It’s more than ‘harvest’ for A Rocha UK’s urban nature reserve Wolf Fields. It’s ‘boom time’ – as the project wins support from not just the community, but also a peer of the realm, schools, scouts and an award-winning garden centre.
Surrey-based Crocus Nursery – who’ve scooped more than 20 gold medals at the Chelsea Flower Show over the years – are supplying materials for the sensory garden at the three-acre site in West London.
Scouts in nearby Uxbridge are raising funds for the project. Labour peer Lord Tony Young of Norwood Green attended a recent harvest celebration to boost the work. And local schools are supporting the scheme, too.
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Andy (pictured) has been described as ‘one of the leading environmentalists’ by former Bishop of Liverpool Rt Rev James Jones, who chaired the independent panel on the Hillsborough disaster. ‘He’ll lead not only A Rocha UK – but also the whole Church – to a new level of action towards the earthing of heaven,’ said the bishop.
Aged 55, Andy Atkins most recently led environmental charity Friends of The Earth for seven years, championing nature restoration and bold action on climate change. He previously worked with Catholic international development charities CAFOD and Progressio, before crossing denominational boundaries to set up Tearfund’s policy and campaigns work. He was a founder of the 2005 Make Poverty History campaign.
A key motivation has been his personal Christian faith. The British born son of missionary parents, Andy spent his childhood in northern Australia. ‘I grew up in a beautiful tropical environment alongside racism and other injustice,’ he said. ‘At an early age I realised God cared about these things and thought I’d better do something about it!’