Improving Access to Nature
EcoACTIVE Education ran a one year access to nature project aimed at helping more people access the natural environment in their local park. We wanted to raise the profile of our local green space, Daubeney Fields as a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation and engage people in activities that helped them not only enjoy nature but also developed their identification skills and increased their knowledge of local wildlife. We wanted to engage more people from “target groups” which are typically underrepresented in environmental activities. This included; young people, people with disabilities, social housing residents and those from black and ethnic minority groups.
We were supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund to run this free, nature-based project from 2017 - 2018.
Together we learnt more about Daubeney Fields, a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) and the plants and animals that live there. Local residents got involved in a number of ways:
- Fortnightly weekend events: Natural arts, crafts, talks and activities. Free and open to everyone.
- Workshops for community groups
- School programme for three local primary schools
- Becoming a project volunteer: Local residents met people from their local area, learnt new skills and gained experience for their CVs.
Impact of the Project
Our project was hugely successful in engaging local people in natural heritage activities and increasing their skills and knowledge of the natural environment.
94% of participants reported learning something new or gaining new skills as a result of taking part in this project
We found that by the end of the project, 19% more people were using the park for exploring nature or were now visiting it on their way to school or work.
By the end of the project, there was a 250% increase in the average number of social housing residents attending the weekend events compared to at the start of the project.
There was a 24% increase in the number of residents from BAME groups attending weekend events by the end of the project, compared to the at the start.
The average number of young people (aged 11 - 25 years) attending weekend events increased by 50% by the end of the project, compared to at the start.
Of the 76 pupils who took part in the school workshops, 34% more pupils had a 'high knowledge' of habitats (5 or more correct examples) by the end of the project, compared to at the start. There was a 10% increase in the number of pupils with a high skill level for species identification (12 to 18 species correct) by the end of the project, compared to at the start.
20 people joined the volunteer development programme, and 15 reported gaining new skills in event management and natural heritage knowledge.
56 people made 167 wildlife records of the natural heritage in Daubeney Fields. In total, 75 different plant and animal species were identified and recorded.
If you would like more information about this project or others that are similar, please Email or call us.
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