Raleigh International


See video


Many thanks to Kerry and Alicia of Hybrid Arts for producing this video.

Raleigh International is a UK-based youth development organisation dedicated to helping volunteers realise their potential through community projects and international expeditions.

Raleigh International logo

Raleigh International first became involved in the Hanwell Community Observatory project in February 2002 through HCO member Ian McKean. The initial task undertaken by Raleigh, over the weekend of the 16th and 17th February, was the careful lifting and replanting of thousands of snowdrops which had colonised the access route to the observatory site. About 40 volunteers turned out to move the snowdrops, rebuild a 20-foot wooden bridge and lay down new paths. A smaller number of volunteers returned the following February to complete the work and it was then decided that if we improved access to the woods more generally we could open to the public in February 2005. This became the first Stars and Snowdrops weekend. By completing work on 'Christmas Bridge', Raleigh had made it possible for visitors to enjoy access to the second and third of the medieval fishponds.

In each of the following years, Raleigh has made an important contribution to the expansion of the site, in particular in February 2008, upgrading the woodland paths in order to allow visitors to walk as far as the fourth fishpond.

General clearance of the woods is accompanied by the now traditional 'Raleigh bonfire'.

HCO is very grateful to Raleigh volunteers who have come regularly and made this event such a great success.