An exciting new partnership between charities LEAF (Linking Environment And
Farming) and The Sensory Trust will connect disengaged groups and individuals
with nature and the countryside, through food and farming.
The three and a half year project has been awarded £960,000 by Access to Nature, an
open grants programme run by Natural England with £25 million funding from Big Lottery
Fund’s Changing Spaces programme. The project will involve a new and exciting
programme of activities and events throughout England, aimed at getting young people,
disabled groups and older people out onto farms, nature reserves, education centres and
city farms, to experience everyday nature and the countryside in their everyday life.
Activities will be based around regional networks that will be established throughout
England. Innovative learning materials, complementary information, farm visits and
nature walks will be developed, specifically designed to help these diverse groups make
long lasting connections with the natural world around them.
Speaking on the project, LEAF Chief Executive, Caroline Drummond said: “We know
that being outdoors is good for mind, body and soul. But people with physical, sensory
and learning disabilities, and socially excluded groups, often face barriers that leave
them feeling remote from the countryside around them. We are really pleased and
excited to have been awarded this grant and we look forward to working in partnership
with the Sensory Trust; their strengths in working with diverse groups, together with the
enthusiasm and support of LEAF’s farm members, will be a winning combination! This
work will help to bring these groups closer to the countryside around them, using food as the medium to build a closer relationship with where nature touches our everyday lives.
We will develop rich and long lasting connections with nature and take people beyond
just visiting the natural world to becoming emotionally connected and actively involved
Jane Stoneham – Director of the Sensory Trust added: “This is a chance for farmers
to turn a stereotype on its head and to say 'Get on my Land' to people who are currently
excluded from the natural world. Farms are a fantastic gateway to the sights, smells and
sounds of the countryside and a perfect way of bringing nature into the lives of people
who most need it. We are really excited to be working with LEAF on this ground
breaking project and look forward to making the countryside and nature more accessible
WildCare Farmers Keep an Eye Out for Orchids
Increasing Efficiency by Replacing Old Wind Farms
Climate Change Talks Should Include Farmers