Wolf Fields

How a wasteland became a wonderland

Subject: Habitat restoration
Location: London
Leader: Andy Lester

From a rubbish dump to nature reserve, drug den to garden of delight – that’s the story of Wolf Fields

Since its beginnings in 2001, A Rocha UK has been practically involved in nature conservation. Our first major nature conservation initiative was the transformation of a derelict and degraded plot of land in the London Borough of Hillingdon into Minet Country Park.

Following on from the success of Minet, A Rocha UK is now engaged in another urban conservation initiative at a small site in Norwood Green, West London, known as ‘Wolf Fields’. Having long been abandoned to fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour, Wolf Fields is now being transformed by A Rocha UK and the remarkable local community into a multi-purpose wildlife area.

To start with, the site had to be cleared of 54 tonnes of rubbish – including 500 glass bottles, 12 mattresses, furniture, animal remains and asbestos! With the rubbish taken away, the restoration work could begin. New paths were laid to improve access across the site and new habitat created to encourage wildlife to come back and people to enjoy observing it. The generosity of our supporters has allowed us to create, for example, a wildlife pond. And we are currently working with Ealing Association for the Blind to make information panels also accessible to our visually impaired visitors.


All hands to the allotment

The allotment is maintained by committed members of the Wolf Fields Friend’s Group, who volunteer at the project on a weekly basis.

Wolf Fields also boasts a fully organic community orchard and allotment maintained by committed members of the Wolf Fields Friend’s Group. Under our pollination project, funded by the Veolia Environmental Trust, more than 30 different native varieties of fruit trees and bushes have been planted – including apples, pears, cherries, plums and some more unusual trees such as mulberry, quince and medlar.

Our sensory garden was designed by a seven-year old from Norwood Green Infant and Nursery School who won our primary school garden design competition. Her simple five-petal flower design celebrates each of one of our senses.

Youth volunteering groups like Challenge Network (National Citizen Service) also help with the maintenance of the site, path clearing, litter-picking and planting vegetables in the allotment.

A Rocha continues to promote the multiple benefits people get from interacting with nature and Wolf Fields offers an urban green haven to be enjoyed by all in the local community and beyond.

Visit A Rocha UK’s page about Wolf Fields