Fri, June 22, 2018
Yesterday, we were lucky to welcome Transport Minister Nusrat Ghani MP, who was accompanied by Cathy Elliott, Independent Chair of Groundworks CEF and BLEF and Julie King from HS2 to visit our HS2 funded Greengage project. Tricia Richards (CCA Operations Manager) took them on a tour of our Horticulture Hub, where the Minister met with members in our popular Adult Workshop, who were creating mosaic murals to go around our new Wildlife Garden. The Minister chatted with participants and told her their reasons why they attended Castlehaven. One of our regular volunteers told Minister Ghani that she attended Castlehaven as there was "nowhere like it in Camden", and the workshops provided have helped her wellbeing and in making new friends too.
Tricia continued the tour and showed Minister Ghani our community park, guiding her to where the new nature garden will be built in the coming months. Tricia explained why the Friends of the Community Park requested Castlehaven to apply for HS2 funding to develop this into a nature area – the area earmarked for this development has had serious issues with rough sleepers, dog fouling, use of drugs, alcohol and anti-social behaviour. The friends wanted to tackle this by improving local biodiversity, introduce new wildlife, a pond and plants and to have a safe dog-free zone for local residents, school children and older people to enjoy and learn from. Minister Ghani was impressed with all the work that Castlehaven has done and was excited to hear that this development will be under construction in the coming months and that we had recently employed a new Environmental Engagement Coordinator to manage its development and improve our outreach to local residents and schools in the future.