Derelict land in Kenton transformed by community bio diversity project

Sunita Hirani, Cllr Lia Colacicco and John Poole

Sunita Hirani and John Poole with mayor of Brent Cllr Lia Colacicco launching the Brook Way Bio-Diversity Garden - Credit: Brent Council/Colin Patterson

A small derelict patch of land favoured by drug dealers and fly tippers in Kenton has been transformed by into a vibrant bio diversity garden.

The community around Brookfield Crescent including neighbours and young eco warriors from Uxendon Manor Primary School pooled their talents to create a "hidden oasis of stunning beauty" in a strip of land measuring just five metres by 45m.

Pupils hand prints on flower boxes at the Brook Way Bio-diversity project

Pupils hand prints on flower boxes at the Brook Way Bio-diversity project - Credit: Nathalie Raffray

Last Thursday (October 21), the sun shone as Brent's mayor Cllr Lia Colacicco cut the ribbon officially launching the Brook Way Bio-Diversity Project which was followed by refreshments at the adjoining primary school.

With help and donations from local stores, garden centres, Brent Council, and Veolia,  Sunita Hirani and John Poole led a group to plant flowers and fill raised beds with herbs including rosemary, thyme and curry leaves for the wider community to enjoy.

Veolia and Morrisons staff donated to the Brookway Biodiversity project led by Sunita Hirani and John Poole

Veolia and Morrisons staff donated to the Brookway Biodiversity project led by Sunita Hirani and John Poole - Credit: Nathalie Raffray

After last year discovering the land belonged to Brent Council, Sunita and John, sought permission to transform the area into a biodiversity garden.

"This plot was derelict piece of land containing drug dealers, a rough sleeper and flytipping and lots of antisocial behaviour," said Sunita. "It occurred to me that this was a bad example to the hundreds of children and parents that use this path on a daily basis.

"After many hours of hard work, begging and lots of frustration you are now looking at the end result. The response has been phenomenal."

Uxendon Manor Primary School

Young Uxendon Manor Primary School pupils played a major role in the creation of the Brook Way Bio-Diversity Garden - Credit: Uxendon Manor Primary School

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She said the art, including a mural and flower boxes with children's handprints, "enhances the area and will be an inspiration to others."

The primary school's eco warriors submitted designs for a colourful mural.

A team from Positive Arts worked with pupils who helped the team paint and spray the wall.

Uxendon Manor Primary School

Uxendon Manor pupils helped Positive Art teams spray paint the mural in the Brook Way garden - Credit: Uxendon Manor Primary School

Jashu Vekaria MBE, deputy head of Uxendon Manor, said it was an "exciting and challenging" project. "As the children would say, an ugly mess, it was a location for antisocial behaviour and fly-tipping. It has now become an area not only for increased bio diversity but a hidden area of stunning beauty."

Brent mayor Cllr Lia Colacicco with Uxendon Manor Primary head teacher Jon Parry and deputy head Jashu Vekaria MBE

Brent mayor Cllr Lia Colacicco with Uxendon Manor Primary head teacher Jon Parry and deputy head Jashu Vekaria MBE - Credit: Colin Patterson

She thanked Sunita and John's "drive, tenacity, passion and commitment" for bringing about the project. 

"It makes a vibrant statement of who we are as a school and a local community," she added.

Year 6 pupil Raihaan, 11, said: "It used to be a plain wall, now it's a miracle!"

The Brook Way bio-diversity garden project team celebrate the launch at Uxendon Manor Primary School

The Brook Way bio-diversity garden project team celebrate the launch at Uxendon Manor Primary School - Credit: Nathalie Raffray

Conservative Kenton councillor Michael Maurice said it was "a real inspiration". 

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