Challenge 4: Developing a Local Product prototype to pilot in communities

One of our key focus areas in this phase is local state of nature stories. What can we do to understand more about what nature looks and feels like at a local place based level through the eyes and ears of real people in real places?

Stimulus

The NIU's most resourceful officers have been gathering intelligence for this brief.  Check out their intel below...

I’m not like a twitcher, going out to find lots of different species, it’s more enjoying what’s there really.
— Interview
 Inspiration: London Sound Survey. Posts of local birdsong as part of a wider London sound recording project.

Inspiration: London Sound Survey. Posts of local birdsong as part of a wider London sound recording project.

If we don’t think of nature as the natural world but the space we find ourselves in, we may find nature more accessible. We may become more aware of our surroundings. Cities are nature.
— Interview
The biggest thing I’ve noticed in the last few years is how much extreme weather we have, it’s causing so much stress to ecosystems, species and habitats as well as to those of us farming the land.
— Interview
 Inspiration: A site devoted to the water poisoning crisis in Flint, Michigan. The site aggregates news on the topic, shares updates on water testing for residents and gives locals an opportunity to tell their story.

Inspiration: A site devoted to the water poisoning crisis in Flint, Michigan. The site aggregates news on the topic, shares updates on water testing for residents and gives locals an opportunity to tell their story.

Arrival of spring plants, now all the daffodils are coming out, all the trees are confused and budding and we’re seeing flowers. That’s interesting because the arrival of spring flowers is usually a real moment of joy and now it’s quite disturbing in that it’s a real moment of doom and confusion. The sense of out of syncness and what that means about the wider world.
— Interview
 Inspiration: NatureBytes. A community of makers, engineers, scientists, schools and individuals all transforming digital making for wildlife. 

Inspiration: NatureBytes. A community of makers, engineers, scientists, schools and individuals all transforming digital making for wildlife. 

Nature is happening around us all the time, we just need to learn how to tune into it.
— Interview
 Inspiration: Fix My Street makes it easier to report problems in your community, even if you don't know who those reports should go to.

Inspiration: Fix My Street makes it easier to report problems in your community, even if you don't know who those reports should go to.

In Hackney Marshes there are the bright green parakeets which look really out of place and a really noisy. We like spotting the herons and being by the water.
— Interview
We like looking at seasons change, watching the trees change colour.
— Interview
Because it had wildlife from abroad, it didn’t engage me so much. I want to see the species that I’m going to be able to see close to me.
— Interview
When I was little there used to be loads of butterflies and there don’t seem to be them anymore. We used to have a annual butterfly count at my primary school and my mum’s been a teacher there for years and they don’t do it anymore, which makes me quite sad.
— Interview
We asked 46 explorer families about what would encourage involvement - 74% said they wanted projects to help protect nature in my local community.

66% of people say that they take photos of nature.

44% look out for wildlife local to an area.
— NIU Officer
When asked what they would expect from a local platform, people said: personal accounts to track their own observations; ability to post text, photos, videos, sounds; ability to search observations in a local area; accessible via online and app platforms; free to take part with no mandatory commitments; area to explore unidentified wildlife.
— NIU Officer

We asked 20 people to show us what they notice in nature. This is what we got back…

Ideas

In February 2016, nature intelligence officers Swarmed around this challenge for 48 hours. Here are the initial ideas...

 Idea: My Naturehood. A platform connecting communities to their local natural world.

Idea: My Naturehood. A platform connecting communities to their local natural world.

 Idea: Map Your Walk. Personalised maps of your family's favourite walks, populated with the photos, videos and sounds you record. 

Idea: Map Your Walk. Personalised maps of your family's favourite walks, populated with the photos, videos and sounds you record. 

What's next?

The NIU is working on a plan to hatch the ideas with the most potential to get us humans noticing nature. We'd love to hear from you if you have more ideas to add to the mix. Please leave your thoughts in the comments box below.