Our completed community grants pages show all the projects that have now completed and been successfully funded through the community grants scheme. The pages are grouped according to year or relaunch round the grant was awarded in.
Completed Grants Page 2
Asquith Primary School
Asquith Primary School’s project saw them Celebrate Sherwood by taking part in fun and engaging activities in the woods, developing their understanding of Sherwood and learning about the ancient woodlands,
Year 1 pupils visited Vicar Water and took part in various outdoor activities including den building. They also learnt about different wildlife habitats, including a walk to the butterfly meadow. Some of the pupils had never experienced walking at great length and were kept engaged by discussing the many plants that they saw, also taking part in a treasure hunt to see what they could find and sourcing natural materials to be used in art work.
Pupils also visited Sherwood Forest, engaging with the surroundings, with one pupil ‘so fascinated by the large trees and the shapes of their branches, he took great delight in moving the group along to the next amazing tree’.
After their return to school, pupils have continued with their Forest School sessions until the end of the school year.
By engaging their Forest School Leader/training Leader in this project, the pupil’s skills have been enhanced, confidence has grown and the challenges/activities/ experiences that they are planning in their Forest School sessions are better.
Newark Book Festival
This project saw the development of the Newark Book Festival's outreach programme, working with partners and communities in Edwinstowe and the Sherwood Forest area.
A range of talks, walks, workshops and family activities were programmed in, focussing on the area surrounding Edwinstowe - nature, Sherwood Forest, insect discoveries. Artistic and heritage activities such as creative writing workshops using heritage as inspiration, author talks exploring the local myths, stories and rich heritage of the area, arts and crafts sessions, storytelling for children, street theatre and a literature and heritage village. All of the activities took place in multiple venues across Edwinstowe in order to raise awareness of everywhere that the village has to offer.
The Festival was able to closely work with community and heritage partners to tailor make the programme content to match the area and reach new audiences and engagement methods. This funding has allowed the Festival to trial out the using of new spaces across the whole of Edwinstowe. Audiences were found to engage more in Edwinstowe and rather than just visiting Sherwood Forest or the Library they then stayed longer and travelled across the village, engaging and learning about local heritage through the Church visits for example, or deepening their knowledge in the RSPB, also engaging with the up and coming cycle tour and arts workshops.
The outreach programme was a great success, with one participant that said she was leaving 'as giddy as a child' because for the first time in 70 years she was having the opportunity to make postcards, use ink, messy play and connecting with nature in fun, creative ways.
Forest Town Nature Conservation Group
Forest Town Nature Conservation Group’s (FTNCG’s) Biodiversity Skills Training project offered opportunities to celebrate Sherwood’s natural heritage – including identifying veteran trees on the Spa Ponds Nature Reserve site. Alongside providing informal learning and volunteering opportunities focussed on developing practical biodiversity skills.
The project saw an experienced professional trainer, design and deliver a series of six biodiversity skills training sessions to progress learning about how to identify and look after veteran and potential future veteran trees at Spa Ponds. This included support identifying and GPS mapping trees, especially veteran / potential veterans (e.g. all the oaks) in Peel Wood / Zone 7; and support with hedgerow management, evaluation of future hedgerow work, tree and plant identification; and advice and guidance regarding bird and bat box placement; and health & safety training - both generic and as it relates to crown raising, coppicing, felling, and other tree work, including the safe use of tools such as saws and billhooks.
The project enabled new volunteers to join without first having to apply for a space on the programme and taught them a range of practical biodiversity and nature conservation skills.
The group will continue to make use of the PPE and new tools that was purchased as a direct result of the M2M funded project and will make good use of the learning materials produced for the project to support and develop their approach to managing the biodiversity of the wildlife site.
Wild Things Ecological Education Collective
This project delivered a 6 week Forest School programme to children aged 9-11 from Glade Hill Primary school, who are currently struggling with mental health and social and educational inclusion.
The programme was designed to give the children a high impacting introduction to a public woodland that is within walking distance of their school, but that they were un-likely to be already accessing. The activities were designed to increase children's familiarity and confidence with; navigating themselves around the woods, their physical confidence in managing both the terrain and the plants/insects that they might encounter and to give them ideas about activities that they could do in the woods in the future.
‘We feel that all 18 of the participants felt more confident about their physical abilities in a woodland terrain by the end of their time at Forest School and that for a few of the children, their experiences had given them greater confidence in their physical abilities that will hopefully positively impact their ability to become involved in sport and health activities in the future.’
Berry Hill Primary
Berry Hill celebrated Sherwood by taking part in a Forest School, engaging in fun and educational activities whilst in a woodland area. They also took time to develop their understanding of Sherwood, learning about the ancient woodlands, animals that lived there and considered how the area has changed over time.
The school also visited Vicar Water, learning about the many different wildlife habitats and visited the butterfly meadow. Children also took part in various activities linking them to the woodland, such as treasure hunts and den building.
On their return to school, the children have continued with their Forest School sessions, using the skills they have learnt and applying their knowledge about the woods. They also worked on habitat development and creating spaces for wildlife.
Berry Hill Primary are pleased to report that the legacy from this project has left the school with a long term commitment and the ability to run Forest School sessions in school, to involve even more children with these activities.
