Forest of Dreams in Merton

A new community project The Spirit of Friendship – Forest of Dreams aims to bring the community together to highlight key environmental issues affecting the Commonwealth.

Funded by the Commonwealth Institute, project leaders have commissioned local artist, Ali Pretty to design the basic tree-like structures, upon which local children will hang ‘leaves’ with their wishes for the future composed on them.

The project came about after speaking with pupils are Merton’s secondary schools and discovering their concerns over deforestation, forest fires and the worldwide consequences of global warming.

A Year Nine pupil at Raynes Park High School said: ‘ Lots of trees have blown down in our school. We didn’t want them to be wasted so we made them into chairs and furniture for the playground. Global warming is changing the world’s climate. Soon there will be no trees left,’

Additional supporting materials will be prepared and distributed to schools, to raise awareness of the Commonwealth and the key issues facing its peoples. The education packs will encourage children to examine, discuss and research these issues before composing a message for their leaf.

The tree structures will be displayed in Merton, at various venues, in June next year. Following the exhibition, the leaves will be collated into a book, which will be presented to the Prime Minister at Downing Street.

The Council would like to hear from school representatives or other organizations who would like to serve on a committee to plan events e.g. Dance, Music, Drama, displays etc., supporting the launch of Forest of Dreams in summer 2002. Further information regarding the project can be obtained from Rosemary Demin or Iqbal Hussain on 0208 545 4197