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Royal College of Psychiatrists commissions Nature Nurture

We're on a mission to connect people with nature to support their health and wellbeing and to nurture custodians of nature. Natalie Ganpatsingh, Director of Nature Nurture is also an artist. When approached by Dr. Alan Kellas, Nature Lead at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, if she could convey the importance of nature connection in the sphere of mental health, she jumped at the chance.

The complex brief, which both acknowledged the eco-distress experienced by so many children and young people, whilst exploring the plethora of nature connection opportunities open to psychiatrists, social prescribers and those they support. They discussed the link between the home, the school, the community and the ever-growing challenges in the wider word. She spoke to her own teenagers, about the pressures they face and the most absorbing social media channels in their lives.

With so much to incorporate, she needed a visual mechanism to bind everything together and what better than the Golden Ratio? Conceived by the Ancient Greeks, these divine proportions can be found in plants and shells . In fact through the ages, the golden ratio has been used in architecture, music and art as well as modern-day brand and digital design. The fundamental premise that deep down, we humans feel good when we experience the patterns of nature. And it seems that current research, such as that of Dr. Agnes E. Van den Berg, reinforces this ancient notion.

Dr. Alan Kellas said: "Working as a community psychiatrist to help children and young people can seem a long way away from discussions about global problems like the Climate crisis, or sustainable and zero carbon targets. But “our house is on fire”: so  realising that “Nature Matters”  both globally and as a practical way of talking with young people and their families, I think psychiatrists can make a difference by noticing nature in clinic or even if talking remotely; listening to the unique nature stories that matter for each child and family; and learning about local nature based resources: gardens, animals and birds, trees and waterways, parks, woodlands, as well as wilder places and the sea; and advocating too for healthy clean air and water and nature rich environments:  a fairer world in the future where Nature Matters. I knew Natalie shared these concerns with Nature Nurture and her beautiful art captures these complex issues, illustrating all this “better than 1000 words”. It reminds me how powerful human creativity and imagination can be for children of all ages!"

Wild Quest – Life on the Lake Experience

Nature Nurture have joined forces with sound wizards Small Silence and in-person and remote experience innovators YourTour, to deliver immersive on-site and virtual visitor experiences to green spaces and outdoor heritage sites.

 

Nature Nurture were approached by Events Manager at Thatcham Town Council and the engagement team at the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust to come up with an innovate way to engage visitors to the  at the Nature Discovery Centre.

The ‘Life on the Lake Experience’ enables self-led on-site tours and immersive virtual visits to take place safely during lockdown periods and beyond. Our vision is to design an engaging and educational tour around the lake, through which we ‘meet’ twelve waterbirds and reap the health and wellbeing benefits of nature. We enable the visitor to engage with the ‘Life on the Lake Experience’ in three ways:

1. Through on-site visits that encourage a walk around the Nature Discovery Centre lake, enriched with waymarked beautifully illustrated signage along the way. Families and school groups can download or pick up a quest sheet from the visitor centre, to solve along the way.

2. Through on-site immersive audio experiences, which reveal fascinating facts, stories and music inspired by the waterbirds as they arrive at each waymarker, triggered by the visitor’s location, via their smartphone. For a guided experience, this is achieved by NDC staff accompanying the group with a phone and bluetooth speaker.

3. Through Virtual Reality (VR), whereby visitors, whether visiting on-site or from the comfort of their home or school, explore the site and the waterbirds through 360-degree video technology. Each of the waterbirds will be rendered in 3D and can be explored in close-up stunning detail through the visitor’s tablet, smartphone, PC or Mac, or virtual reality headset.

The Life on the Lake Experience is aimed at families, school groups and older people, with supplementary educational resources for primary schools. Targeted community engagement would aim to raise the profile of the Nature Discovery Centre and increase visitor numbers locally and through VR there is scope to incentivise BBOWT membership and future visits when lockdown eases and reach older adults who may not be able to visit in-person due to mobility issues. We envisage schools being particularly receptive to Covid-safe virtual visit experiences, whilst it is not possible to arrange field trips. We imagine the The ‘Life on the Lake Experience’ being heralded as a state-of-the-art ‘edutainment’ experience, featured in national educational resource platforms such as TES and leading UK edtech company Twinkl.

Funding pending, we can't wait to make this happen!

 

We won the Institute of Outdoor Learning Community Development Award!

