Thanks to a £3,000 donation from the Southern Co-operative’s ‘Love Your Neighbourhood’ campaign, we have been able to develop our work with children and young people.Our Nature Tots programme of muddy fun for under-fives is taking place at six different locations in Sussex, and our Youth Ranger groups have given volunteers aged 16-25 years the opportunity to learn new skills and enhance their career prospects.
At Nature Tots we’ve bought kettles for the campfire, buckets and trowels for the mud café, and bowsaws for making wooden medallions and miniature tractor wheels.Having extra equipment means the Tots don’t need to queue for their turn – and we all know how patient a three-year old can be when waiting to get their hands on something new and exciting! Our new groups in Brighton and Horsham have had extra tools and equipment to help them get off the ground, and we’ve been able to splash out on healthy fruit kebab snacks, which have gone down well with the Tots and their parents.
Our Youth Rangers groups in Crawley and Brighton have been busy working to improve local green spaces for wildlife including hedge planting and creating butterfly banks planted with nectar-rich native wild flowers.At Tilgate Park, Crawley, they have built a hibernaculum for slow worms and grass snakes as a safe haven to spend the winter in. The Brighton group has held a beach clean and made a rain garden in nearby Portslade to help reduce flooding by holding back storm water while providing a valuable habitat for wildlife. They have also encouraged local children to take part in a guided bat walk. Thanks to the funding, they have been able to buy new bowsaw blades, loppers and spades to carry out their work.
The My Wild Neighbourhood campaign is supported by proceeds from the 5p carrier bag levy collected by the Southern Co-operative and distributed to Sussex Wildlife Trust and other Wildlife Trusts in the South East. For further information on our work please visit our Nature Tots or Youth Rangers pages.