20/05/2019 | WCI
One of the many community projects the WCI supports is Mudchute Park and Farm is in the middle of the Isle of Dogs and charity trustee Paula Jarzabkowski recently visited them to see first hand the work they do.
It was established by the local Island community on a piece of derelict land created during the last century from the spoil of construction from dredging Millwall Dock. For decades, this hidden natural wilderness of flora and fauna remained untouched. However, in 1974 the site was earmarked by the Greater London Council for the construction of a high rise estate. The resulting public campaign against these plans reflected the affection that local people and those working on the Island felt for The Mudchute. Their success secured it as the "People's Park" for the area.
In 1977 the Mudchute Association was formed to preserve and develop the area. Farm animals and horses were introduced, trees and plants were planted by generous volunteers and corporate teams, and the educational benefits of the area were also recognised.
“It is a tremendously diverse community”, said Paula.
“The children and the staff I met were from a range of different ethnic backgrounds, and members of the public from the local community were there. Everyone was lovely to talk to and I could see groups of people comprising young adults and more mature people doing various chores around the place in what appeared to be a very inclusive and friendly atmosphere.
“I loved meeting people, hearing about and observing activities, and I totally fell in love with the animals. While it is really an educational and training charity, with the nursery/day care being central to the financial health of that charity, the animals and the farm being at the centre of the facility is one of the key elements for giving confidence, providing skills, and enriching lives.
“I think it is a good use of our donation and very much in keeping with our aims and values as the WCI”.