserve in the London boroughs of Ealing and Hounslow, immediately to the east of Gunnersbury, supports a population of thousands of different species of birds, plants, and other wildlife. Because of its biological diversity, the Gunnersbury Triangle is regularly visited by school parties who study grassland, woodland and pond ecology.
The site is operated by the London Wildlife Trust. Admission to the site is free and its entrance is on the south of Bollo Lane, a few yards from Chiswick Park Tube Station. On open days, staff and volunteers organise activities to enable children and adults to learn more about nature conservation in a relaxed environment.
The triangular area now occupied by the reserve was delineated by three railway lines, two belonging to the District Line (now part of London Underground’s lines), and the now defunct London and South Western Railway (LSWR). In 1981, the site was proposed for commercial development, provoking an energetic campaign by the Chiswick Wildlife Group.
Chiswick Wildlife Group was formed in March 1982 and became the local branch of the London Wildlife Trust. The campaign led to a public inquiry in July 1983, which determined that the site should be devoted to nature conservation. This was the first time in the United Kingdom that a public inquiry had ruled in favour of nature in a city, and the Gunnersbury Triangle example has become a test case.
Much of the area of the Gunnersbury Triangle is now wooded, and includes many different types of trees, as well as shrubs and grasses. There is also a pond with numerous species of aquatic and marginal plants.
The aforementioned species include, among others, birches, wet willows, Sheep’s fescue, hard fescue, Squirrel-tail fescue, mouse-ear hawkweed, cat’s ear, and yarrow. The aquatic and marginal plants include reed mace, reed (Phragmites), purple loosestrife, water forget-me-not, yellow iris, common water plantain, figwort, soft rush, gypsywort, common water starwort, curled pondweed, hornwort, floating sweet grass, fool’s watercress, water mint, brooklime and duckweed.