Green scheme targets lockdown blues in south London

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Families in south London will be able to banish the lockdown blues and get close to nature as an outdoor learning and conservation project launches across south London. 

The environmental and educational charity Nature Vibezzz is expanding its Forest School programme in Lambeth and launching it in Greenwich, Southwark, Croydon and Bromley. 

The scheme gives families and children the chance to improve green spaces while getting involved in activities such as tree planting, bushcraft, fire-making, and growing, cooking and eating their own food.

It is being funded by a £30,000 grant from City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charity funder. 

City Bridge Trust Chairman, Giles Shilson, said: “After months of lockdown, I’m sure many of us have a new-found appreciation of the great outdoors and as the weather starts to warm up can’t wait to get out in the fresh air and to reconnect with nature. 

“This scheme will not only have health benefits for hundreds of families but will also help to improve green spaces and to foster a feeling of pride in the local environment among communities across south London.” 

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Dulwich-based Nature Vibezzz has had to suspend most of its outdoor activities during lockdown but will gradually resume them as Covid restrictions are eased. 

Forest School activities take place in parks and woodland and also help to improve under-used green spaces in housing estates. 

Nature Vibezzz Chairman Eric Mbiada said: “A lot of the young people we work with live in flats, are not comfortable with nature and to start with don’t want to get their hands in the soil. After two or three sessions, that completely changes and we see a real improvement in their confidence and self-esteem. 

“They start to feel a sense of ownership of the green spaces they’re working on, develop a curiosity about things like where their food comes from, and it has a knock-on effect on their academic achievement.” 

More information about Nature Vibezzz is online at www.naturevibezzz.org

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