As a parent of four and foster carer to many, I cannot emphasise enough the need for children to be reconnected with the outdoors and their local environment. I've seen first hand how it builds engagement, relationships, resilience and both physical and emotional wellbeing. This project is just what our community needs and will give professionals the support and guidance to take families outside and go wild!Victoria Butler-Broad, Reading Parent
Reading Climate Change Partnership offer their support to the ‘Wild Reading Project' because the green areas in our towns and cities are not only important for physical and emotional health they are important for physical health as well. Woodlands act as our ‘green lung’s' producing oxygen, mopping up pollutants and producing a cooling effect as global temperatures increase. They act as havens for wildlife which are important to maintain as our climate changes. Educating families in the benefits of our woodlands in a changing climate fits very well with the aims of Reading Climate Change Partnership.Sally Coble, Chair of Reading Climate Change Partnership
From meeting Nature Nurture just once, we as a family have already discovered 3 complete urban wildlife/nature gems on our doorstep that we never knew existed. Looking keenly for future projects and thrilled with the prospect of having a guide to our local area. We are so lucky to live in a town full of greenery but it is mostly Reading's best kept secrets. Let's hope Nature Nurture manage to let the secrets out for all to share!Eleanor Hayes, Reading Parent
The Reading Tree Warden Network is committed to working with communities to create a greater awareness of the importance of trees in their neighbourhoods and encouraging people to get involved in the planting and care of trees. To enable us to do this we need to work in partnership to connect with young people and their families to enthuse and encourage conservation volunteers across Reading. We have already worked with Nurture Nature on successful events and fully support the application for the ‘Wild Reading Project’.Sally Swift, Chair, Reading Tree Warden Network, supported by Trees for Cities and The Tree Council
What a wonderful project! There is a lot of wildlife in Reading and it would be great to know more about where to find it so that others more people can benefit. Life can get stressful and to be able to spend some time in nature is a wonderful way to relax. It is also a great way for children to learn and explore. I so hope you win!!!!!!!!!Caroline Roell, Reading Parent
Dear Natalie and Emily,
Thank you SO much for your superb contribution to the children's Bughunt the other day. I have heard nothing but praise and gratitude for the range of activities which you so cheerfully provided for the youngsters of the area, and your innovative ideas were certainly an eye-opener for me! Obviously a great deal of hard work and preparation had been put into it, the end result being that the children had a hugely enjoyable hands-on experience and can have been left in no doubt about the importance of looking after and enjoying our priceless natural environment.
The fact that an hour or so later I saw one of the participants walking back from the shops with a new butterfly net in her hand probably says it all. Among the comments I heard were "I want to be an arachnologist when I grow up!" and "Mum, can I have a sweepnet for my birthday?" Job done, methinks. So.....Well done and thank you!
I think the whole day was a huge success; hard work but well worth it. I sincerely hope that whatever happens you continue to receive your funding and that we (Earley Environmental Group) will be able to collaborate with you in future in this vitally important work.Alan Broodbank, Earley Envionmental Group
With physical inactivity now the 4th biggest cause of death, according to the World Health Organisation, we need to get more imaginative about how we use our spaces and get out and about. Nature Nurture's ideas to use our parks and get people back in touch with nature is engaging, fun and helps bring people together. Most importantly people love it!Katherine Knight, Marketing Director, Intelligent Health
We need this in Reading. There are so many quality outdoor spaces people can gain access to, if only they knew where and had the confidence to go there for a walk, picnic or whatever. We have such a brilliantly diverse community but how do people know where they can go. The more people can get out, the more they'll enjoy it, the happier they'll be and the more they'll care. I fully support this project.Isla Goldsmith
The children learned a great deal about the trees/ leaves in a very fun filled way. It was a great opportunity to explore nature in the wider environment out of school. the morning enthused the children and sparked their imagination to support their learning in the school for the art day and the following weeks. We gained an insight into a different approach to teaching within the park. The idea of a trail t follow and tasks to achieve truly motivated the children.Teacher
My son really enjoyed that day. He told us about different kinds of trees, leaves and insects. He even took home some and told us it is a dragon that he made during the activity. My son finds this nature trail very interesting and educational.Abi Mendiola, Parent, English Martyrs Preschool
This project sounds great! Motivating and enabling families to spend more time outdoors. More shared exploration and discovery, exercise and play - especially important in a built up environment such as Reading where it is easy to circumnavigate the small havens of nature hidden within our community.Danielle Corbishley
Volunteers from The Friends of McIlroy Park joined those from The Conservation Volunteers, to run a stall where children (and their parents) could make simple bird feeders using readily available materials, see how a ‘home’ for stag beetles could be created in their own gardens using a few logs, and handle slow worms. The Friends objectives in participating in the event were to encourage local interest in the natural environment in general and in McIlroy Park in particular and possibly to recruit new volunteers for the Friends of group.
