An inspiring trail of woodland walks and open spaces has been steadily springing up around a regenerating estate in Hanwell, thanks to a successful community project. Do you have a big idea of your own to improve a corner of your neighbourhood? Then read on.
Transforming Copley Close was one of four projects to receive funding as part of Ealing Council’s second Transform Your Space funding scheme, in 2016.
As well as receiving £64,000 funding from Transform Your Space, the Copley project was enabled by an online ‘crowdfunding’ campaign, securing pledges ranging from anywhere between £2 and £100 from residents. In addition, the project benefited from support from the Hanwell Big Local fund.
It is now nearing completion and has brought several patches and strips of unused land back to life across the Copley estate, in varying ways.
For example, where once there was a fenced-off and overgrown tangle, plagued by rubbish, there is now a woodland walkway with old oak trees providing a canopy over numerous species of wild flowers and wildlife and dotted with birdboxes painted by local children (which you can see in the pictures above, as you scroll through).
There is also an intention to provide outdoor learning opportunities there.
In a different part of the estate, in an existing courtyard, a green space has been established for growing plants, fruit and vegetables.
‘WE HOPE LOCAL PEOPLE WILL HELP THE GREEN SPACES FLOURISH’
The social enterprise Cultivate London has been carrying out the work with local people, as the organisation’s communities manager Rosie Naylor explained. She said: “We have two apprentices from the Hanwell area working on this project and they are playing a vital role in the project.
“Ultimately the long-term aim is community involvement and we hope that local people will continue help us sustain the progress here and help the green spaces flourish.
“We are already running a number of workshops on gardening and crafts for local children and are working on building an outdoor classroom space to increase this engagement even more.”
Copley residents have been impressed with what they see, as apprentice Alex Gray explained: “There’s been a lot of interest – more and more people are interested in what is going on and their involvement means that we are building a consensus about what the community wants for these spaces.
“I am really proud of the work we have done here and I’m certainly learning lots.”
‘ANOTHER EXCELLENT EXAMPLE’
Councillor Mik Sabiers, cabinet member for environment and highways, said: “This is another excellent example of how Transform Your Space can create local partnerships that can make a difference and I’m proud of the results at Copley.
“It is one of a growing number of impressive projects, big and small, being completed across the borough thanks to Transform Your Space.
“I’d encourage anyone inspired by what they see to think about what they could do in their own area – and keep an eye out for the next round of Transform Your Space funding later this year.”
GOT A BIG IDEA?
The fourth round of Transform Your Space is due to be opened later this year. If you have a project you think could transform a neglected or underused space, you will need to show the community’s support for your idea through crowdfunding. For more information, visit www.dosomethinggood.org.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more inspiration, read about other successful Transform Your Space projects on this website (EalingNewsExtra) – just use the search function and type: Transform Your Space.