Revealing workshops use libraries to connect people to nature

Sutton’s Hidden Worlds was an exciting project that was designed to support people to connect with nature through their local libraries. Sutton Libraries were successful in applying to receive funding from Natural England and Libraries Connected to support communities to experience the benefits that come from spending time in nature, and to support nature recovery near to where they live.

We ran a series of fun nature and art activities in Wallington Library with a range of local groups, including newly arrived groups to the borough and young people with SEND. 100 people attended activities all about connecting with nature!
Six people cutting leaves from a tree
The workshops featured a range of art and craft activities. In one workshop led by biodiversity expert Mary Buckton, attendees wove willow and foraged in the library gardens for holly and ivy to make beautiful winter wreaths for their front doors. In another session, led by local artist Zoe Scammell, we walked around the library gardens drawing plants and then went back inside to create nature journals, using foraged leaves to create ‘paint brushes’, and to make prints with ink. Attendees at another workshop got crafty making minibeast hotels for their gardens using recycled and natural materials, making sure that insects and other wildlife had homes throughout winter!

Workshop attendees had a lot of fun being creative in nature. One young person commented that the Winter Wildlife workshop made them feel ‘optimistic and forward thinking’. One adult noted ‘I feel more connected to nature’, and another reported they felt ‘in touch with nature and art’. When asked what they might do differently one person said ‘I'm going to observe the green spaces in the neighbourhood more now’, and another noted they would ‘go to parks more’.