Wasteland becomes a ‘milestone’

27 May 2016, Comments Comments Off on Wasteland becomes a ‘milestone’

wolf fields crowd - 1Nearly 200 people descended on a formerly intimidating West London drug den to celebrate its dramatic transformation into an inviting urban nature reserve.

Described as a ‘milestone’ by A Rocha UK chief Andy Atkins, Wolf Fields drew community workers, volunteers, residents and representatives of eight churches from across Southall to a springtime open-air worship service.

RESTORED SITE

‘It was very moving,’ said Andy Atkins. ‘A high point was hearing the story behind the work and seeing the derelict site restored – amid scenes of a freshly planted orchard, birds singing and so many local supporters smiling.’

Andy pointed out Wolf Fields is not only a successful community project, but also a model for other communities across the nation. ‘It’s A Rocha UK’s vision to see other similar sites transformed in towns and cities all around these islands,’ Andy added.

The May event was a dream come true for Community Manager Kailean Khongsai (pictured) and wife Kim. Kailean told the crowd of their first visit to Wolf Fields four years ago. ‘The area was filled with rubbish and people taking drugs and alcohol,’ he said.

PRINCE OF WALES

When Kim suggested at the time that the three-acre site could be a community project, Kailean said his initial response was, ‘Don’t even think about it!’. However, the exact opposite happened – they couldn’t stop thinking about the derelict land.

When A Rocha UK started the transformation process, it drew the attention of various people from the Prince of Wales to award-winning gardeners and local residents who turned the site into a community reserve with beehive, orchard and allotments.

‘The open-air service was an opportunity to feel, hear and see this vision becoming reality,’ said Kailean after the event. ‘It was a great privilege to join with the rest of the local community and churches to celebrate this journey.’ The service was organised by A Rocha UK with Southall Anglican Group.

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