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  • Inspiring Young People: Octopus is collaborating on the National Citizen Service in Islington, which is being led The Challenge. Why?...because we just love youth-led social action. Read more...
  • Urban Wild Places: We are encouraging urban communities to grow wild, play outdoors - no matter what age you are, and inspire communities through nature in their neighbourhood. Read more...
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  • StayWell, LiveWell: StayWell, LiveWell is a brand new Big Lottery funded project! Read more...

"It's been amazing how people have become enthused about learning about nature. The  Elders Group at Holloway Neighbourhood Group is first in line to sign up for new activities whatever the weather. Our eldest participant is 86 and has joined us on a Signs of Spring nature walk along the Parkland Walk, visited Kenwood to look at the trees and learnt about Coppicing and Forest Gardening"

Anita Gracie, Project Development Officer

"The Wild Places project is a great initiative to help engage Islington's diverse community with the wilder parts of the Borough and our capital city. Despite the urban nature of our Borough, and the smallest amount of Greenspace per person in London, we still have some fascinating Wild Spaces, from old woodland walks and open meadows to our network of canals and manmade rivers. Engaging people from all our various communities is a very important task, and the Wild Places project is achieving this through a wide range of innovative events and projects."

Matthew Loveday, Nature Conservation Ranger (Team Leader)

Wild Places - Inspiring Communities, Engaging through Nature

It is all about engaging communities who have limited or no access to nature and the 'great outdoors'. It brings communities together to learn about nature and bio-diversity and experience it for themselves.

Wild Places Banner 1

Would you like to make a difference to natural areas within Islington's parks and enjoy working with local peopel to develop new growing spaces?

This post offers an exciting opportunity to be part of an innovative new programme to engage those in Islington who have limited access to, or are excluded from natural places, green spaces and the 'great outdoors' by providing an exciting seasonal Trail Blazer programme of activities, informal and experiential learning opportuniteis, community-based bio-diversity activities and will support the creation of community growing spaces.  

It is essential that you have experience of working with local communities and can demonstrate how you have previously managed successful community development programmes, including those with a community gardening/growing, natural environment focus. Your partneship working, influencing and public relations skills are also key, as you will be required to secure community buy-in and help raise the profile of the project.

The Urban Wild Places project is supported by the Big Lottery, Reaching Communities programme.


What is Wild Places?

Through an exciting programme of learning excursions to beautiful greenspaces in and around London, a wide variety of experiential activities, arts and crafts projects, creative workshops and local guided walks, Wild Places offers the opportunity to experience, learn about and enjoy the plants, birds and wildlife that live around us. 


Wp Photos


Wild Places is delivered through four of Islington's largest Community Centres: Caxton House Community Centre, Whittington Park Community Centre, Holloway Neighbourhood Group and Hilldrop Community Centre, in partnership with Islington's Ecology Centre and the Friends of Whittington Park. 

Over the past 23 months, our learning programmes have been enriched through the collaborations with the London Wildlife Trust's 'Inclusive London' and the Corporation of London 'Branching Out' projects, as well as the London Wetlands Centre.  Our local education partners include Freightliners Farm, Culpepper Community Gardens and freelance experts including a Wildlife Ranger, and a professional naturalist who now offers drawing workshops.

Here's what some of our participants have to say about the project and the impact it's having:

Tia (aged 11): 'I have learnt that all the plants need a safe environment to keep them healthy.' She resolved to change one thing - she would be 'stopping people destroying the plants and ponds.' She further commented 'the next time I visit this garden I will love to make my own plot.'

The CEO at the Old Fire Station (HNG) has observed: 'Over the past couple of months there has been a real sense that the project has really added value to what we can offer groups at the centre. It has helped to create a buzz and we have heard a people saying "Oh, there's a lot of things happening there" when talking about the centre. Interestingly, all our numbers (of users) are up across the board and have been for the past couple of months, particularly the lunch club. Very often there are Wild Places activities after the lunch club.'

Elaine, who brought her grandson along to the trip to Rainham Marshes said: '(he) loved the day, there was so much space, so much wildlife and fun to be had, he loved the pond dipping and identifing pond life. For the bird box making and insect box making, staff were very informative, he has learnt a lot and would not learn these things locally, learning a lot about the names of insects and wildlife. It gives them an interest at an early age, its so important to give them good grounding to take it up later in life.'


Grass and Flowers right

Timetable of events