Natural Connections

The Natural Connections project explores how museums can connect collections and nature to support the health and wellbeing of staff, volunteers and visitors. The project brings together Brantwood, Wordsworth Grasmere, University of Cumbria, Grizedale Forest, Wordsworth Trust, the National Trust and Museum Development North West.

Collecting feedback from participants to find out what they had enjoyed about a close looking workshop: “Stepping far away from normal stuff”

Inspired by the Ruskin Bicentenary in 2018, the Cumbria Museum Directors Group and Museum Development North West [MDNW] commissioned me to explore how we could draw out connections between the museum collections, the surrounding landscapes, and wellbeing.

We developed a pilot project bringing together a partnership of organisations to develop ideas, trial new ways of working and share established good practice. We tried all sorts – there was drawing by moonlight, printmaking, swan dancing, forest bathing, fungi finding and owl pellet dissection. We were supported by an ACE National Lottery – Project Grant and MDNW.

Despite the challenges of running the pilot throughout lockdowns, the project had a successful outcome and those involved are keen to continue building our work together. The group are now exploring ways to continue developing this work.

You can get an overview of the project, including who was involved and a snapshot of our sessions in the Miro presentation below.

The project reviews for 2021 and 2022 are below: