Hubbub, the environmental charity, has unveiled a new grant fund totaling £300,000 to support green spaces benefiting local communities. The initiative encourages local community groups nationwide to apply for grants of up to £6,000 to enhance or create accessible green spaces for community members to visit, relax, and connect with nature.
Applicants are encouraged to align their proposals with any or all of the following four themes: increasing access to green space, upskilling the community, fostering community connections, and building climate resilience. Examples include community allotments for local produce cultivation, urban cooling green spaces, areas supporting biodiversity and pollinator attraction, or spaces promoting community engagement in sustainable lifestyles.
Recent research commissioned by Hubbub and conducted by Censuswide* highlights that over a third of people in the UK (36%) spend less than an hour a week in nature. By bringing green spaces closer to communities, the initiative aims to address this key barrier and improve mental health. The research revealed that over three-quarters of people (78%) feel better in nature, emphasizing the positive impact of spending time in green or natural spaces.
Gavin Ellis, Co-founder at Hubbub, expressed enthusiasm for the initiative, stating, “This funding will provide a real boost to communal green spaces across the country which bring so many environmental and social benefits. They lift community spirit, support mental health and provide valuable physical health benefits from being outdoors. At the same time, they also support biodiversity, cool our streets and provide opportunities to grow produce.
“The growing season may be over for this year but it’s a great time to plan for 2024 so we’re appealing to community groups to apply for funding before the deadline of 11 January. We’re really looking forward to seeing the impact this has on communities next year“
Renowned TV Presenter and Garden Designer Danny Clarke, Director of Grow to Know CIC, emphasized the transformative power of green spaces for communities, stating, “
I’ve witnessed first hand the benefits communities get from their involvement in green spaces. By bringing businesses and local communities together we have transformed otherwise unloved pieces of land into areas where people and nature can thrive.
“For example with the help of local residents and volunteers we recently partnered with a large business to reconfigure a small piece of land not far from the Grenfell Tower and turn it into a wildlife haven full of pollinating plants and bug hotels. It was wonderful to see folk from diverse backgrounds and all walks of life enjoying themselves as they got their fingers in the soil while connecting with each other.
“Not only will enhanced spaces in urban settings make us feel better about ourselves, but the habitat will benefit greatly too. The Nature Hubs grant will help communities up and down the country facilitate this by offering funding to support aesthetically pleasing green spaces which can be used for relaxing and connecting with each other.“
Organizations interested in applying for the grant can do so at www.hubbub.org.uk/the-nature-hubs-fund, with a deadline of 11 January 2024. Successful applicants will receive their funding by the end of February 2024, aligning with the start of the next growing season.
*Censuswide surveyed 3001 UK residents 16+ between 29.09.2023 – 05.10.2023
Hubbub is an environmental charity dedicated to inspiring action that benefits the environment and society. By creating impactful campaigns on topics like food consumption, clothing choices, green spaces, and community support, Hubbub raises awareness and encourages simple, often fun, actions that make a positive difference. The charity brings together people, community groups, businesses, and local authorities to drive change, using collective power to influence government and business decisions for greener choices. Hubbub has been recognized for its achievements, winning awards such as Best Social Media Presence in 2021 and the Charity of the Year Award in both 2020 and 2023 at the Charity Times Awards. Since 2014, Hubbub has executed over 154 pioneering environmental campaigns in collaboration with over 2,500 partners, influencing national conversations on key environmental issues. Some of Hubbub’s notable campaigns include #InTheLoop, Live LAGOM, and the establishment of a network of over 450 Community Fridges across the UK.