Eleven of us met at Church End, and set off for southLondon,in a minibus, ably driven by David Melville.
We arrived at Wolf Fields, a three-acre site which was once a rubbish dump, a wasteland and a drug den, and is now a nature reserve, owned and managed by A Rocha, in Southall.. We had an introductory talk from Kailean Khongsai, next to the shipping container, which stores tools and equipment for maintenance of the area, with a mural painted by local children.
David showed us around the area, which includes a community allotment,which is fully organic and produces food all year round, a community orchard, which will contain more than 30 different native varieties of fruit trees and bushes. Some people did some planting in the sensory garden, which was designed by a seven-year-old child from a local school, and a volunteer landscaper from the Eden Project did a drawing from the design. It has been planted in the shape of a five-petal flower, to celebrate each of the senses.
We had a delicious Indian meal in the Wolf Lounge, a pub next to Wolf’s Field. It was run by a group of very friendly Indians and West Indians (it has had good reviews on Trip Advisor!). This was an excellent accompaniment to the Royal wedding, going out live on the TV, which included our very own Karen Gibson conducting the Kingdom Choir!,
After lunch, we visited a Sikh temple, which was opened by HRH Prince Charles in 2003. It is a very large building – it can seat up to 3,000 worshippers in the main hall, and a multi-activity hall (seating up to 1000 worshippers). The women went in one door, and the men in another. We donned headscarves, took our shoes off and washed our hands. We walked up to the top floor of the temple, while a woman behind a glass partition read scripture. Back on the ground floor, we had some milky chai tea. Other people were sitting on the ground, eating from plates. I caught one lady’s eye, and she offered me some of her food! The place had a very restful atmosphere.
Our next port of call was Minet Country Park, a 90-acre site (30 times the size of Wolf’s Field!). It was opened to the public in 2003, and it contains a cycle circuit, a playground, picnic sites, grasslands, ponds and wildlife areas – very much cherished by the local community. David described the “Bear Hunt” he does with four-year-olds from a local school (from the well-known story “We’re going on a bear hunt”)! There were many lovely paths and trees – we could have been deep in the countryside, especially as it was a particularly warm and sunny day.