Charity sets out to change adults’ attitude to London’s nature

A charity is on a mission to educate adults on London’s local wildlife and nature through its new environmental project.

City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charitable arm, has awarded Lambeth charity Roots and Shoots £120,000 to help Londoner’s make the best of the city’s greenery.

The money will fund an environmental education programme to teach families about the importance of inner city nature and growing local produce. A food growing programme will be on offer which will identify how to grow food and herbs in tight City spaces.

The organisation’s programme to date has been focused on sessions for primary schools through its wildlife garden, 'wild' orchard with local varieties of apples, and a half acre of buildings and gardens but seeks to expand the work and direct it more towards adults.

The grant will now be used to go beyond this school audience to bring adults in to Roots and Shoots for stimulating and enlightening evening classes and weekend workshops. It will also offer learning opportunities for the family to take part in together.

Themes that the new adult and family learning programmes will explore include bees, biodiversity, evolution, food growing, the seasons in the wildlife garden and will include creative work with visiting artists, storytellers and other performers. Professional scientists will also be invited to participate.

Alison Gowman, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee, commented:

“Part of this programme is seeking to teach more Londoners about the benefit of growing food more locally – and there has never been a better time for this.

“There is always more that can be done to give communities a greater understanding and knowledge of the local biodiversity and ‘green environment’, and this project is a great way to do this.

“We can enhance what the children learn and how they use the knowledge by including their parents and carers so as to really make a difference.

“City Bridge Trust is committed to making London a fairer place to work and live.”

Dr. David Perkins, Environmental Education Manager at Roots and Shoots, added:

“It is now an accepted truth that exposing children to nature, giving them 'transformative experiences' with life forms seemingly beyond their urban upbringing, is essential if we are to ensure the future of our environment - and thus of our culture.

“A revolution in attitudes and approaches to bugs and beasts in the people who children live with and are influenced by every day is absolutely necessary if nature conservation programmes are to have any lasting success.

“The new projects will go beyond our existing provision to get at these adults and give them the same profound and transforming experiences with nature that their children have had previously”.

The education programme will take place in the extensive gardens, greenhouses and the purpose-built study centre, the Natural Roots Building.

Roots and Shoots has been delivering environmental education programmes for over 35 years and is well-established in its local community.

Each year the charity works with up to thirty 16-25 year olds who have difficulty coping in the traditional educational system, providing alternative education.

City Bridge Trust is the funding arm of the City of London Corporation’s charity, Bridge House Estates. It is London’s biggest independent grant giver, making grants of £20 million a year to tackle disadvantage across the capital.

The Trust has awarded around 7,800 grants totalling over £380 million since it first began in 1995. It helps achieve the City Corporation’s aim of changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of Londoners.


Media Enquiries

Kristina Drake

Media Officer, City of London Corporation

07710860884 / 020 7332 1125

Notes to editors

About the City of London Corporation:

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK.