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.

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.

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

Photo: Pete Johnstone

 

 

Crowdfunding Nature with Froglife

Project Update. Froglife’s campaign is now live – please support it if you can: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/hoppy-families

 

At last the vision of Crowdfunding Nature is beginning to take shape. I spent a lovely morning with Cat Duerden from Froglife at their Boardwalks Local Nature Reserve in Peterborough as they filmed their pitch for their first venture into crowdfunding.

Cat explained: Froglife are planning to launch our exciting new crowdfunding campaign in early February to raise £3500 to create a ‘Hoppy Families’ Nature Trail. As part the campaign we want to encourage more people to visit the Boardwalks as although the reserve is free and easily accessible and close to the city centre, few people seem to know about this beautiful greenspace.

Getting the filming script right

Getting the filming script right.

Crowdfunding Nature is a pilot project being run by the East of England Biodiversity Forum with Natural England to test the effectiveness of crowdfunding to help raise the profile and funding for nature based activities in the East of England. Close behind Froglife are 6 other environmental groups working up their own crowdfunding project to be launched in the coming months.

The Crowdfunding Nature project initiated by PJ.elements with the help of CrowdfundUK is providing training and ongoing support for the environmental groups involved in the project.

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The Boardwalks Local Nature Reserve, Peterborough.

Crowdfunding has proved itself as an effective way of doing commerce in the business world yet I believe their are real opportunities for nature to benefit as well. We just need to get the right mix of people and projects together and inspire public to get involved. I am looking forward to the Froglife crowdfunding campaign coming out and seeing the video too – it is going to be fun!

I will be sure to blog the crowdfunding campaigns on this website and on Twitter as they go live – all help in promoting the campaigns once launched we be gratefully appreciated.

Pete Johnstone

PJ.elements

Photos: ©Pete Johnstone.

Main picture: Katie with video, Cat Duerden centre and Richard with Lionel the Frog.

PJ.elements awarded Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership Community Heritage grant.

PJ.elements has been awarded a Community Heritage grant from the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership to photograph people living and working in the landscape of the Cambridgeshire and Norfolk fens.

Pete Johnstone the owner of PJ.elements said:

This is a great opportunity and I’m looking forward to being able to meet and photograph some of the people who live and work in the area and to try and tell their story. I am aiming to photograph farmers, people who are responsible for the water management of the Ouse Washes and those involved with local crafts in the area.

Mark Nokkert, project manager for the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership scheme said:

In awarding the grant we like the fact that Elements of the Landscape  will leave a photographic record of people living and working in the Ouse Washes.  We look increasingly to use images of the 1947 floods and earlier ones showing life and people living in past times, and so we  think that this project will  add an important  landscape-specific  contribution to an image library of  fenland life today. 

Pictured are Sara Marshall and Mark Nokkert of the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership team.

Photo by Pete Johnstone.

The Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership scheme (OWLP) 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.

 

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National Federation of Parks and Green Space

The National Federation for Parks and Greenspace is the leading voluntary body supporting Regional greenspace Forums and Friends groups in the UK. The NFPGS was set up in 2008 to share learning, develop good practice and most importantly to raise the issues impacting on open spaces and their volunteers and to recognise the value that greenspace can bring to communities and the environment.

With funding from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation the NFPGS is developing it’s work in the coming year by organising regional conferences to help increase the Network and encourage closer working between the different Forums and Friends groups. Sarah Royal CEO from the NFPGS said: “we are looking forward to meeting lots people from the member groups but we would also be keen to see new people at the events and indeed join the Federation to help strengthen the greenspace movement.  The first regional conferences is the East Midlands to be held in Nottingham on the 7th November and this is closely followed by West Midlands in Coventry on the 14th November”.  For more information on the regional conferences and the NFPGS please contact: info@natfedparks.org.uk

Funding from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation is also supporting the development of a Strategic Business Plan for the NFPGS which will help lay out a clear framework for the Federation to become a sustainable and long term organisation to champion the community parks and green space volunteer sector over the coming years. Pete Johnstone from PJ.elements and Jane Thomas from Milton Contract Ltd have been appointed to develop the plan and will aim to complete in the New Year. Part of Pete’s role will also be looking at funding options to maintain and develop the work of the NFPGS.

To us with the business plan please take part in our survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MKBW2KZ

 

 

Photos:  © Pete Johnstone