2020 saw the launch of TEP’s Environment Grant, a fund established by the company to offer financial support to activities that can further the environmental profession and raise awareness of environmental issues. In November, TEP was proud to award two applicants with the funds to complete their projects.
The first, St Basil’s Catholic Primary School in Widnes applied for funds to help improve the school’s natural environment. Their journey started back in 2019 when the school joined the Ignite Zoo curriculum design project. The project introduced conservation as a core part of the curriculum, so more children and teachers can become part of creating a better future for our planet. It soon became clear to them that this project could continue to influence the school’s curriculum even after the project concluded. With that in mind, St Basil’s decided they wanted to consider British Native Wildlife as this year’s conservation theme.
On reflection and to practice what they teach, they sought to develop the natural environment in the school’s grounds. The first stage would be to create a wildlife garden and wildflower meadow, which will provide pupils with plenty of opportunity for outdoor learning, promote both conservation and environmental education and help to nurture a generation of conservation advocates. Their objectives are to increase biodiversity of native birds, wildlife and plant life and to develop in all learners a sense of awe, wonder and curiosity in the natural world. They want to ensure all learners have the opportunity to experience natural spaces and wildlife. TEP was impressed with the school’s dedication to conservation and self-reflection in terms of realising their need to invest in their own green spaces. They also fulfilled TEP’s criteria of being able to further the environmental profession through teaching opportunities and raising awareness of environmental issues through their conservation themes. Their project is now underway and we’re excited to be following their progress as it develops.
The second awardee was PhD candidate Richard Bentley, who is a Sound Studies Associate Lecturer and Researcher at Oxford Brookes University, as well as Creative Director at Small Silence. Richard has been using his PhD to move his work into sound studies, particularly the study of tranquillity, positive experiences of silence and the impact of the soundscape on our perception of quiet. He has been working with organisations such as Quiet Parks International (US), Silent Space (UK) and Hush City App (Germany) to identify, map and share information about quiet spaces and their benefits for human wellbeing and the environment. TEP’s Environment Grant will enable him to see first-hand, some of the work already carried out by acoustic ecologists, acousticians and urban planners. He will discuss with them how existing methodologies for acoustic analysis are implemented in the field and see how he can adapt these for his own work. TEP was fascinated with Richard’s intentions to develop his work in the field of acoustic ecology, which will also contribute to the protection and promotion of quiet green spaces. Both of these fulfil the Grant’s criteria of being able to further the environmental profession and raise awareness of environmental issues. We wish Richard all the best in his studies and remain eager to learn more.
If either of these projects has inspired you and you would like help funding your own environmental project or a tree planting initiative, the Environment Grant submission window is now open but don’t delay, the window closes on the 30th June 2021.
For more information about the Environment and Mersey Forest Grants click here.