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Woodland on ‘prime London land’ gifted to a primary school in Brondesbury

PUBLISHED: 11:12 20 July 2017 | UPDATED: 11:12 20 July 2017

Staff and pupils of Malorees school, and representatives of Network Homes with Cllr Carol Shaw (Picture: Sol Aizcorbe)

Staff and pupils of Malorees school, and representatives of Network Homes with Cllr Carol Shaw (Picture: Sol Aizcorbe)

Archant

Staff and pupils of a Brondesbury primary school praised the “incredible gesture” after a housing association gifted them nearby woodland instead of building homes on it.

Staff and pupils of Malorees Infant and Junior school thank Network Homes for donating the nearby woodland(Picture:Sol Aizcorbe) Staff and pupils of Malorees Infant and Junior school thank Network Homes for donating the nearby woodland(Picture:Sol Aizcorbe)

Network Homes, based in Wembley, has donated 722sqm of historic woodland to Malorees Infant & Junior School in Christchurch Avenue, for no exchange of cash.

The housing association bought the land from Brent Council in 2000, and leased it to the school.

However, it has since decided it has no plans to develop the land for building and would prefer local school children to enjoy the benefits of increased investment in outdoor learning.

The woodland area, which boasts many plants, a pond, and attracts butterflies, bees, badgers and foxes, was once part of Lady Salusbury’s Manor House estate and is designated as an area of local conservation importance.

Hundreds of school children, parents and friends attended the annual Malorees Summer Fair on July 15 where a “cut the ribbon” event was held beside a giant Mulberry tree just inside the woodland.

The school leadership now intends to extend teaching and learning opportunities in the woodland and will begin a fundraising campaign.

A series of Community Dig Days where local community groups can spend a day in the woodland are also planned.

Sian Davies, executive head of Malorees Infant & Junior Schools, said: “Malorees is passionate about outdoor learning and we are absolutely thrilled that future generations of our school children, and local community, can experience such a magical area to explore and learn.

“We cannot thank Network Homes enough.”

Vicky Savage, executive director of development at Network Homes, said: “It’s not every day a housing association gifts prime London land but this felt to us the right thing to do. We’ve been impressed by Malorees’ skill, care and attention for the woodland and the delight it brings to the children.

“We want to give something special back to the local community we serve in. This is a lasting legacy for generations to enjoy and discover the wonders of nature.

“We wish the school the very best”.

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