Isle of Wight travels (May)

I am still very much enjoying exploring my new surroundings on the isle of Wight – not yet a year in and still so much more to see – I enjoyed the walk around Mill Copse a woodland managed my the Wight Fund for Nature a volunteer group who manage several other nature reserves on the Island.

I’m pleased to be working with Freshwater Parish Council on their rich array of green spaces dotted around the village which include recreation ground, sports field, ancient wood and pond complete with a floating island. The council owned green spaces link in well with rights of way and other open space managed by a variety of organisations.

Energy is a new crop – Solar Panels are now to be found on many farms and Rye is a popular crop to be grown – not for food but for the anaerobic digester plant on the island.

Talking to the willow worker I met in Yarmouth, I learnt that local fishermen use to weave lobster pots from the willows growing along the River Yar, this craft is no longer around, but good to see a willow bower being made alongside the footpath looking up the estuary.

Cycling and walking – funding – competition

Well done DoT – a good competition – lets hope it is one of many to come!

The Department for Transport (DfT) has launched a £470,000 competition for innovative projects that lead to more walking and cycling. The Department is seeking proposals that will tackle current barriers and encourage more journeys made by bicycle or on foot.

It is particularly suitable for early-stage, small and medium-sized enterprises. Industry partners such as local government, independent and third sectors can carry out the project on their own or in partnership with others.

This competition has 2 phases. Phase 1(£170,000) is for proof of concept projects that can last up to 15 weeks and range in size up to a total cost of £25,000 each. Phase 2 (£300,00) is for demonstrator projects. Projects that can last up to 9 months. They can range in size up to a total cost of £100,000 per project.

 

Deadline: Applicants must register before midday on the 7th June 2017 and submit their application before midday on the 14th June 2017.

Details: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/funding-competition-innovation-in-cycling-and-walking

 

Crowdfunding partnerships coming on stream (UK, in part)

As crowdfunding becomes more popular, the larger grant funding bodies and institutions are not only taking notice but are starting to allocate some money to projects albeit with  conditions, not least being they will only fund crowdfunding projects in certain chosen areas in the UK.

However, if you happen to live in one of the chosen areas then it could be good news as the funding is targeted at largely environmental, heritage,community and art based projects – areas of funding that is now hard to come by.

So thumbs up to the grant bodies who have allocated money to crowdfunding – next step perhaps is to allocate funds nationwide!

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation with crowdfunding platform Spacehive has launched a new funding pot of £200,000 to support crowdfunding projects in Hull, Manchester and the London Borough of Lewisham.

More details: EFF/Spacehive

Crowdfunder have managed to secure agreements with the Arts Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund for arts projects in England and heritage based projects in Scotland and NW and SW England.

More details: Crowdfunder

And finally Santander through their Changemaker Fund is putting up to £200,000 to support social enterprises, community groups and small charities in the UK that help disadvantaged people in local communities.

More details: Changemaker

Good luck and as always let me know how you get on with your crowdfunding project and your application to match funds from any of the partnerships above.

Isle of Wight – environmental grant funding support and advice from PJ.elements

PJ.elements update

Our move from Cambridgeshire to the Isle of Wight has been successful and we are now looking to continue our work to help communities and environmental organisations both here on the Island and elsewhere in the UK.

The work that PJ.elements can provide includes:

Project development

Developing funding plans, scoping funding opportunities and working with organisations with business planning and raising the profile and public appeal of your organisation.

Examples of previous work: Funding plans for the National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces, the charity Cambridge Past Present and Future. Audience development work for Heritage Lottery Fund funded landscape partnership schemes and a funding and right of way project with the rural charity Cambridgeshire ACRE.

Fundraising

Fundraising for specific projects and help with applications to lottery bodies, trusts and foundations, including supporting crowdfunding campaigns.

Examples of previous work: Project managing a crowdfunding campaign * with Natural England and 5 wildlife organisations and successful fundraising for a Local Nature Partnership.

