Half a million pounds for nature in Cardiff

Monday 20th February 2017

RSPB Cymru’s Giving Nature a Home in Cardiff project, in partnership with the City of Cardiff Council and Buglife Cymru, is set to benefit from a fantastic £500,000 from the Big Lottery Fund

Giving Nature a Home in Cardiff can now continue to help thousands of young people to spend more time with nature in Cardiff until 2022, thanks to £500,000 from the Big Lottery Fund’s People and Places Programme.

By working in partnership, RSPB Cymru, the City of Cardiff Council and Buglife Cymru will inspire and enable even more young people, their families and communities to actively enjoy and engage with Cardiff’s green spaces for another five years, encouraging them to spend more time regularly outdoors, having fun in their local green spaces.

Since 2014 the project has been busy engaging children and families with wildlife across Cardiff – from the wildflower meadows of Forest Farm to the wilderness of Flat Holm Island. It has provided free outreach sessions to over 60% of Cardiff primary schools, engaging 13,600 children with nature. It has helped communities in 90% of Cardiff wards to spend more time with wildlife through free family events, and worked with local volunteers who’ve donated a fantastic 3,600 hours of their time to help engage communities with nature in the city. However with such a wealth of wildlife in the city there is still plenty of work left to do – and an abundance of green spaces and parks, to explore.

Giving Nature a Home in Cardiff Project Manager, Carolyn Robertson, said: “Thanks to the Big Lottery Fund, we’re delighted that we can now enable even more families across the city to discover the wildlife on their doorstep – inspiring them to take action to not only support nature but to treasure it for years to come.

“We now know that sadly, only one child in every eight in Wales is reasonably connected with the natural environment5 and one in every 14 species in Wales is facing extinction6. This, without question, is cause to continue the vital work achieved through Giving Nature a Home in Cardiff.”

Highlighting the importance of the People and Places programme, Rona Aldrich, Wales Committee Member for the Big Lottery Fund, said: “Programmes like People and Places are making a difference to the lives of so many people in communities across Wales. It delivers on our promise to use National Lottery funding to regenerate and revitalise communities, tackle disadvantage head on and leave a lasting legacy.”

Giving Nature a Home in Cardiff aims to engage a further 50,000 children and their families with nature in the city by 2022 and deliver free outreach sessions in all Cardiff primary schools to help pupils discover the wildlife in their schools grounds. The project is also establishing an exciting partnership with Buglife Cymru’s Cardiff Urban Buzz project to increase pollinator friendly habitats across the city.

Wales Conservation Officer from Buglife Cymru, Clare Dinham, said: “Cardiff is a great city for anyone who loves nature and boasts some stunning green spaces. It is also home to Bute Park, one of the largest urban parks in Wales – lending itself perfectly as one of our cities taking part in the Urban Buzz project.

“We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Giving Nature a Home in Cardiff to continue to create important habitats for our pollinators. Native wildflowers will brighten up the city’s streets and parks whilst providing pollen and nectar to support bees, butterflies, moths and much more. We’re also looking forward to recruiting more volunteers for Urban Buzz to create even more green spaces and exciting opportunities for local people.”

Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Bob Derbyshire, said: “Giving Nature a Home in Cardiff is a great way of encouraging children to not only visit our fantastic parks and open spaces on a regular basis, but to see them as areas where they can have fun as a family. The project has already been incredibly successful, attracting 77,000 visitors to Bute Park since it began in 2014 and holding numerous free family events across the city, so it’s great news that, thanks to the Big Lottery Fund, we’re going to be able to help even more families identify with our wildlife and enjoy the benefits of spending time in the great outdoors.”

Giving Nature a Home in Cardiff is currently funded by Tesco customers through the Welsh carrier bag levy until 31 March 2017. The Project will be funded by the Big Lottery Fund as of 1 April onwards until 2022. We’re also delighted to confirm that thanks to Aldi, through the UK carrier bag levy, the project’s schools outreach work can continue until 2019.