London Grows Wild Together - Guidance for Applicants

Urban garden

Follow our simple steps and apply for a London community project grant from Grow Wild.

This page tells you how to apply for a project grant and explains everything involved.

If you haven't already visited our eligibility page, read this first, to make sure your group is eligible before you get started on making your application.
If you have any questions or need some help, please email Grow Wild or call on 07826 873 421.

Apply by 10am on Monday 12th April 2021.

1. Check out when everything will be happening
  • Successful projects will be able to start in June and need to be completed by the end of October 2021.
  • Successful groups will be invited to a special visit to Wakehurst, Kew’s wild botanic garden in Sussex. This will be held in the summer, once the projects are underway.
  • Grow Wild will visit each project during the summer, with a professional photographer to capture images of your achievements. In addition, successful groups will be required to take photographs and videos to record their project journey and to reflect on their experience. We will support you with training and guidance about how best to record your project progress.
  • At the end of the summer 2021, a celebratory exhibition will be held at 70 St Mary Axe. This will feature photographs and stories from each of the projects, organised by Grow Wild. Representatives from each of the groups will be invited to attend an opening evening, to launch the exhibition. This will run for two weeks and be seen by hundreds of tenants and visitors to the building.
Man and girl planting seedlings
2. Read up on what we're looking for

Before you start planning, please read this checklist carefully, it tells you what we'll be looking for when awarding the grants….

  • Your group and project need to be located in Greater London and be eligible to apply. Please check our eligibility page, to make sure your group/organisation meets our criteria.
  • Your project should focus on UK native wildflowers, plants and/or fungi, either through planting or as inspiration. Helping other people understand the importance of these native species for the environment and our lives. 
  • Your project needs to involve some sort of physical transformation of a space or place.  
    This could be single location, such as a garden at your local community centre or a forgotten flowerbed near your local shops.
    Alternatively, it could involve lots of locations that are connected through your project .
    For example, if you gave people on your street each a window box and some seeds to grow.
  • There must be some growing involved.
    Growing doesn’t need to be the main part of your activity – but we would like you to do some! We’ll be giving each successful group a Grow Wild seed kit. This contains UK native wildflower seeds and lots of growing advice. So as a minimum, we’d like you to grow the kit as part of your project. There’s enough seeds for a small space (4 square meters ) or some containers.
  • You should aim to share your project with a minimum of 300 people.
    This may sound like a big number, but it’s not too difficult to achieve with the internet and social media to help. We’ll be looking to see how other people will benefit from your project idea, so think about the quality and impact of what your project will offer.
  • Your project should work with one or more of Grow Wild’s target audiences:  
    - Young people aged 12-25
    - People experiencing some disadvantage or reduced access to services
    - People who are less engaged with others in their local community
    - People who face barriers to connecting with nature
    - People with disabilities or additional needs
  • We’re looking for groups who are happy to take photographs and record their experiences.
    If you're successful we’d like you to capture images to record your journey and the experiences of your group. You don’t need to be a trained photographer or have any fancy equipment, just regularly taking photos with a simple camera or smartphone is fine. A selection of your images will be displayed in our final exhibition at 70 St Mary Axe.

Important things you'll need to do:

  • Plan how to involve people safely. You need to consider the health and safety of everyone connected with your project, this includes Covid-19 (more details coming below).
  • Get landowner permission. Where your project idea involves transforming a space or carrying out activity on land that doesn’t belong to you, you’ll need permission from the landowner. We’ll ask you to provide confirmation of this permission when you apply.
    Sorry we can’t fund project ideas that will require formal planning permission, because this will take too long.
  • Engage with people in the area local to your project. You must check that your project activities will not have an adverse effect on how a communal space is used by other stakeholders. 

Please note - we can’t support projects delivered in conservation or protected areas such as SSSIs.

Person wearing gardening gloves making shape of a heart with hands
3. Plan for Covid-19

We want you to share what you’re doing, to get other people excited about UK native plants and fungi. But currently, getting people involved is more difficult due to the coronavirus pandemic. We hope that by summer, things will have started to improve, but the situation is still uncertain. It's likely that social distancing rules will continue for some time.

Because of this, we ask that you only plan project activities that can easily work with social distancing. If/when restrictions are eased in future, you may be able to include a wider range of activity. But it's best to plan cautiously at the outset.

We encourage you to see this as a chance to be really creative and think of new ways to share your project safely.

Here's a few ideas to get you thinking...

  • Can you share what you are doing online or using social media, so people can get involved with your project wherever they are? Maybe through videos, a blog or newsletter?
  • 2020 was a difficult year for many people, can you think of a creative way your project could bring some joy to people in your community during 2021? Maybe something they can take part in from home? Or enjoy when they go out for a walk?
  • Having to spend more time at home has made it harder for some people to connect with nature. Is there a way your project could safely help people to reconnect with and experience the natural world?

