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The Deep Awarded £6,000 from Hubbub and Starbucks to Fund New Nature Project

18 June 2024

The Deep are delighted to have been awarded £6,000 from The Nature Hubs Fund, a new initiative that aims to widen community access to green spaces. 

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The grants, awarded by environmental charity Hubbub and funded by Starbucks, have been allocated to community groups and projects that will upskill communities, bring people together in nature and build climate resilience. In total, over £560,000 in grants is being awarded to 100 Nature Hubs projects across the UK, with the aim of bringing nature closer to people and people closer to nature. Hubbub and Starbucks received over 600 submissions for funding when they announced the Nature Hubs grant applications were open in November 2023.

The Deep’s Nature Hubs project involved the re-purposing of an underutilised area of their car park, which was previously covered with gravel, and a limited number of non-native trees and bushes. The goal was to transform this space into a richly planted bog garden and stumpery; this has been made possible thanks to local community help and kind donations from members of the public, including the donation of logs to make up the biodiverse stumpery.

Thanks to the help of local environmental charity, Mires Beck Nursery, The Deep received a number of wetland and shade-loving plants to be planted into the bog garden. These had been grown and potted by the kind volunteers at Mires Beck Nursery, and were then planted in the bog garden by The Deep’s Crew. It is hoped that by the strategic planting of native flora, native fauna will be encouraged to grow and serve to increase the habitat heterogeneity of the area. In turn, this will help to promote species diversity and act as a ‘stepping stone’ habitat, to allow native species to move between the fragmented habitats found within surrounding urban areas.

The Deep has already recorded a rare sighting in the bog garden, a Hairy dragonfly (Brachytron pratense). There are only 4 records for this species in Hull and the surrounding area, with the last record being 2020, and is the first observation of the species in the area to be recorded on the iNaturalist app. This exciting sighting looks promising, as the garden has already encouraged species diversity. 

As the grounds around The Deep’s site are surrounded by public walkways, the new space provides an opportunity to showcase local wildlife to residents, passers-by and visitors alike. However, not only will The Deep’s new bog garden help bring visitors closer to nature, but has also provided an opportunity for all Crew members to volunteer in an enriching experience that is outside of the scope of their ordinary roles. As research has shown that spending time around nature is beneficial for both physical and mental health, it’s important that as many people as possible have the chance to enjoy the new green space.

Over the coming weeks, finishing touches will be added to the bog garden such as the creation of engaging signage and interpretation, helping to encourage thousands of people to consider how they can make a difference to biodiversity; this will include how to record and upload your own sightings to the iNaturalist app, helping to contribute to wider wildlife conservation efforts.

Gavin Ellis, Co-Founder at Hubbub, said: “Access to safe and inclusive green spaces, particularly in urban areas, is so critical to our mental, physical and social wellbeing. Improving the green spaces in our towns and cities also helps to improve biodiversity, cool our streets and provide fantastic opportunities to grow fresh produce. The Nature Hubs initiative is designed to make these natural spaces - and the many wonderful ways to engage in environmental activities within them - much more accessible for everyone.”

“We received so many incredible applications from community groups across Great Britain and are really excited to work with all of our new Nature Hubs partners to see the impact that these varied and ambitious plans will have on local communities.”

Phill Robinson, Aquarist and the Nature Hubs project lead at The Deep, said: “We are grateful to have received this funding from Nature Hubs, which has allowed us to make improvements to the existing green spaces around our car park. The bog garden has been a really rewarding project to take lead on, in helping to rally both the local community together alongside volunteering efforts from Deep Crew. Thank you to everyone who donated logs to our stumpery and to Mires Beck Nursery for delivering the plants, we hope you all love our new biodiversity bog garden.” 

The Nature Hubs scheme is funded by Starbucks and is part of Hubbub and Starbucks' wider ambition to build stronger, greener communities across the UK. The fund aims to improve access and connection to nature in the communities Starbucks serves, by creating green spaces within a 5km radius of Starbucks stores.