Photography

Our photography has been used widely to support funding bids, help illustrate work in progress and providing stock images for PR purposes. The focus of the photography is around people and the environment.

Examples of previous work: Commissioned work for WildlifeTrustBCN, the David Attenborough Conservation Building and numerous HLF funded projects.

Pete Johnstone who runs PJ.elements is keen to hear from parish councils, community groups and environmental organisations who may need help in any of the above areas.

For an informal chat to discuss your project ideas and to get a quote please contact:

Pete Johnstone

Email: pete.johnstone (at) btinternet.com

Phone: 07842 572632

*As part of the evaluation the Crowdfunding Nature campaign we made a video Tips for Success – watch it here > :  https://youtu.be/WIPa4SzTWn0

 

 

 

Goodbye East Anglia!

After 23 glorious years living in East Anglia we are heading south. We will be leaving behind some wonderful friends and a rich and varied landscape full of colour and interest. When I joined the Cambridge office of the Countryside Commission in 1993 someone said to me the landscape was flat and boring – how wrong could they be. It is a fantastic place and I will be sad to go.

Now it is time to try somewhere new and we are heading to the Isle of Wight to find new landscapes and to meet new friends. As we make the move PJ.elements will be taking a break for a while and will hopefully re -surface again in September with a new home and camera in hand!

With best wishes,

Pete Johnstone

Crowdfunding Nature – Project Update (June 2016)

Keep the Nightingales Singing!

Project update: As part of the Crowdfunding for Nature project, Natural England and local charity Nene Coppicing and Crafts raised £5200 from 90 backers from the UK crowdfunding platform Crowdfunder.
Crowdfunding Nature is an initiative run by the East of England Biodiversity Forum and managed by PJ.elements and CrowfundUK. The initiative is currently undergoing evaluation and a short video of the lessons learned to help other environmental organisations with crowdfunding campaigns will be out soon.

Elements of the Landscape

Now at the start of April, Elements in the Landscape is just beginning to take shape with lots of phone calls resulting in some more people allowing me to take their photograph. My project is very much about the people in the landscape and their connection to it as it is about the landscape itself.

Jenny Furong, Chatteris Museum

Jenny Furlong, Chatteris Museum

Jenny Furlong is the volunteer Curator of Chatteris Museum, a post she has held for 15 years and now shares with Ian Mason. The Museum moved to the present location in Chatteris in 1995.

One of the exhibits in the Museum is on Cornelius Vermuyden who in the 1650s commissioned by the Crown, directed major projects to drain the Fens and who constructed a system of ‘washes’, to allow periodic flooding of the area by water.

 

Paul Fox and Peter Gardiner, Welney

Paul Fox and Peter Gardiner, Welney

Welney Residents Users Group is a community action group that was formed in 2014 and established as a charity in March 2015. In April 2015 RUG took over the lease of Sandgate Corner – a large overgrown field in the north of the village. Welney RUG are in the process of turning the area into a community greenspace and wildlife area, with orchard, sensory garden and play area.

Peter Gardiner pruning in the orchard

Peter Gardiner pruning in the orchard.

Peter Gardiner a resident of Welney for almost 17 years and a member of RUG has recently retired and has spent some of his spare time helping with the selection, planning and planting of the orchard and native trees.

The young fruit trees will require yearly pruning and with this in mind Peter and another resident recently attended a pruning course with the East of England Apples and Orchards Project to learn the necessary skills required to maintain the new fruit trees.

 

Fred Ingrams painting in the fens

Fred Ingrams painting in the fens.

The fens have changed my life said Fred, an artist who has a passion for painting the fens landscape. I will be painting a scene when a farmer will come up to me and tell me some amazing stories, there is a certain quality about the fen people and landscape which is unique and not to be found anywhere else.

PJ.elements have been awarded a small grant by the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership Scheme to deliver Elements of the Landscape, a project to photograph people living and working in the Ouse Washes landscape and document their story through images. The people captured in the portraits will have a connection to the land or water, farming, biodiversity crafts or community life.

The Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership Scheme is a 3-year project largely funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The scheme focuses on the promotion of the area surrounding the Ouse Washes, the heart of the Cambridgeshire and Norfolk Fens, and on encouraging community engagement with the area’s diverse heritage.

Crowdfunding Nature underway

The Crowdfunding Nature initiative is now well under way with Froglife successfully raising over £3500 for their nature reserve project in Peterborough.

Three other campaigns are currently live and it would be great if you could support them;

They include
The Greensand Trust’s Love a duck:http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/love-a-duck/

The National Trusts Dormice project: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/giving-the-dormice-of-danbury-a-home/

And the Wildlife Trust BCN’s Great Fen Project: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wildlifebcn/great-fen-great-fun

The East of England Biodiversity Forum with the support of Natural England is testing the effectiveness of crowdfunding to help raise the profile and funding for nature based activities in the East of England. The cost of maintaining and further improving sites of high nature conservation interest is significant.

These costs are further increased when public access, learning and education programmes are being encouraged on these sites. As funding from the more traditional sources is becoming more and more competitive crowdfunding is being looked at as a way of boosting funds for specific projects.

However, if the ‘crowd’ doesn’t pledge anything towards the projects then they won’t proceed. One project from Froglife has already been successful in raising £3500 for their nature reserve in Peterborough, 3 more projects have now gone live, some with only a couple of weeks left to raise the funds.

PS. All the video’s are worth watching – great fun was had by all!

Crowdfunding Nature: Love a Duck campaign!

Duck End is a much loved nature reserve on the edge of Maulden in Bedfordshire. It has ponds, marshy areas, pollards and a wildflower meadow and home for lots of wildlife. The reserve is also the last remnant of Maulden Moor, where peat was cut for fuel in the 18th century, so it has wildlife and some history but walking around the reserve, especially in winter, is getting increasingly difficult as it can be a very wet place.

The Greensand Trust who manage the reserve want to replace the old boardwalk with a new one and will be running a crowdfunding campaign, called Love a Duck!  to help raise funds for the new boardwalk.

Crowdfunding will be used to replace the old boardwalk

Crowdfunding will be used to replace the old boardwalk.

I met Jon Balaam from the Greensand Trust on the day of filming the crowdfunding video who explained that the volunteers have really enjoyed preparing for the video and the crowdfunding idea and that the Trust hopes to be launching the campaign next week.

The crowdfunding video

The crowdfunding video

The Greensand Trust is one of a number conservation organisations who are taking part in Crowdfunding Nature a pilot project run by the East of England Biodiversity Forum to test the potential for crowdfunding to raise funds and profile for nature based projects.

IMG_6292

Watch out for the Love a Duck crowdfunding campaign coming soon!

Photo: Pete Johnstone

 

 

New environmental grant programme – Wales, Scotland and England

Greggs Foundation:

Improving people’s lives by improving their environment.

It is good to see that the Greggs Foundation have launched a new environmental programme funded by the 5p levy on carrier bag sales in Greggs shops across the country. The programme is a pilot and the outcomes will be reviewed after six months.

The programme is community focussed and applicants need to show how people, particularly disadvantaged people will benefit. All projects must have an environmental benefit. Only organisations with a turnover of below £300,000 are able to apply. There are two grant levels, £2500 and £10000. When applying think about where your nearest Greggs shop is located.

This new environmental funding is to be welcomed and I very much hope that the Foundation publish the findings of their review once completed as it will be useful to see how communities make use of the grant and the benefits gained. Having previous experience of assessing grants I think that one finding may be that the time taken to assess a mass of grants up to £2500 may be too time consuming for their committees and the £300,000 cap on organisations may again be too low, but time will tell.

http://www.greggsfoundation.org.uk/environmental-grants

Photo: Pete Johnstone