Our spy-themed community project, delivered in partnership with The Conservation Volunteers, reconnected local people to an ancient woodland on their doorstep and enabled wildlife to thrive.
Lousehill Copse is located in a dense housing area in Reading, meaning residents had long overlooked its beauty. Armed with funding from The Conservation Volunteers, thanks to a Heritage Lottery grant and in collaboration with Catalyst Housing and Reading Borough Council, we set about restoring the woodland, improving biodiversity and enhancing its natural space for wildlife and people.
- We restored previously impassable pathways and designed and installed a permanent waymarked workout trail with wildlife facts
- We ran Forest school programmes for six primary schools within walking distance.
- We facilitated woodland Wild Day community events.
And what better way to inspire young and old to enjoy this wonderful new space than an MI5-style launch event complete with secret agents, spy kits and coded woodland missions! The perfect mix of creative arts, Forest School and community conservation activities.
Making lasting change
Recognised in 2019 by The Outdoor Learning Awards for their Community Development Award, Mission Lousehill has left a lasting legacy on the local area and those who visit it. People take more pride in the space, talking positively about their experience of the woodland. There’s less litter, anti-social behaviour, drug use and homeless camps, and teachers who have engaged in the forest school report improved self-esteem and happy children.
That’s one successful mission in our book!
“My family and I absolutely love Lousehill Copse days. The organisers are enthusiastic and really good with the kids.” Lisa Baugh, Parent
“I came with my 4 year old twins and we all had a great time. We’ve looked for bugs, made a bug sucker, bee houses and dug a hole for a bumblebee house. It’s been lovely to be outside and learning about how we can help bees- many ideas for our own garden!” Fiona Humphries, Parent