MORE than 1,000 schoolchildren have played a key role in transforming a former drug den into a community space.

The children have taken part in a competition to design a multi-sensory garden for the Wolf Fields project in Norwood Road, Southall, spearheaded by Southall-based charity A Rocha UK.

The winners, from four schools, will be presented with their prize plaques at an open day on the site this Sunday.

Entrants came from Wolf Fields Primary School, Clifton Primary, Three Bridges Primary and Norwood Green Infants and Nursery. They had to create a design on A4 paper, using pencil and crayon, to help visitors engage with Wolf Fields by using different combinations of senses.

There were some beautiful pieces of artwork,”said Environmental Education Officer David Melville.

One student is a budding landscape designer, and another produced a garden that reflected the school's colours.”

Their ideas will influence the final design of the sensory garden, which will enable those with learning difficulties and impairments to enjoy Wolf Fields.

“In the past, police were having trouble patrolling the area, which was formerly used both for drug-taking and binge-drinking,” said conservation director Andy Lester. “But now, once work is completed, it will be used for orchards, bee hives, pond dipping and establishing a wild flower meadow.”

This Sunday’s open day with also include a ‘spider drama’ to underline the message that insects matter. Other activities will include bug hotel-making, a demonstration bee hive, a bee story by a local storyteller, tours of the site in a nature trail style and refreshments.

The open day will run from 2-5pm, with the ceremony at 3.

A Rocha UK is a Christian conservation charity, working for the protection and restoration of the natural world.