Crewe: Shop chain's new project to help communities to protect and restore nature

New Neighbourhood partnership project will put local communities at the heart of efforts to protect and restore nature across the UK


By Ryan Parker

Posted: Monday, 16th October 2023 2:30 pm


Co-op has announced a new UK-wide initiative seeking to help local, mostly urban communities stand up for nature in their neighbourhoods (Jonathan White).
Co-op has announced a new UK-wide initiative seeking to help local, mostly urban communities stand up for nature in their neighbourhoods (Jonathan White).
Moments that matter

Co-op has announced a new UK-wide initiative seeking to help local, mostly urban communities stand up for nature in their neighbourhoods. 

The Nature Neighbourhoods initiative hopes to aid communities to tackle global climate change and nature crises at a local level. 

Project Manager for the Nature Neighbourhoods partnership, Rory Crawford, said: "Urban nature doesn't tend to be the focus of wildlife documentaries.

Co-op will support communities to create people-powered plans for nature in their local area (Ryan Parker).

"But most of us live in urban areas, and they present the biggest opportunity for people to access and take action for nature on a day-to-day basis." 

Three-quarters of people in the UK are worried about the state of nature, yet we are in the bottom 10 per cent of countries globally for protecting it. 

In March 2023, the People's Plan for Nature set out recommendations to reverse the UK's shocking declines in nature, including calls for greater investment in ways to help communities take action to protect and renew nature at a neighbourhood level.

The Nature Neighbourhoods project is a direct response to those calls. 

As part of the Nature Neighbourhoods project, 18 community organisations will receive support from three of the UK's largest nature charities – WWF, the RSPB and the National Trust. 

The organisations have come together as part of Save Our Wild Isles, an ongoing partnership to act for nature's recovery in the UK, and along with leading convenience retailer Co-op will support communities to create people-powered plans for nature in their local area. 

Each Nature Neighbourhood plan will be created by bringing local communities and decision makers together to ensure each plan centres on the community's priorities for tackling the nature and climate crises. 

There will be a particular focus on working with urban communities, as while most people live in town and cities, there are often substantial barriers to accessing nature in urban environments, along with higher social and economic inequalities. 

Crewe Clean Team is one of the local Co-op causes, supported by Co-op members and the Co-op's Local Community Fund (Nub News).

It is not the only good thing the ethical supermarket has done locally for Mother Nature.

Nature Neighbourhoods has been funded by a £750,000 grant from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest community funder in the UK, and £300,000 from Co-op. 

The national charities will work closely with local organisations such as community centres, social enterprises, and volunteer food growing collectives.

These community organisations will be supported to bring together local residents, businesses and decision makers, and understand what they want and need to create a long-term plan for nature in their neighbourhoods. 

Nature Neighbourhoods will also be given access to Co-op's unique network of Member Pioneers, who bring people together to inspire and empower them to change the game.

Member Pioneers work to tackle the big issues Co-op members and their communities care about, to connect and co-operate to create happy, healthy communities for everyone. 

Director of technical, agriculture and sustainability at Co-op, Guy Stuart, added: "Our members tell us how concerned they are around the effects of the climate crisis on people and the planet.

"Nature restoration and the halting of biodiversity-loss forms a central part on our approach to climate action, so our partnership with Nature Neighbourhoods is a landmark moment.

Nature Neighbourhoods has been funded by a £750,000 grant from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest community funder in the UK, and £300,000 from Co-op (Ryan Parker).

"With a presence in every postal area in the country, we're perfectly positioned to support directly into communities, through Co-op members and colleagues and our Member Pioneers.

"Through the power of co-operation, we can drive lasting change and help vulnerable communities restore nature, making them a better place to work, play, live and learn." 

If you are looking to save some money, consider becoming a Co-op member HERE.

READ MORE: Crewe woman charged after stealing over £150 of items from chain store.

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