Outdoor play project secures £46,700 lottery grant

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A partnership of Derbyshire organisations has won a £46,700 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a project helping parents, carers and children to understand and enjoy Ilkeston’s urban green spaces.

Play Wild is a series of 53 events which will take place across the region between June and November, encouraging wild play such as den building and tree climbing.

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust spokesman Diane Gould said: “The project will give people the confidence to get closer to nature and give children opportunity to enjoy all the health and wellbeing benefits which being out in a natural environment has been shown to provide.”

The project came about after research found that many parents, especially in towns and cities, do not take their children to wild places - often because they do not know about them, or are not confident about knowing what they could do there.

Diane added: “We hope this will encourage children to have a good relationship with the natural world, and grow up with a desire to look after Derbyshire’s wildlife.

HLF spokesman Jonathan Platt added: “This fantastic project, made possible by National Lottery players, will re-connect local people to the nature on their doorstep and help families to explore the fascinating if often hidden world around them.”

Play Wild is a joint initiative by the trust, the Eastern Moors Partnership, Natural England, National Trust, Peak District National Park Authority, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, University of Derby and the RSPB.

For more details on any upcoming events, visit www.derbyshirewildlifetrust.org.uk.