Jess brought along her minibeasts to give children direct hands-on contact with wildlife 1/3
The children enjoyed a minibeast hunt in the Sure Centre grounds, with Jess and the education team 2/3
NWT Vice President, John Snape and senior education officer, Annabel Hill with the lottery funding 3/3

Jess French joins Norfolk Wildlife Trust as Children’s Ambassador


Tuesday 01 May, 2018




Our new Sure Start project will engage with children and families at the very start of their lives, giving them hands-on, crucial contact with the natural world.

Norfolk Wildlife Trust is delighted to announce CBeebies presenter and children’s author, Jess French as its first ever Children’s Ambassador. Jess will support our new Sure Start with Nature project, which highlights the importance of children having access to nature. The project, which is funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund will deliver a number of activities to help support and improve children’s development.

Jess said: “As Children’s Ambassador for NWT I am delighted to support the exciting new programme with Sure Start, which introduces children to the natural world from the very beginning of their development.  Amid this fast-paced world of technology and ultra-connectivity, I am so pleased that we are able to offer young children a way to calm their busy minds, engage with plants and animals and make real and important connections with nature.”

Today we began the first Children And Nature project, working with the under-fives at Sure Start centres in Great Yarmouth, Thetford and Corpusty. Jess brought along minibeasts including a praying mantis and scuttling cockroach to let the children have direct hands-on contact with wildlife. The children also enjoyed a minibeast hunt in the grounds of the centre, armed with brushes and bug pots.

Senior education officer at NWT, Annabel Hill said: “we are really excited to be able to work with children and families at the very start of their lives. We’ll be running monthly interactive sessions, sensory play and nature-themed walks. Coming up is a session on bees, which will involve much buzzing around, performing a waggle dance, and making wax candles. We’ll also be providing treasure baskets for our baby explorers, which will contain natural objects such as acorns and conkers for them to handle. Part of the project is working with new parents to improve their health and well-being by having contact with nature, such as on wildlife walks and visits to nature reserves.”

This is the first project of NWT’s Children And Nature fund, which was established by NWT Vice President, John Snape and his family to help children and young people enjoy and value the nature that surrounds them in Norfolk.  NWT also received a grant of £7,770 of National Lottery funding and further support from the Norwich branch of White Stuff, specifically for the Sure Start project.  

Chief Executive of Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Brendan Joyce said: “This funding is fantastic news for local children and local wildlife. Research shows that children today have far fewer opportunities than previous generations to explore and discover wildlife and spend much less time outside. We are delighted that it gives us the ability to work with Sure Start Centres which do an excellent job engaging the very young and their families.”
Share this

Top news stories

2019-02-18 North Norfolk’s famous Bagot g North Norfolk’s famous Bagot goats head south for their latest job
Monday 18 February, 2019
Some of the famous North Norfolk Bagot goats have headed south to continue their valuable conservation and habitat-ma...
2019-01-30 World Wetlands Day – free entr World Wetlands Day – free entry at Cley!
Wednesday 30 January, 2019
We are opening our Cley and Salthouse Marshes nature reserve free of charge on Saturday 2 February in honour of World...
2019-01-16 Pensthorpe Bird and Wildlife F Pensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair to raise funds for NWT local wetland habitats
Wednesday 16 January, 2019
Norfolk Wildlife Trust has been named as the charity beneficiary of the Pensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair, taking pla...
2019-01-11 Western Link for NDR options a Western Link for NDR options are unacceptable, says NWT
Friday 11 January, 2019
None of the proposed routes for the NDR Western Link Road could be built without unacceptable damage to multiple i...
2018-12-21 Lost Words campaign success! Lost Words campaign success!
Friday 21 December, 2018
Acorns, willows and kingfishers will be appearing in every primary school in Norfolk, after a fundraising campaign re...
2018-12-20 NWT responds to Draft Environm NWT responds to Draft Environment Bill
Thursday 20 December, 2018
Norfolk Wildlife Trust calls for major improvements to the draft Environment Bill to put nature into recovery.  ...
2018-12-06 Longstanding volunteer wins Li Longstanding volunteer wins Lifetime Achievement Award at Stars of Norfolk
Thursday 06 December, 2018
Longstanding volunteer, Barry Watkins and his wife Claire (postumously) have won the Lifetime Achievement Award at th...
2018-12-03 New report shows nature-friend New report shows nature-friendly farmers boost recovery
Monday 03 December, 2018
A group of more than 40 cereal farmers are proving that it is possible to help nature recover and m...
2018-11-28 Pigneys Wood volunteers win pr Pigneys Wood volunteers win prestigious countryside award
Wednesday 28 November, 2018
A group of volunteers working at the Trust's newest nature reserve, Pigneys Wood, has won the prestigious CPRE No...
2018-11-27 Norwich clothes shop support t Norwich clothes shop support tops £20k for wildlife
Tuesday 27 November, 2018
A donation on Giving Tuesday to Norfolk Wildlife Trust means White Stuff Norwich has raised more than £20,000 t...
2018-11-20 Let's get nature book into eve Let's get nature book into every primary school in Norfolk
Tuesday 20 November, 2018
Norfolk Wildlife Trust is contributing £1,000 to the campaign to give a copy of The Lost Words by Robert Macfar...
2018-11-13 The Wildlife Trusts respond to The Wildlife Trusts respond to Godfray review of bTB eradication strategy
Tuesday 13 November, 2018
Huge disappointment at limitations of Bovine TB Strategy Review led by Sir Charles Godfray. The independent scientifi...