Natural Estates

The Natural Estates project was a partnership between Neighbourhoods Green, London Wildlife Trust, Groundwork London and eight social landlords in London. The project was funded through Big Lottery Access to Nature and has the active involvement of Natural England.  Access to Nature is a £25 million grant programme that is part of the Big Lottery Fund’s Changing Spaces programme and was delivered between 2010-2013. An outcome report was published in late 2013.


A wide range of improvements were made resulting in:

  • A 46% drop in reported crime on the Ferry Lane Estate in the London borough of Haringey some 37% higher than the 9% decrease accross the borough in the same time period
  • 7,026 residents have been directly involved in the activities and events happening on the 9 estates
  • 135 participants in half day training workshops
  • 18,286 residents have improved opportunities to experience the natural environment          
  • 7,026 participating in new learning opportunities related to the natural environment 
  • 493 volunteers regularly participating in the care of natural environments

Resident engagement

Three London Wildlife Trust project officers worked with residents on nine estates to support them in enhancing and maintaining their common green spaces, improving their physical and emotional health, social cohesion and promoting active citizenship. Each estate has a programme of activity-based interventions that aims to enhance

the green space by increasing its wildlife and biodiversity and contribute to improving the green infrastructure of London.

The resident engagement programme included the creation of designated areas where children can grow wildlife attracting plants, encouraging and nurturing wildlife through creation and installation of bird boxes/feeders and holding wildlife talks and walks. The project also offered local people a programme of visits and training on nature reserves managed by the London Wildlife Trust.

For more information on the project delivery, please visit London Wildlife Trust.


Planting shrubs and wildflowers on the meadows estate

Training programme

A training and capacity building programme was delivered alongside the projects on the ground to support housing practitioners in managing housing green space better for wildlife and residents. This ensured that improvements became embedded in the operational delivery of the social landlords involved and were sustained beyond the lifetime of the project. 

For more information about the training programme, please visit Groundwork London.






Social Landlords

The eight social landlords involved met throughout the project to help steer activities and share learning. Indeed the partnership proved so mutually productive that it has continued beyond the completion of the project.

View map of project sites

Read the Natural Estates case study

Read A Natural Estate, Neighbourhoods Green (2007)

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