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Gloucestershire Nature on Prescription Funding 2023

Wildlife Grafitti Mural Project with schools 1 - Tewkesbury Nature Reserve_edited.jpg

Picture credit - Tewkesbury Nature Reserve

Gloucestershire Nature on Prescription Funding 2023

 

Thanks to a significant investment of £100,000 from NHS Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board, Gloucestershire Local Nature Partnership has made grants to enable three organisations to deliver green social prescribing projects to address health inequalities.

We are very happy to be funding Nature on Prescription projects by:

  • Tewkesbury Nature Reserve

  • Wilde Earth Journeys

  • Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust

Tewkesbury Nature Reserve will be running the Wildlife and Water for Wellbeing (3W) project.  The reserve is at the centre of housing estates in Tewkesbury South ward, one of the communities in Gloucestershire that is within the most deprived 20% in the Index of Multiple Deprivation.  They will be working with community partners including Priors Park Neighbourhood Project, Caring for Communities and People and Age UK Gloucestershire.  Some of the activities they will be offering, to help improve physical and mental health and wellbeing, include arts-based nature activities for older people, inter-generational activities such as caring for the community orchard, citizen science including monitoring water quality, and themed walks suitable for people with particular needs.

Wilde Earth Journeys in the Forest of Dean will be working with Art Space to deliver a Nature on Prescription programme for Cinderford West, also one of the communities in Gloucestershire that are within the most deprived 20% in the Index of Multiple Deprivation.   Wilde Earth Journeys will offer wellbeing walks with experienced leaders and assistance, based on Forest Bathing (Shinrin Yoku), mindfulness and nature connection.  Art Space will be creating nature-inspired art activities, using natural resources and engaging with nature as much as possible.

Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust will be expanding their Nature Nurtures programme for children to cover disadvantaged communities across Gloucestershire, including in Gloucester and Cheltenham.  The pilot phase of Nature Nurtures showed how this programme supported children with wellbeing concerns or mild mental health issues to find some relief from the difficulties they are facing by immersing them in nature.  Session topics might include bushcraft, foraging, story telling, woodland play, den building and campfire time.

There was strong competition with 19 organisations putting forward a range of excellent ideas around Gloucestershire, showing the impressive potential for many more projects for nature connection or community nature projects that can bring health and social benefits.  We only funded three projects because we took an approach of ensuring a workable level of resources and capacity for each project.

 

Thank you to all organisations who developed ideas – it’s great to hear the interest and skills for working in this field.  Each of the funded projects will have a strong focus on evaluation, to help build the evidence to steer and strengthen the case for green social prescribing in Gloucestershire in the future.

 

Many thanks also to the decision-making group, including individuals from NHS Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board, Barnwood Trust and University of Gloucestershire.

foraging - Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust_edited.jpg

Picture credit: Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust

Documents and Resources

 

The funding guidelines that we worked to can be found here:  Nature on Prescription Funding Guidelines 2023.pdf

This Nature on Prescription handbook is free to access and contains evidence-based guidance for providers, commissioners and referrers: https://www.ecehh.org/research/nature-prescription-handbook/

A Natural Health Service: Improving Lives and Saving Money – a report from The Wildlife Trusts in July 2023 evaluating the financial benefits of green social prescribing projects:  https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/news/health-projects-save-nhs-time-and-money

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