Thanks to a grant of £2,000 from TCV and People’s Health Trust through their Local People project, we are able to deliver a series of workshops to engage members of the local community in nature and its conservation by raising awareness of local issues and breaking down barriers in accessing nature.
Our first session was held on Monday 21st August when we had a group of kids from the Travellers Trust. Our group leaders Freya and Bryonie introduced the group to the grassland habitats of the nature reserve by helping them first dig out some clay (of which we obviously have plenty!), some top soil, some freshly cut hay, and then collect some seeds from various wildflowers near the Dragon Stones. All these natural ingredients were then brought back to the Environment Centre for the muddy task of creating seed bombs. We love how opinions can change so quickly with kids and this activity went from “this is so boring” while they were collecting the materials to “this is so cool” when making the bombs!
As with most people under a certain age (or maybe just most people), as soon as we were at the Centre all the attention goes straight to the pond and the range of beasties that live in it. So out came the pond dipping equipment and the rest of the morning was happily spent ‘fishing’ for newts and other pond life as a range of different dragon and damselflies darted around in the sunshine.
The addictive nature of pond dipping meant we didn’t get time to go back out and seed bomb our meadow targets but we will save the wildflower ammunition for the activity at our Meadows Keepers Scythe Fest at Millennium Bridge Fields on 9th September.
We love showing off our nature reserve to absolutely everybody but it is always nice to do so with our immediate neighbours and seeing them have such a fun day.
With the help of local experts we will be holding a whole series of awareness-raising workshops to engage the local public in learning about and understanding nature and why it needs conserving. We aim to develop the interest, skills and sense of ownership amongst the local community with the hope that participants of the project continue to be involved in nature conservation beyond the funding period by joining local conservation groups such as St Nicks, TCV and Sustrans Greener Greenways.
Keep an eye out for more session like this which will be held in October.