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    Let Nature Feed Your Senses!
2009-05-27

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.

© www.farm-images.co.uk

meadow

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 with it.”

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 to many.”

link WildCare Farmers Keep an Eye Out for Orchids
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link Climate Change Talks Should Include Farmers

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