Around Ealing February/March 2019 - Page 17

 Building the forest school hut Nature Reserve. This will be used by independent forest schools for a variety of things – including children’s outdoor activities on Sundays, for ages four-12; as well as art, music, craft courses and yoga for all ages. It will add to the regular events and activities already available for the whole community to get involved with. Lynda explained: “There’s so much going on here for people to enjoy and participate in – from woodland crafts and our annual Apple Day fayre, to guided walks, open air theatre and community volunteer days when anyone can turn up to do a bit of gardening or simply enjoy some company and conversation in the fresh air.”  Duke of Kent (and Luna the horse) explore this wonderful open space. We were awarded ‘Outstanding’ in the 2018 London in Bloom Awards and the icing on the cake was a visit from HRH The Duke of Kent who was delighted with our work.” One of the council’s park rangers, Jon Staples, has been heavily involved from the outset, lending a lot of his own personal determination to the project. He has also been leading a project to build a traditional wooden shelter using wood from the site – not unlike a larger version of a Celtic roundhouse he built at nearby Litten ‘ENERGISED AND MORE ALIVE’ “Local students keep the farm tidy and manage their herb bed every Friday during term time,” added Lynda. “And staff from organisations such as Bloomberg, Barclays plc and HSBC make a massive contribution on their corporate volunteer days with activities ranging from mulching the orchard to erecting fences and much more in between. “There is much evidence about how green spaces can improve mental health and wellbeing. We have seen first-hand the positive impact PARKS FOUNDATION that Horsenden offers, whether it’s walking on the hill or attending one of the community gardening sessions that operate at Horsenden, people feel energised and more alive after spending time here. We are very pleased to be strengthening our mental health agenda with a new series of walks for wellbeing in the new year.” ‘AN ABSOLUTELY VITAL ROLE’ Councillor Mik Sabiers, the council’s cabinet member for environment and highways, said: “Organisations such as the Friends of Horsenden Hill play an absolutely vital role in ensuring the local community gets the most out of the borough’s beautiful green spaces. “We have established the Parks Foundation to work alongside the council to further empower local residents, communities, and friends groups to have a real say in how get the best out of their parks.” FIND OUT MORE Friends of Horsenden Hill have more than 50 members, a growing number of regular volunteers and more than 600 followers on Facebook. Anyone interested in getting involved can visit the group’s Facebook page. For more information on the Parks Foundation, visit news/parks-foundation around ealing    February 2019 17