The Real Wild Space

by Windmill Community Gardens in Nottingham, England, United Kingdom

The Real Wild Space
We did it
On 9th December 2023 we successfully raised £6,725 with 94 supporters in 42 days

The Real Wild Space for nature and people; to re-wild native biodiversity, to learn, to grow and to bring local diverse communities together

by Windmill Community Gardens in Nottingham, England, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

Any extra money would allow us to dream bigger and quicker.  We'd be able to get more people involved sooner and enable to site to be safe and accessible quicker for all to access.  

Real Wild Space at Windmill Community Gardens (WCG)

Windmill Community Gardens (WCG) has a new and exciting opportunity to really go wild and create a space for nature and people to come together.   Having recently acquired a disused plot next to our already thriving community gardens, we want to encourage native biodiversity* by re-wilding this space to create a green space, foraging area, as well as acting as a natural corridor connecting wild fauna, flora and humans in our inner-city plot.

The Real Wild Space will offer a place for nature and people to grow together.   Over the years WCG has had a positive impact on nature and its local communities.  The extra space will enable us to increase our ability to outreach via sessions, workshops, food and foraging, and community events.  It will give us the opportunity to offer our local organisations to come and use our Real Wild Space for the benefits of their communities too.

*Biodiversity is all the different kinds of life you’ll find in one area—the variety of animals, plants, fungi, and even microorganisms like bacteria that make up our natural world. Each of these species and organisms work together in ecosystems, like an intricate web, to maintain balance and support life. Biodiversity supports everything in nature that we need to survive food, clean water, medicine, and shelter.

Positive health and wellbeing to our local diverse communities

Our Real Wild Space will provide an urban green space helping us to provide positive health and wellbeing benefits to even more people.  We are situated in the heart of one of Nottingham’s inner-city suburbs, surrounded by areas where many people are struggling with the issues that affect deprived areas across the country. Too many people are struggling with their finances due to the financial crisis at home and the wider impact of world crises. For many locally, travelling to access natural areas is an extra expense they can’t afford. The Real Wild Space will offer a local natural place and enable us to outreach to even more of our local and diverse communities of individuals and make it accessible to groups of all abilities, ages and backgrounds.  

“Accessing healthy, natural environments is known to provide a plethora of benefits to our health and wellbeing. Regularly visiting green spaces can improve mood, reduce stress, and help those with mental health conditions like depression and anxiety.” See>

Learning, Growing and Getting Together

We are a charity that has a strong ethos that bringing people together in nature is beneficial to all.  The Real Wild Space with give us a place to engage and learn together about how to improve biodiversity by giving a space to offer Forest Schools, local primary and secondary schools, local groups and charities.  

We will be able to offer regular workshops, sessions and events to and provide a safe space where we can all learn and grow together by seeing, researching, learning and applying ourselves to how to continuously improve this space.  

Windmill Community Gardens 

WCG was established in 2011 and already has several allotments, an orchard and a quiet space.  We work with nature and have built an off-grid kitchen and a meeting space we like to call our “Super Shed”.  These facilities mean that at present we are open two days a week for volunteers, individuals and groups to come and work, learn and enjoy the positive benefits of being in nature and part of a welcoming community.  We also provide weekly private and safe sessions in order to help people with their mental and physical wellbeing.  Over the years we have also built relationships with local schools, organisations and charities, so other days are often spent providing for these groups with sessions in our gardens to help their learning and bringing their communities together.

WCG loves to celebrate nature and its seasons.   We already organise successful workshops and events in our community gardens, making use of our well-established organic area to grow seasonal fruit and vegetables.  Our produce is often picked, cooked and served at one of our many of popular weekly and seasonal events.   These have included our fortnightly Lithe Lunch where we offer a free cooked lunch and chair yoga, or our summer Art in the Garden event when we invite local artists, craftspeople and musicians to showcase themselves in our gardens and our legendary Autumn Pumpkin Day when we carve, cook and compete on all things pumpkin!

Phase 1 of Real Wild Space

Since gaining access to the disused plot, we have begun clearing the site, but there’s so much to do. It’s full of old carpets and rubbish which need clearing and we need to deal with a fallen tree and a derelict shed which is too unsafe to renovate so must be removed. The site already has a pond (though very overgrown) and some fruit and nut trees, but there’s room for so much more!

To continue our positive work, we can now get Phase 1 of Real Wild Space up and running.  We are reaching out to you via Crowdfunding UK to raise funds for the activities listed below.  The brilliant news is that for every £1 you donate we receive £2 from Aviva!  These funds will mean that we can spend the next 6 months improving the space to get it ready for Summer 2024.

1.    Clear rubbish, derelict building and re-shape fallen tree

2.    Improve access across the site and provide basic facilities

3.    Build a shelter to bring people together in all weathers

4.    Provide a wider range of tools, products and equipment to help our staff and volunteers build the infrastructure to encourage nature in

5.    Research, training and skills development in biodiversity – recording and re-wilding – for our staff, volunteers and groups

6.    Appoint a staff member to the role of Real Wild Space Co-ordinator and Administrator

By improving the access across the site we’ll be able to outreach and widen participation to the Real Wild Space and providing shelter we can bring people together in all weathers.   By providing basic facilities such as water, a natural toilet and seating will enable us from the start and future proof the bringing people and nature together in the Real Wild Space.

 We require a wider range of tools, products and equipment to create, build and maintain the space and encourage biodiversity and people to our space.  It’s important to have a secure shed to store these in.  

As this is a new venture to improve the local biodiversity and help nature, it is important for us to get it right.  Our staff and volunteers will require some help towards research, training and skills development in biodiversity and re-wilding.

This is an amazing opportunity for WCG but, as with all charities, it needs a staff member to co-ordinate, communicate and administrate the Real Wild Space to ensure that it runs as a viable and organised part of WCG.  

Please go wild and donate what you can to help us through Phase 1.  We’ll also let you know how you can help on the ground too.  Please do get in touch with us if you have time and want to volunteer help as an individual or a group.   As you know by now, we love to bring people together in nature.  

Thank you in advance.

Phase 2 of the Real Wild Space

Once we’ve made the Real Wild Space accessible and safe and our staff, volunteers and groups have increased their skills and knowledge of biodiversity and re-wilding, we will be ready to really go wild in Summer 2024 and increase our outreach to our local communities to help us to help nature. We will organise workshops, sessions and events to bring people together and apply all we’ve learnt and showcase what we’ve achieved.

Watch this space for further information and do get in touch with us if you feel you or your organisation would benefit from the Real Wild Space.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£5 or more

8 of 20 claimed

Wild Seeds

A wild seed bombox of locally grown seeds for you to go really wild where you want.

£10 or more

2 of 20 claimed

Lavender or Hop bags

Choose from lavender or hop bags for your home to help you rest and relax

£20 or more

3 of 10 claimed

Plant box

Come down to Windmill Community Garden and we'll help you choose a selection of plants (upto 5) that will help you improve your really wild space

£50 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Circus Skills

1 hour circus skill session for 2 people (aged 7yr +) kindly donated by Karen Monrose from Circus Hub Notts

£75 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Eco garden advice session

A 2 hour eco garden advice session by our very own Tracey Lloyd. If you need some personal advice on how to improve your own garden this is the one for you.

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