Three Year South London Nature Conservation Project

Funded by the City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s Charity.

Brixton-based (not-for-profit) company Embrace Cooperation Ltd has been awarded a £80,000 grant over three years by the City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charity. The project started early July 2012 and the grant is funding a full time project nature conservation manager for three years. This role will enable Embrace to work at different locations in South London, maximizing the impact of its work in a variety of areas, including: free nature conservation, environmental education activities for the general public and tailor-made activities for schools, youth groups and community groups.
During the course of the first year of the manager project ran a total of 40 practical nature conservation and environmental education activities. We have meet with representatives of 16 different community organisations, Friends of Parks, nature conservation organisations, 11 schools & colleges and 6 Council park departments. Most of these meetings have lead to project activities being run or scheduled.

Working with Primary Schools, Secondary Schools, Colleges and Youth Groups

Embrace free environmental education activities are tailor made for each school, youth organisation or College depending on their individual requirements. These environmental education activities can be tied to curriculum studies or can just be fun activities. Our activities aim to encourage students/ members to learn about their local environment and use their local green spaces. Activities the project manager has run for children have all involved environmental education helping to highlight the issues effecting London’s environment. The activities have included chlidren investigating wildlife areas in their school, bug hunts, pond dipping, investigating what different insects live in different habiats, planting wildflowers, river cleaning, tree ID, plant ID, investigating wild food plants, making bird feeders, making bug hotels, making dens / shelters and surveying pollution on trees. These activities included taking many children to their local nature reserve / park for the first time. On activities run by the project manager the feedback sheets that young people completed 82% stated they had learnt something new about London’s nature and 70% where more confident in using the techniques / skills taught on the activities.

Working with Community Groups

Through this project Embrace can work with community groups to run joint practical nature conservation and environmental education activities. We can help supervise and organise teams of corporate volunteers / Embrace volunteers to work at partner sites. Plus we are also interested in working with partners to develop grant-funding bids for joint future projects. Plus we are happy to talk to find out if there are other ways we can help.

The project manager has worked with other organisations & Embrace volunteers to develop grant funding applications with Embrace volunteers meeting regulary to research & develop various funding applications. Through the first year the project manager has been invovled 11 grant applications with 4 successful grant applications totaling £24762.50 in funding received by Embrace or our partners.
These succesful funding bids include projects that shall plant wildlife hedging at three different sites, a wild flower meadow, creation of chirden dog free play area (for gardening / wildlife education activities), signs highlighting nature at London sites and a environmental art project Roarart run with / at London Zoo. All of these funded projects shall either improve London green spaces or educate people increasing their knowledge & understanding of the issues affecting nature.

Embrace Cooperation Ltd has also made strong links with schools, community groups and sites. This has included helping turn The Lodge at Streatham Common into an educational centre focusing on pre-school nature focused activities. The project manager has run regular wildlife gardening sessions for local Time Bank volunteers and nature focused activities for young people at the centre. We have also created a partnership with Brayard Estate Tenants & Residents Accociation (BETRA), where Embrace shall work with BETRA to develop & run community projects at Brayards Estate (hosing Estate in Peckham). We have been helping to develop a community wildlife area and have been successful in receiving in partnership with BETRA a grant funding for the creation of a dog free children area for gardening / wildlife education projects and wildlife hedging for helping both to increase the biodiveristy & reduce pollution at the site.