In May of 2020, after receiving grant funding from the Covid19 grant fund via the CVS, we attempted to bring together people through zoom. The hope was that those had been isolated because of lockdown could reconnect with others on the platform and it was a complete failure, even our own NEWT committee members felt uncomfortable using Zoom. So we adapted and used the mobile data from the grant fund to research and organize planned guided livestreamed walks, using the new laptop we were able to work remotely. In May I did a test trail guided walk, which was at Leverhulme Park for over an hour that was seen by 1,800 people on Facebook. In this I talked about nature, management of habitats, the history.
In May I did the second trail guided walk, which was at Seven Acres for over an hour that was seen by 2,400 people on Facebook.
The publics response to the Guided Walk was fantastic, those who couldn't leave their homes and those who knew about Seven Acres but never knew the details of the park before learned as I walked and discussed the park with a map. The success of this led to the creation of the next guided walk in May, Gravel Pits Moses Gate which was seen by 2,500 people on Facebook.
On the 27th June, with careful planning and preparation, Bolton NEWT as a group carried out a Guided Forgaing walk at Leverhulme park which was seen by 2,200 on Facebook.
The best of the walks is that the public is able to ask you directly quesitons which you can answer to them on the livestream. We finished our walks for the year at Nob End a SSSI site on the hunts for Orchards, the video was seen by a whopping 8,600 local residents on Facebook.
We covered the history of these parks, encouraged safe exploration of parks, talked and discussed the wildlife. The impact was that the public visited their local parks, some people even walked the same route we did to safely forage the plants as they rewatched our video. People told us how their family had seen the video and then gone exploring the orchids which they never new existed. We had hoped to impact 100 people with zoom, instead we impacted nearly 15,000 people.