Environmental charity Hubbub has today launched a new fund to support green spaces that benefit local communities.
The charity is urging local community groups across the country to apply for a grant of up to £6,000 to help enhance or create a green space that can be accessed by the local community to visit, relax and connect with nature in.
Applications must relate to any one or more of these four themes: increasing access to green space, upskilling the community, bringing people together and building climate resilience. This could be a community allotment which provides local residents with opportunities to grow their own produce; a green space to help with urban cooling; an area to support biodiversity and attract pollinators; or a space to engage the community on sustainable lifestyles.
Hubbub recently commissioned research by Censuswide* which reveals that more than a third of people in the UK (36%) spend less than an hour a week in nature. Bringing green spaces closer to people will not only help provide better access to such space (a key barrier), it will also boost mental health. The research showed just over 3 in 4 people (78%) who spend time in a green or natural space feel better in nature.
Gavin Ellis, Co-founder at Hubbub said: “This funding will provide a real boost to communal green spaces across the country which bring so many environmental and social benefits. They lift community spirit, support mental health and provide valuable physical health benefits from being outdoors. At the same time, they also support biodiversity, cool our streets and provide opportunities to grow produce.
“The growing season may be over for this year but it’s a great time to plan for 2024 so we’re appealing to community groups to apply for funding before the deadline of 11 January. We’re really looking forward to seeing the impact this has on communities next year.”
TV Presenter and Garden Designer Danny Clarke is Director of Grow to Know CIC, which is engaged in connecting nature to a wider audience through horticulture. He said: “I’ve witnessed first hand the benefits communities get from their involvement in green spaces. By bringing businesses and local communities together we have transformed otherwise unloved pieces of land into areas where people and nature can thrive.
“For example with the help of local residents and volunteers we recently partnered with a large business to reconfigure a small piece of land not far from the Grenfell Tower and turn it into a wildlife haven full of pollinating plants and bug hotels. It was wonderful to see folk from diverse backgrounds and all walks of life enjoying themselves as they got their fingers in the soil while connecting with each other.
“Not only will enhanced spaces in urban settings make us feel better about ourselves, but the habitat will benefit greatly too. The Nature Hubs grant will help communities up and down the country facilitate this by offering funding to support aesthetically pleasing green spaces which can be used for relaxing and connecting with each other.”
Organisations interested in applying should do so here: www.hubbub.org.uk/the-nature-hubs-fund and have until 11 January 2024 to apply. Successful organisations will receive their funding by the end of February 2024 to coincide with the start of the next growing season.