Wildlife conservation charity, Froglife has now completed a programme of work to create a wildlife area around an existing pond, with a £500 grant awarded by the WestRaven Big Local Community Grant at the WestRaven community garden in Ravensthorpe.
The creation of the wildlife area and pond area (additional larger pond is part of future work due to take place later this year) is a valuable asset to the community garden by providing an educational tool for local residents and other users of the garden including young people taking part in Froglife’s BBC Children in Need funded Green Pathways project. Froglife aims to teach as many people as possible about the extensive biodiversity and benefits of a simple garden pond and providing habitats for local wildlife.
Green Pathways is a youth project providing practical outdoor activities with young people aged 5-18 in Peterborough, Northamptonshire and the Fenland district. The project supports those with extra difficulties in their lives to improve green spaces for wildlife and people; and learn about and enjoy the environment.
By raising awareness of ponds and demonstrating what a great feature they are in a garden Froglife aims to inspire local people to create their own ponds at home. Froglife also hope to encourage people to get outside and become more active, as this has proven to reduce stress, improve mental health and enhance fitness. This project will benefit local residents as well as teaching good habits to the next generation for a healthier future.
The funds awarded have been used to buy materials to make wildlife homes, provide additional fencing, and enhance the existing fencing around the pond site. It has also been used to purchase two benches so people can sit and relax and enjoy this much improved area. The construction and painting of the wildlife homes, bench and the fencing has all been carried out by young people on the Green Pathways project.
“The children have really enjoyed assembling the benches, and changing them from plain brown to the multi-coloured eye-catching design they are now” said their teacher Adam Billitt
“We got to use a saw and a drill to make a bird box which was great and then we painted pictures on that we thought would attract the birds” said one of the young people
“It’s great to teach the young people new skills and make a huge difference to wildlife and a community at the same time” said Froglife’s Learning Officer
What do a giant snake, a doggy agility course, and high-pitched squeaking have in common?
If you guessed “an overnight camp with Froglife” you would be right!
Peterborough-based families took part in a wildlife-themed sleep-out at Ferry Meadows over the summer holidays as part of Froglife’s Green Pathways project. The project supports disadvantaged young people to volunteer, learn about, and enjoy green spaces in and around the city, and is partly-funded by BBC Children in Need.
Froglife’s mascot Serenity, a huge soft-toy grass snake, joined in a wildlife challenge trail, got sat on in the evening whilst listening to a bat detector, and even slept in a tent to keep its occupant company.
Serenity hissed: “the instructions said it was a ‘one man’ tent, it didn’t say anything about snakes so I just sneaked in.”
Participants also set up a moth trap, paddled in the lake in wellies to pond-dip, climbed trees and went on a nature walk.
Froglife’s Conservation Youth Worker said “Many of the children had never camped out before, so this was a great opportunity for them. They all went away fired up about the outdoors, and with lots of new facts about wildlife.”
This valuable experience for our community’s most vulnerable children could not have happened without dedicated volunteer support and donations. If you are interested in donating your time or money to this fantastic project, please contact Rebecca Neal on email@example.com 01733 602102. See more about this project at www.froglife.org/what-we-do/green-pathways/
We’re very pleased to announce that our Glasgow Green Pathways Project recently won ‘Best Community Initiative’ at the Evening Times, Streets Ahead Awards, and was recognised for empowering vulnerable and disadvantaged young people to take part in positive activities linked to wildlife and conservation in their local community.
This project rests on a mass of scientific research that suggests that being outdoors and in particular connecting with nature, has a huge positive effect on people’s health and wellbeing. It helps physical and mental health, learning, behaviour and social skills for people of all ages and abilities.
Wildlife surveys, den building, natural arts & crafts, creating ponds and animal homes – these are but a few of the exciting activities and projects delivered by Glasgow’s very own ‘Froglady’ – Lauren Lochrie. As Conservation Youth Worker for this innovative project, Lauren feels “privileged to be able to work with young people and the wider community to improve their local green spaces for the benefit of both people and wildlife”
Over the past two years, Green Pathways has engaged over 3,000 young people, working with over 30 different schools and youth groups across the city’s parks and green spaces.
Froglife secured funding for the project from a 2-year Young Start grant from the Big Lottery. Scottish Natural Heritage have also played an integral part in the project by funding all the habitat work. Recent enhancements include; a large pond at Croftburn Allotments, a wildlife pond and hibernacula (amphibian home) at Shettleston Community Growing Project and creating a vegetable garden and wildlife pond with St. Cuthbert’s Primary School at Ruchill Pop-up Allotments.
If you’d like to get involved or for more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Inspired by Nature is a themed Croak to entertain you with art and creative writing based on nature and the outdoors. We hope it will stimulate you to get creative and produce something yourself. If you do and would like to share them with us, please post them on our Facebook page, Twitter account, or email us at email@example.com
This months feature has been written by Rebecca Neal our Conservation Youth Worker on the Peterborough Green Pathways project, funded by BBC Children in Need.
I am very lucky that my job allows me to do my most favourite things which are: 1) look for wildlife and 2) show people cool naturey things. I work with young people, who do seem to get slightly less embarrassed than my boyfriend when I wander around nature reserves turning things over and getting enthusiastic about invertebrates. Here is a poem inspired by a lovely walk around an urban nature reserve in Peterborough (see Boardwalks Nature Reserve) with a Green Pathways participant, and a work experience student. We found cool stuff and the lad held a toad for the first time.
Turn over a log
Turn over a log
And you never know what you might find
The excitement is addictive.
Turn over a log
It’s good if it’s a big one
And better if it’s rotting
Turn over a log
And get enthusiastic about the crawly things
That do the clearing up.
Turn over a log
Let nature surprise you
Devils coach horse
And then count the legs.
Turn over a log
And find the secret hiding place
Of the predators.
Inspired by Nature is a themed Croak to entertain you with some of our favourite artwork based on nature and the outdoors. We hope it will stimulate you to get creative and produce something yourself. If you do and would like to share them with us, please post them on our Facebook page, Twitter account, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
This months feature has been written by the poet Keely Mills who worked with Rebecca Neal our Conservation Youth Worker on the Peterborough Green Pathways project, funded by BBC Children in Need.
Digging potatoes and holding frogs
None of us say much,
Questions hang like spider webs in the air,
they can’t catch the answers though.
Just a huh or a maybe.
Its an uncomfortable mood
& it seeps into every move we each make.
Even the fire we light, can’t stay aflame.
We split off, each of us an ember.
I am not sure that it will change.
Nature overtakes any doubt.
Within minutes, we are all digging potatoes.
We take it in turns to collect and wash them.
Back together again.
Choosing which of them we will take.
As if it were ready now, the fire is lit.
It reaches the sky and feeds off our new warmth.
We share cooking duties, stories about school.
Some of us hold tiny frogs,
Make badges and boil a kettle.
After we have eaten.
And the taxi has been called.
Each of us hold onto this green feeling for as long as we can.
Now more than ever, I understand that a bad start,
can be mended with dirt, love and growing.
By Keely Mills