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London: Southall drug den to be transformed into public gardens

A peer, a principal and a priest have joined growing numbers of West Londoners backing A Rocha UK’s bid to turn a former Southall drug den into public gardens ...

A peer, a principal and a priest have joined growing numbers of West Londoners backing A Rocha UK’s bid to turn a former Southall drug den into public gardens.
 
Labour’s Shadow Business, Innovation and Skills Spokesperson Lord Tony Young, who chairs Norwood Green Residents’ Association, Wolf Fields Primary School head Sharanjit Gata-Aura and St Mary’s Church Rector Rev Jeff Payne endorsed the conservation charity’s plans to transform the three-acre wasteland known as Wolf Fields into community space.
 
They cut the ribbon on Sunday (13 July) for the scheme's open day. One of the special guests described the event as ‘a unifying message to all our local communities’. Together they supported A Rocha UK Conservation Director Andy Lester and Environmental Education Officer David Melville as a team led an action-packed programme.
 
"In the past, local police were having trouble patrolling the area – which was formerly used both for drug taking and for binge drinking," said Andy Lester. "But now, once work is completed, the site will be used for orchards, bee hives, pond dipping and establishing a wild flower meadow."
 
A Rocha UK is a Christian organisation which works with other faith communities – including Sikh, Hindu and Muslim – who were represented among the 100 people who turned up. They watched a presentation of plaques to schoolchildren who won A Rocha UK’s competition to design a sensory garden at Wolf Fields.
 
Overall winners were – Imaan Karim, 10, Wolf Fields Primary School; Alix Aigle-Boucher, nine, Three Bridges Primary School; Tia Wilkinson, seven, Clifton Primary School; Aminah Noman, seven, Norwood Green Infant and Nursery School. The contest was funded by the London Borough of Ealing as part of the Southall Big Plan.
 
"It was a pleasure to be there and wear the A Rocha T-shirt, and share in the vision of treasuring our environment," said Sharanjit Gata-Aura, who heads the school nextdoor to the site. "The day had been so lovingly and carefully thought out to help children – and indeed adults – understand and cherish the beautiful environment we have right at our doorstep."

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