Grant could help show Swindon pupils joys of nature

By Ella Cridland - 10 May 2024


Swindon children could benefit from funding to help them connect with nature thanks to a UK charity.

Educational charity The Ernest Cook Trust, which specialises in providing outdoor learning experiences for children and their families, has opened a new funding round for its popular Outdoor Essentials Grant, which could see Swindon schools receive grants of up to £1000. 

Since its inception in 2019, the grant has totalled more than £1m, with the funds benefiting thousands of pupils and hundreds of schools across the country. 

Schools can use the money to cover travel costs to get to natural open spaces, to pay for outdoor equipment such as wellies and waterproofs and also to improve the schools' grounds. 

Qualifying primary and special schools can apply for grants of up to £500 with qualifying secondary schools eligible for grants of up to £1000. 

Priority is given to schools located in areas of high deprivation and which may have pupils who live in challenging circumstances as well as schools which consider outdoor engagement an important part of education. 

Ernest Cook Trust Chief Executive Ed Ikin said: “There’s a really compelling body of evidence to show that time in nature, especially time in nature when we feel properly connected to it, has massive mental and physical health benefits.

"We want to get to the point where it’s nationally understood that being in nature is a fundamental good for everybody, and that everyone deserves the chance to spend the time in nature.”

The charity also gives out £3m in grants every year to support Outdoor Learning activities and getting young people to connect with nature. 

For more information about the Outdoor Essentials Grant, people can visit


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