Among our most recent batch of grants awarded in September, there are many education initiatives doing great work, teaching children and young people about nature, the countryside and the environment.
One particular theme that stands out is gardening – we are currently funding an increasing number of community and school gardening projects, and helping to train young people in horticulture – an industry suffering from real skill shortages. Here are just some examples of the latest ECT grant recipients helping to cultivate our budding young gardeners of the future.
Groundwork Northamptonshire runs a community gardening and wildlife project in Kettering. A £7,400 grant from ECT is supporting the project’s environmental education sessions for schools, teaching children about the environment, wildlife, animal care, vegetable growing and where food comes from.
We have also awarded £6,550 to the Manchester Environmental Education Network to help fund forest gardens for schools. A forest garden recreates a woodland ecosystem through planting fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs and perennial vegetables. The grant will help create forest gardens at two local schools and generate curriculum resources.
A £5,000 grant has been awarded to the Cambridge-based Professional Gardeners’ Trust to help young people get the skills and qualifications they need to pursue careers in horticulture.
And £10,000 has been awarded to the historic Swiss Garden at Old Warden Park, near Biggleswade help train apprentices. This Regency garden, modelled on Swiss scenery fashionable in the 1830s, is currently being restored. The project, run by the Richard Ormonde Shuttleworth Remembrance Trust, will offer training in rustic decoration, stone conservation, garden maintenance and horticulture.
ECT has also awarded £8,871 to the Scotswood Natural Community Garden – an area of meadows, woodland, orchards, ponds and vegetable plots in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The garden is used as an environment education resource for schools and the grant will help fund a part-time education manager and education officer.
In Stroud, Gloucestershire, ECT is funding two gardening projects. £8,500 has been donated to the Stroud Valleys Project to help pay for an environmental education outreach officer. The organisation aims to provide a range of sustainable gardening projects for local schools.
And a £6,371 grant has gone to The Door Youth Project in Stroud to help train young people to become self-employed gardeners. The Door’s new initiative will teach them the horticulture and business skills needed. The ECT donation allows the project to employ a part-time tutor.
Sutton Community Farm in the London suburbs has been awarded £10,000 to help it train apprentices. This not-for-profit social enterprise is to offer a structured apprenticeship programme, giving trainees the skills and experience needed to manage land to grow a range of crops.
Sunderland-based charity Community Environmental Educational Developments (CEED) received an £8,330 grant to fund environmental education programmes for disadvantaged youngsters. The funding will contribute to training sessions for young people in the environment, conservation, traditional skills, gardening and green woodworking, to give them new skills and help them into further education or employment.