Greenham Common celebrates its transformation

The Changes Sculpture The Changes sculpture was unveiled at Greenham Common

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A sculpture has been unveiled to mark the work of the Greenham Common Trust, which supports charitable projects in West Berkshire.

The design, called Changes, celebrates the transformation of the old RAF base and American nuclear missile base to a business park and nature reserve.

The sculpture uses recycled materials from the old airfield, once the longest runway in Europe.

Greenham Common was bought by the Greenham Common Trust 10 years ago.

The Icelandic artist Gudrun Nielsen, who designed the sculpture, said the artwork symbolises the area's history.

"It was the military history which formed the inspiration for the piece," she said.

The Changes sculpture comprises of nine individually folded steel pieces representing the creation and dismantling of a fighter plane.

Each piece is set on a concrete plinth, which includes recycled concrete and reinforcement taken from the airfield's former runway after it was dug up to restore the common.

Cruise missiles

RAF Greenham Common became home to the US Army Air Force in November 1943, when the 354th Fighter Group moved in.

Up until that point, the common had been an unfenced area of grass and scrub land.

Over the following decades the site became an advance base for the US Strategic Air Command during the Cold War.

In 1979 Nato decided to base ground cruise missiles at Greenham Common, sparking protests from anti-nuclear campaigners.

After the Cold War ended in 1988, Greenham Common was emptied of missiles and the base was formally handed back to the RAF in 1992.

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