Writing a Covid-19 safety plan

Every successful project will need to create a Covid-19 safety plan. Please don’t worry about this plan – it doesn’t need to be long or complicated. We simply ask that together, you plan and write down how you will complete your project safely, sticking to all the Government rules and restrictions.
You don’t need to send Grow Wild a copy of your Covid-19 safety plan. But if your application is successful, we will ask you to confirm that this plan has been completed before paying your grant. We could ask to see the plan at a later date.

To help you when making your plan, we've put together a list of some key things to consider, as a starting point for your conversations.

Plant pots and wildflower illustrations
4. Get support for your project

If your application is successful, the Grow Wild team will be on hand to provide general project support and help with any queries you might have about your grant.

The Grow Wild team will also be connecting the successful groups, to encourage peer to peer support.

It’s important to note that the Grow Wild team won’t be able to advise you with any technical or day-to-day aspects of delivering your project. For example any specific site conditions, soils, plant identification, landscaping or construction techniques.

For this sort of help, we ask you to approach local experts. Either knowledgeable individuals known to your group or local organisations, with the skills you need. This may be given freely, or you can use a proportion of your grant to pay for this help.

It’s important when planning your idea, to think about what help you might need and make sure it will be readily available. We’re looking to fund innovative projects – but they also need to be comfortably achievable.

In the application form we ask you to tell us about any partner groups, organisations or individuals who will help make your project a success. If you are unsure about who to approach for advice and information about UK native plants and fungi, here’s some suggestions to get you started:

Little girl taking a photo
5. Give us your 'elevator pitch'

A short video, 3 minutes maximum, telling us what you want to do, how you will do it, and an indication of how you will spend the money.

Include a link to your video in your application form. Make sure your link is enabled for Grow Wild to view.

You may find it easiest to first upload your video to a sharing site such as YouTube or Vimeo. But check the privacy settings to make sure your video isn’t publicly discoverable. Only share the link with people who need to see it.

If any young people in the video are under 18, a parent or guardian must give consent for them taking part.

What to include in your pitch…

1. Introduce your group.
2. Tell us about your idea and why you want to do it.
3. How it will celebrate UK native plants and/or fungi.
4. Where you will transform.

5. How your project will involve some growing.
6. Who will be involved and how can this work with social distancing?

7. What you will spend the £1000 on?
At this stage we just need an overview. For example, this could include any materials, equipment or training you need, computer software, staff time or events expenses.

Please note that up to 25% of the grant may be spent towards paying staff time.  
Please see our eligibility page, for full details about what the grant can be used for.

Urban wild flowers on a roadside
6. Once your pitch is ready, complete our application form by 10am on Monday 12th April.

You'll be pleased to hear that the application form is not very long! But we recommend taking a look at it with plenty of time before the deadline, so you can prepare the information requested. View the application form here.

You’ll be asked to provide:

  • A copy of your group’s constitution or equivalent document,
  • The name and contact details of a designated project leader and a secondary contact, to liaise with Grow Wild.
  • A copy of a letter/email confirming any landowner permissions, if relevant to your project idea.
  • Details of any partner or supporting organisations who will be involved or providing you with assistance.

You’ll also be asked to share the link to your video or upload your written pitch.

Complete and submit your application by 10am on Monday 12th April.  Good luck!

Bathtub full of wildflowers
7. The next stage

After the deadline, we’ll create a shortlist of the project ideas that have most impressed us.

If this includes your group’s idea, we’ll then ask you for a bit more detail about your plans. This will involve sending us:

  • A more detailed budget showing how you will spend the money.
  • An initial timeline of when your activities will take place.

We’ll provide easy templates and guidance to help you prepare what we need to see.

You can expect to find out if your project has been chosen for the next stage towards the end of April. Chosen groups will each be given two weeks to submit their budget plan and timeline. Our panel of experts will then choose the five successful projects.

Grants will be allocated to project ideas which best meet the criteria set out by Grow Wild and best address our programme objectives. Grow Wild reserves the right to make these decisions as it sees fit.

Getting in touch

Don’t forget, if you have any questions or need some help, please email Grow Wild  or call us on 07826 873 421.

Where now?

Don’t forget to check if your group is eligible. View our London Grows Wild Together main page.

Get some inspiration from previous Grow Wild projects on our YouTube channel:
Idle Women - From Mud to Medicine project 2019
Phytology, Bethnal Green, 2016
(Wild) Flowerbed Storytime - Andover project 2019