Our project in Dee Park's woodland, Lousehill Copse, won the Institute of Learning's Community Development Award 2019‘Mission Lousehill’ is a community re-wilding project that engages the Dee Park community with an ancient woodland on their doorstep. By combining spy themed creative arts, Forest School and conservation activities, the project has successfully engaged the unusual suspects through various missions at their local nature reserve, achieving positive outcomes for both people and nature.

We're sure this will put us in good stead for even more ambitious projects in Reading that support our community's health and wellbeing through connecting people with our parks and woodlands.

The Outdoor Learning Awards are presented to Outdoor Learning professionals and organisations in recognition of their outstanding work and to encourage excellence.  The sector applauds those working on innovative projects which encourage and enable more people to get out, be active, learn about and connect with the outdoors. These awards shine a spotlight on the exceptional work of a diverse group of professionals including instructors, teachers, leaders, managers, educators and researchers.

The 'Mission Lousehill' project involved Nature Nurture working in partnership with The Conservation Volunteers, Reading Borough Council and Catalyst Housing to improve the woodland for people and wildlife along with a whole host of activities including Forest School, community events and a monthly Wild Family Club.

Feedback from our events has been really positive:

My family and I absolutely love Lousehill Copse days. The organisers are enthusiastic and really good with the kids.

Lisa Baugh, Parent

I came with my 4 year old twins and we all had a great time. We’ve looked for bugs, made a bug sucker, bee houses and dug a hole for a bumblebee house. It’s been lovely to be outside and learning about how we can help bees- many ideas for our own garden!

Fiona Humphries, Parent

We are now seeking funding to continue our community projects in Lousehill Copse. Please get in touch if you can help.

 

 

 

 

Please vote for Nature Nurture! We’re finalists – Institute for Outdoor Learning Awards…

We are wildly excited that our Mission Lousehill project at Lousehill Copse in Reading. It's now up to you to vote to help us win!

To vote, simply go to: https://bit.ly/2zo8UzA and click 'Mission Lousehill'.

 

Winning this Institute for Outdoor Learning Award would help us make the case for providing even more FREE rewilding projects that support wellbeing and nature. Thanks to our partners, The Conservation Volunteers Berkshire, Catalyst Housing and Reading Borough Council.

Check out the Mission Lousehill Spy Thriller!

 

And Natalie talking about the project on the telly!

BBC Radio Berkshire interview: An Audio Antidote to #BlueMonday for The Woodland Trust

Great to speak to Sue Kinnear today on BBC Radio Berkshire

I was invited into the studio to talk about the Audio Antidote for Blue Monday, we created for national conservation charity The Woodland Trust. Continue reading

25 Year Environment Plan – Published today

Green Future Document cover

We're really happy to see this published at last. Great to see the emphasis on connecting people with nature. This is what Nature Nurture is all about!

Continue reading

Come and Listen to the Trees: 27th May to 4th June, London

Unbelievable but true. We have literally given trees a voice and we can’t wait for you to hear them!

 London Tree Week, 27th May and 4th June, 10am to 4pm. Free Entrance.

Venture along the Thames, just past Tower Bridge and you’ll come across Potters Fields Park. This little green oasis, snuggled beside City Hall, is a haven for people, nature and some very special  trees. We’ve partnered with the UK’s leading woodland conservation charity, The Woodland Trust, to bring you an Audio Trail as part of London Tree Week where you can experience: Continue reading

Help house our stuff – storage needed…

Please help us find a place for our stuff.

The size of a garage will be enough.

If it's cheap or free, that's certainly best,

And ideally near to Reading West.

Friends, Readingers wild folk, lend me your ears. What I mean to say is, please can you keep your ear to the ground? Do you, or anyone you know have a garage, shed or other possible space where Nature Nurture can store several crates containing our workshop equipment?

As many of you know, we've been providing FREE workshops, events and learning resources for families, schools, children's centres and youth clubs for the last 5 years and have helped literally 1000s of children to go wild in Reading's parks woodlands and meadows. Continue reading

Talking Trees – is this really possible?

If trees could talk, what would they say, Would they talk of the past, or tomorrow of today?

 

Nature Nurture are on a mission to connect urban communities with the nature on their doorstep.

"Hmmm - but how can we do this? There's just so much noise to break through."

Well we have come up with something: We reckon that if we can give nature a voice, people just might listen. Continue reading