To celebrate the work that’s been achieved so far, we caught up with some of the successful applicants to find out how the fund helped them turn their project ideas into reality.
Rebecca Walker, outdoor nature classroom at St Margaret Clitherow Catholic Primary School
"I first heard about the fund from somebody at Peabody while I was at a consultation event for the Birchmere Park changing rooms. Once we learned that it could be used to improve outdoor spaces, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity for our school because we had an area in our playground that wasn’t used much.
We applied for the fund and used the money to buy things like magnifying glasses, containers for the children’s bug collections, compasses, clipboards, books and educational posters. We also bought tent-building materials so we’ve got lots of resources now.
After Covid we realised that a lot of the children had very little opportunity to go outside so this became really important to us. We launched the nature classroom last spring and it was a great success. Since then our classes have used it in a variety of ways, including for story time, art and poetry."
Ruby Eggleston, Wellness Garden at St Paul’s Churchyard
"During Covid we went to bury one of our church members at the cemetery. I saw that people had come with chairs and were sitting by the gravesides of their loved ones, admiring the flowers and I thought that was really nice. It made me think that there’s a need for more spaces where people can sit, relax, reflect and connect with nature.
I found out about the Making Space for Nature Fund and thought we could start with the churchyard which was just an open green space. The purpose of our project was to plant flowers, make the green look colourful, attract pollinators and provide seating.
We’ve got a big churchyard so we divided it into four sections and started working on the garden in November 2021. It now has lots of flowers, shrubs and three benches, and we often see pollinators like bees and other insects.
I’ve spoken to a few people who’ve been walking past who think the garden only belongs to the church so going forward I’d like to spread the word that it’s for the whole community to enjoy."
Calum F Kerr, live audio stream from Tump 39 and Wonder Walks with J D Swann
"There were two strands to this project which ran over about eight months. J D Swann, who is my ornithological investigator character, was doing nature walks and we did a solar-powered audio live stream at Tump 39.
The audio stream was something I’d never done before so it was a learning curve, but it allowed people to experience nature through sound alone.
And with the walks I thought it would be really good to get groups together so we could do a bit for our health and learn about what’s on our doorstep because there’s lots of nature here. About 70 to 80 people attended overall. It was all about making the most of what we’ve got, so the Making Space for Nature Fund was ideal to apply for."
Eva Lis, Moss Monster workshops
"I came up with the idea for the workshops after I attended an Art Therapy in Nature workshop. These are run by Nicky Sutton and are also supported by the Making Space for Nature Fund. We spoke about how we could reconnect and sort of bend down to nature. How we could look down at something small, something that we step on every day, and yet we completely disregard.
Although the programme was initially meant to be for adults I ended up adjusting it for kids, so I became the Moss Monster. They had so much fun with the monster, playing with clay and being in the Tump 53 Nature Reserve. Everybody loved it!
I bought 72 different types of moss and we had magnifying glasses to look at them all which was also a lot of fun. We spoke about the history and future of moss, so it was it was partly educational as well.
Every session was different and overall I really enjoyed it. I’m new to Thamesmead so it was a chance for me to meet the local community, make connections and present myself as an artist."
Keep an eye on our website for details on the next round of the Making Space for Nature Fund. To find out more about the fund, email email@example.com