Past projects: Green PLACE Project

The Green PLACE project was designed to connect young people with nature and empower them to make change in their communities. It was coordinated by Cumbria Development & Education Centre (CDEC), with input from Playful Nature, Cumbria Action for Sustainability and North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and worked with communities across Cumbria.

In November 2021, SENS contacted Staveley Primary School to instigate their involvement with the project. The next step was to meet in Staveley to look at green space opportunities within the village, including the school grounds.

From spring 2022, CDEC worked with the school on a monthly basis, helping children to explore issues relating to green spaces and biodiversity through a range of creative and practical projects, including outdoor education, working with sound and visual artists, taking part in tutorials about green space, community and heritage, and other curriculum-linked learning.

A Community Celebration Day took place in June 2022, in collaboration with Staveley Village Association (SVA). It included land art workshops with environmental artist Richard Shilling and an opportunity to view the new village playground and voice opinions on the addition of a pump track, as well as other development ideas from the SVA.

SENS participated in activities and discussions around how to make shared community spaces enjoyable and inclusive for everyone in the community, whilst preserving and enhancing our environment.

Later in June, SENS took part in a walk around the village with Staveley School pupils, showing them the different areas where their input would be very welcome – such as Jack’s Corner, the insect hotel and wildflower area, and the river. Representatives in each location explained the tasks available, like water sampling as part of the Clean River Kent Campaign (CRKC) summer monitoring programme.

In October 2022, we were part of an inspiring day at Staveley Primary School, organised by the CDEC and South Cumbria Rivers Trust. Pupils planted two new planters, supplied by SENS, at Jack’s Corner, and watched a short film we commissioned about biodiversity, as well as hearing an update from CRKC.

The project ended in November 2022, with outcomes from the practical and creative elements showcased at an exhibition at Tullie House Museum, Carlisle, along with work from several other communities in Cumbria.