Overall the event appeared to engender an enthusiastic response from all attending, both parents and children alike. For us the slow worms proved a great attraction and created an opportunity to share our own enthusiasm for wildlife and to demonstrate that even in an urban environment it is possible to experience and enjoy nature. While we failed to recruit any new volunteers (families with young children are possibly not the ideal target audience) it is difficult to believe that those attending did not leave with a heightened awareness of the importance of retaining and maintaining those open green spaces which remain. Were a similar event to be held in the future we would certainly consider participating.Alan Stevens, Econet Conservation, Reading
On behalf of Friends of McIlroy Park a big thank you for organising the Nature Day at Prospect on 24 November - it was amazing how many people turned up given the awful weather on the morning. It was good to to meet everyone and see the enthusiasm of the young families that came along.Christine Cilburn, Friends of McIlroy Park
We were delighted that the Nature Nurture project invited us The Conservation Volunteers to be part of their events. We had a stall at the event where we made bird feeders with the children. It was great to have the opportunity to engage with a younger generation as most of the volunteers we work with are adults but it is important for us to instil the idea of volunteering at a young age so that the next generation understand and are interested in the concept of volunteering and conservation.Oonagh Kelleher , Senior Community Project Officer, The Conservation Volunteers
The children enjoyed the ‘hands on’ experience and have learnt a great deal about different trees and the effects of Autumn, during their visit to the park. they have developed creatively, especially along the theme ‘art in nature’ and literacy skills have improved with great poetry writing.Teaching Assistant
I think the park is a valuable asset for our children and look forward to using it in the future, both for nature study and recreation. This has been a worthwhile project. Mrs Ganpatsingh has organised the activities well so that the children were enthusiastic about their learning.Mrs. Edwards and Mrs. Whittaker, All Saints Infants School
Really enjoyed the arts and crafts and den building. They learnt valuable lessons in conservation of natural resources. This experience will stay with them for a long time. The staff have been extremely helpful, knowledgeable and enthusiastic and, if repeated, we would come back and bring others. This should be a regular event.Stephen Kayongo, Parent, Family Nature Day McIlroy Park (and he did come back with others to the family Nature Day at Prospect Park)
Both my sons had a brilliant time. Their confidence is growing both in exploring the natural environment and in expressing themselves through natural art. I was surprised just how creative they could be, so I learned something too!Parent
We will use the park again and also look forward to other Nature Nurture events. It was also great to see the library as we haven’t been here (shamefully) since it was refurbished. It’s the perfect place for this kind of event.Thanks Natalie, another well-organised and enjoyable day.Emma Tytel, Parent, Autumn Crafts Day and Family Nature Days
Very enjoyable, essential to her development and connection to the world. great for her to mix with different children, lovely for her to explore local parkland. great for inspiring her in her own creativity at home.
Children don’t always ‘do’ activities generated at home - it can take an outside practitioner to lead them which is why it is essential to run these projects. It was brilliant, relaxed and heartening to find these resources so close by. Thank you.Sam Butler, Parent, Prospect Play Day
Feedback from 50 Things workshops, Basildon Park, Summer 2013
We had a very informative and fun morning. We learnt a lot and the staff were lovely with the children. Thank you.Mrs. Alvey
Thank you Natalie and Heidi. The event was fascinating. I did appreciate the way in which you encourages my rather shy 4 year olds. I am certain they found the tracking interesting.Thank you.Parent
As a family we had a fascinating morning.Mrs. McPheson
We had a lovely time - very informative and pitched at the right level for children.Parent
We had a fantastic morning tracking animals. It was really informative and the kids loved it. We did the bug hunting too, which was also brilliant. Keep running these events - they’re great! Adult wildlife events would also be really interesting.Liz Everett
I liked it when we guessed what the creature was.Rosie, age 6.
I really liked it - it was fun.Izzy, age 9
It was great!!!Timothy, age 8
I liked it when we had to guess the animals. My favourite animal was a foxLouisa, age 10.