They were attending an open day at Wolf Fields, the project spearheaded by A Rocha UK. Held last month (June), it was an event for all ages, and focused very much on bees.
Children had their faces painted or listened to a storyteller Claire Boot, who was dressed as a bee! Adults visited a Friends of the Earth stall and attended a landscape painting workshop by Martin Raven. Everyone enjoyed watching a demonstration hive run by Bee Officer Laura Belton.
They were all able to see this ‘work in progress’ – as Community Officer Kailean Khongsai described the Wolf Fields project. With the support of local people, A Rocha UK is changing this former drug den into a haven for people and wildlife.
‘A lot has happened, and a lot is yet to happen,’ said Kailean, ‘but people were pleased to see developments and excited to catch some of the vision.’
Education Officer David Melville invited people to paint a bird box. Volunteer Harpreet Castleton helped nature lovers of all ages produce mini ‘bug hotels’ from recycled materials.
Conservation Intern Becky Vickers helped people identify the birds they saw. Children were excited to peer through the bird screen to watch starlings use the nearby feeder. ‘Wow, that’s awesome!’ exclaimed a young visitor. Rev Andy Jowitt welcomed visitors and invited them to help themselves to ripe strawberries from the community allotment.
Southall Community Alliance Chair Jan Bashan described what the transformation meant to him. He used to feel discouraged about the formerly derelict three-acre site, but was now delighted that A Rocha UK had taken on the project.
‘We didn’t used to like walking along the footpath past the site,’ said one participant, ‘it was narrow and littered and had a bad feeling. But now it’s different.’ Another local said, ‘You are resurrecting this piece of land into something living and lively. Well done!’