An exciting new project is being launched this weekend which will provide opportunities for local people to get out and about in their local natural environment.
Co-ordinated by South Gloucestershire Council, Wildways is a three year project funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s Changing Spaces Programme which is managed by Natural England under the Access to Nature Scheme.
The project gets under way on Saturday 26 September with a Family Fun Day launch event in Page Park Staple Hill from 1pm – 4pm. Free activities include den building and nature games, owl encounters, family tree trail, the chance to press your own apple juice, as well as leaflets, maps and information about the wildlife and wild places on your doorstep. This launch event is being organised in partnership with Active South Gloucestershire who will be organising a fun run, Frisbee contest, Black Belt Academy taster sessions and providing information about the new Active card scheme.
Councillor Brian Allinson, South Gloucestershire Council’s executive member for planning, transportation and strategic environment said: “South Gloucestershire Council is delighted to be working with Natural England and the Big Lottery to deliver this exciting project which will provide fantastic opportunities for local people to get involved in the wild places on our doorstep. Local green spaces provide an important resource for health, well being and education as well as vital habitats for wildlife. Wildways will be working to connect people, communities and nature through an innovative programme of projects over the next three years throughout the Staple Hill, Kingswood and Cadbury Heath areas of South Gloucestershire.”
Wildways will be working with a range of partners including South Gloucestershire ‘Breakthrough’, Walk to Health Initiative, Avon Wildlife Trust, South Gloucestershire Disability Action Group and Children’s Play Link. Other plans for the project include the development of ecoteering trails, a youth bat mobile project, an extensive programme of guided walks and wildlife encounters, conservation programmes, bush craft and Forest School projects for children and young people, Community Woodland Festivals and the establishment of new community orchards and an orchard heritage research project.
Adrienne Greenway, Natural England’s Grants Adviser for Access to Nature in the South West said: “Many of us take for granted the benefits we enjoy from our natural environment, but not everyone has the same opportunities. The Access to Nature programme gives a greater number of people from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to experience nature at first hand. Wildways will help to encourage new people out onto local natural green spaces to experience and learn about their local natural environment by engaging in a wide variety of activities. This is a fantastic project and Natural England is delighted to support it.”
Source: South Gloucestershire Council