Greensand Country Landscape Partnership
It was particularly pleasing to secure a photography commission from the Greensand Country Landscape Partnership as previously, some years back, I had played a part in helping to devise the Audience Development Plan for the project.
My current role is to help build up a library of photographs that feature the distinctive qualities of the Greensand Country. The two days recently spent in the area were to focus on taking photographs of the first Greensand Country Festival (26th May – 3rd June 2018) with the photos helping to monitor progress and for use in future Festival guides and publicity.
In all I attended 6 Festival events ranging from a ramblers walk, a very well attended Walk4health walk through the lovely and recently restored Ampthill Great Park (again HLF Funded) a Forest School activity through to a singing event on Woburn Sands Station!
I thoroughly enjoyed the two days which was really helped by people happily allowing me to take their photographs. While taking the photos I must have spoken to several dozen people and it is surprising how few have heard of the HLF funded Landscape Partnership schemes.
These Landscape Partnerships have helped restore many local landscapes up and around the country and one that has engaged many thousands of people in the process. Just one of life’s hidden gems, I guess.
Background: Greensand Country is an island of distinctive, beautiful and loved countryside in the heart of Bedfordshire. The area contains all of Bedfordshire’s remaining heathland, more than half of its woodland and more historic parkland per hectare than anywhere else in the country. It is a landscape rich in wildlife and cultural heritage, with its own special qualities and sense of place.
More info: http://greensandcountry.com/
Photographs. Taken by Pete Johnstone, published courtesy of Greensand Country ©. All images have parental permissions where required.
The Litter Innovation Fund
Grants from the Litter Innovation Fund of up to £10,000 are available for local authorities, NP’s, charities and not for profit organisations for projects that can demonstrate innovative and creative solutions to reducing litter in local areas in England.
It is good to see environmental grant funding coming out of the Government. Also pleasing to see the grant criteria being set quite broadly and that funding can go towards a variety of activities including, staffing, education and awareness, innovative messaging to target audiences, signage and campaigning.
At least 10% match funding is required from charities and public funded organisations
However, slightly disappointing to see that all projects have to be completed within a six month time scale of the grant being awarded as often it takes time to get these projects up and running, but it appears that more funding rounds will be coming up in the future.
Two stage grant application
- Expression of Interest – closes 26 September
- Assessment period – 27 September – 13 October
- Invite submission of full applications – w/c 16 October
- Application round closes – 17 November
Total pot of money available is £450,000, 10% of which will be aimed at reducing litter entering the marine environment.
The Litter Innovation Fund is a new programme with funding coming from Defra and DCLG and is being administered by WRAP.
Deadline: 26th September 2017
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.
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.
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.
Photos: ©Pete Johnstone.
Main picture: Katie with video, Cat Duerden centre and Richard with Lionel the Frog.
DCLG have recently announced £1.5 million is available for the creation of up to 100 Pocket Parks in deprived areas of England (excluding London). That’s the good news – the not so good news is that applications have to be in by 10th December (2015) with work completed by this financial year. So this will probably only apply to projects that are nearly ready to go as only limited community consultation will be possible within this short timespan.
The programme itself looks good with all the encouragement to seek a Green Flag Community Award and to get the site registered as an Asset of Community Value under the Local Greenspace Designation.
Deadline for applications: 5pm Thursday 10th December 2015
DCLG describe Pocket Parks as locally identified, smaller areas of green space ultra-local to where people live and work – can provide those wellbeing opportunities, as well as helping to improve community integration, community pride and social action, especially where communities are involved in the upkeep and development decisions of the park.
Photo: Fairstead Doorstep Green, Kings Lynn, Norfolk. Pete Johnstone
Over the next couple of months PJ.elements will be joining forces with Cambridgeshire ACRE to undertake the Wisbech Missing Links project.
Wisbech and the surrounding fenland villages having been recognised as having poor access to local services and the surrounding countryside due to a fragmented rights of way network. This project aims to make access from the villages surrounding Wisbech into the market town through joining up the rights of way network.
The Wisbech Missing Links project aims to:
1. Improve the existing rights of way network around Wisbech to make it more accessible and ‘user-friendly’ for local people to use and;
2. Increase the number of local people using the rights of way network in and around Wisbech for both access to services and for leisure purposes.
The project is funded by Cambridgeshire County Council and is undertaken with the support of the Cambridgeshire Local Access Forum (CLAF).
The CLAF played a major role in the development of the Cambridgeshire Rights of Way Improvement Plan and it identifies Fenland as one of the areas for for right of way network improvements.
Cambridgeshire Local Access Forum (CLAF), is a statutory body, set up under the Countryside & Rights of Way Act 2000 (CROW), to provide advice to local authorities and other statutory undertakers on access to the countryside, is keen to work with others on improving the rights of way network, in and around Wisbech; and as a way of increasing the opportunities for local residents to access local services, surrounding countryside and green space.
The Dream Fund from the People’s Postcode Lottery is now open for applications. Charities are able to apply for up to £1 million to deliver their dream project in the areas of Wales, Scotland or England.
This is really one of the most exciting grant fund opportunities around and although their are only a handful of winners each year it is certainly worth a try if you have an inspiring project in mind. The Dream Fund has a 3 stage process so not all the preparation work has to be done at the first stage.
Deadline: Tuesday 22nd September 2015
Details: Dream Fund
The current funding theme for the Bupa UK Foundation is Mid-life Mental Health.
Mental health underpins health and wellbeing and impacts everyone.
For many people mid-life, from the late 20s to early 50s can be a time of increased challenges, responsibilities and pressures in their working lives, family lives and relationships.
Therefore, the Bupa UK Foundation is looking to fund projects that supports and improves people’s mental health at this critical life stage.
This is the first funding programme from the Bupa Foundation and it is to be welcomed. We are gathering more and more evidence that contact with nature and the natural environment can be beneficial to people’s health and wellbeing and I very much hope that the Bupa Foundation will consider and fund applications that involve contact with nature. However for them to do so they have got to receive some applications in the first place. So this is a call to get people thinking about submitting an application. The closing date is early September so there is not long to identify projects.
As always if you require help with an application please let me know. Either way I would be keen to hear of organisations submitting an application that uses the natural environment as a key component.
Closing date: Friday 4th September 2015