Friday, 28 May 2021

EXCLUSIVE: HOPE FOR THE HARP! Brent Council 'exploring all options' to keep the Welsh Harp Centre open and consortium formulating an NCIL bid


The road to the Centre - could almost be countryside

The classrooms

Path to woodland exploration

The pond-dipping pond

Another exciting path into the woods

This pond is protected for the undistrubed breeding of frogs, toads and newts

The fairly recently built dipping pond for wheelchair users

The toilet block - a necessity!

The above photographs, taken in the absence of the chatter of excited primary school children, shows what we could lose  if the Welsh Harp Environmental Education Centre were to close. It also shows the  investment Thames21 made in improvement of the facilities to cater for ALL children.

Today in a response to a request  from Wembley Matters, Brent councillors Krupa Sheth, Lead Member for Environment and Thomas Stephens, Lead Member for Schools, Employment and Skills said:

We thank Thames21 for all their work over the years, teaching children about nature and the importance of protecting our environment. We have been working with Thames21 for some time on the challenges they faced and offered assistance, but we understand the difficult decision they have taken.

It is essential that we continue to support young people, schools and families to learn more about their environment. This is especially important as we continue to work with and alongside our communities to tackle the twin climate and ecological emergencies.

To this end, we are now exploring all options to secure the future of the Environmental Education Centre at the Welsh Harp, in conversation with our local schools, community leaders and voluntary groups. 

Since Wembley Matters published the news  that Thames21 were relinquishing the lease there has been widespread support on social media for the Centre which many adults in Brent attended as children.

 I understand that Brent Parks Forum is working with a consortium of local organisations to make a Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy application to retain the Welsh Harp Environmental Education Centre. Such a bid will have to demonstrate community support for the application. To express your support please email with your reasons for supporting the bid  and your name and address . I am sure they will also welcome offers of help from any experts in bid-writing or other useful skills.

Let's all pull together to save this vital resource.

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