Sam’s Workplace was created to purchase equipment and tools, to be able to protect and diversify the wildlife at allotments and to encourage a richer and more varied range of animals to visit the area.
Several areas for wildlife were created at their allotments. Hedgehogs have been staying at the hedgehog house, as well as butterflies, frogs, bees and a wormery produced liquid fertilizer which helped with growing the vegetables. The different aspects of the wildlife areas were spread out across the allotment areas, so each service user has at least one wildlife aspect to their allotment plot and took ownership of this.
This project educated the users to look at correct placement for animal environments, not just what looks best, or where they thought it should be. They also took time to look at the wildlife already in place and what they do and how they could support that, rather than put in what we think they need.
It has left a legacy of protection and diversification of the local wildlife and instilled a love of wildlife to the adults with learning disabilities and how best they can support that.
Friends of Bestwood Park
The Friends of Bestwood Park Project aimed to develop a newsletter, undertake conservation tasks and purchase moth monitoring equipment.
The funding allowed the newly formed group to record over 6000 historic records of sightings within the park, that have now been added to a national database, accessible to everyone. The purchase of equipment will enable members to become more skilled in wildlife recording and gain a deeper understanding of wildlife within in the park for future events and initiatives. The group also produced a printed magazine and newsletter that was distributed in the park’s café noticeboards and with local groups, outlining the work of the Wildlife group to date. Funding was also made available for the purchase of bat boxes and the group were able to implement these in conjunction with Nottinghamshire Bat Group and Notts County Council.
Everyone in the group has benefitted from sharing knowledge and learning from each other, plus they have also gained knowledge from moth nights/bird walks etc.
Friends of Nottingham Archive
The Friends of Nottingham Archives aimed to give a better understanding of the history and heritage of Rufford Abbey and its important role in the wider Sherwood Forest area, and the county in general, encouraging a greater understanding of their local environment and raising awareness of the local stories culminating in producing a publication of the Saville archive.
The funding enabled the group to actively participate in work that ultimately improved the archives catalogue, opening up a collection of documents that will be accessible to a wider audience and saw the group develop skills; writing for commercial publishing and understanding the importance of editing and proof reading.
A book launch was held and attended by local dignitaries. The book is now available in county libraries and available to purchase via the Rufford Abbey gift shop and local independent book shops.
Newark Book Festival Part 2
Newark Book Festival ran a series of events within the Sherwood Forest area, encouraging people to engage with community based heritage and nature activities.
Events were held at the RSPB Edwinstowe site and included a literature village with bookstalls, nature-themed crafts and activities plus games, a Robin Hood Exhibition at St Mary’s Church; arts and craft activities with AllyPally Arts at Sherwood Arts and Crafts Centre (A Secret Garden Centre); Poetry and Stories with Chris White at Edwinstowe Library; Herb Walks with Hannah Sylvester in Sherwood Forest;WilderNests with HandMade Theatre in the Amphitheatre at the RSPB Visitors’ Centre; and a “Scrawl Crawl” art walk with Emily Cartwright.
The other festival day was at Bilsthorpe Heritage Museum on Sunday 11th June, which included a mini literature village with bookstalls, two local history displays, a schools project, an arts and crafts participatory area with AllyPally Arts, music in the gardens with local musician Adam Schofield, and guided village walks with local historian Chris Mathews.
The project has allowed Newark Book Festival to develop and maintain close ties with local businesses, libraries and heritage organisations, cementing partnerships with these organisations, as well as ensuring that audiences in more rural areas of Newark and Sherwood District understand that the Newark Book Festival is a place for all readers, writers and lovers of books, arts, creativity and heritage.
Wild Things Ecological Education Collective Part 2
Wild Things Ecological continued with their Forest School work and ran A Forest School project that aimed to build a lasting connection between a group of local children from Bestwood Estate (and their families) with Bestwood Country Park.
The funding allowed Wild Things to run 2 x 6 week Forest schools for 2 x local primary schools.
Over the weeks they chose to take part in some or all of the following activities; designing and building group shelters, learning knot work, learning how to safely use tools for craft and conservation (knives, loppers, secatares, bill hooks, bow saws, hand drills), orienteering games, learning plant I.D and uses, coppicing hazel wood for carving explorer’s sticks, making wooden boxes with slide opening lids, making wooden mallets, making wooden keyrings, printing on material with leaves, lighting and cooking on open fires (making sweet dough, jam out of wild raspberries, stinging nettle soup, pop corn, and toast), making hot drinks on storm kettles, archery, supervised tree climbing, relaxing in hammocks and on a rope swing. On the last session they celebrated the children’s achievements around a cooking fire and shared what they had all enjoyed, any challenges that had been experienced, and achievements they had been proud of.
All the children who attended were very keen to be able to return to the woods and were also more confident to attempt this with family. The group feel that the lasting legacy of this project was to give children the opportunity to develop a strong relationship with a Country Park that is on their door step and to also strengthen the ties between the children and their families with the woods as a future recreational resource.
View our other completed projects
- Edwinstowe Parish Council
- Mine2 Minds
- Social Action Hub
- The Sherwood Forest Trust
- St Mary's Church, Edwinstowe
- Birklands Ringing Group
- Bilsthorpe Heritage Museum