Funding Submission: Esmee Fairbairn Foundation

esmee pic

In collaboration with the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, the Welland Rivers Trust have submitted a funding application to investigate the key link between dietary preferences, water quality and freshwater ecology.

Through this fund, we want to build on our existing science and local community engagement by increasing awareness of the general issue of domestic sources of phosphorus in water, including the role of septic tanks and STWs, and the role of diet in influencing this. We want to conduct questionnaires to gather information from rural and urban residents on their diet and attitudes to dietary change, to explore synergies with key individual and community influences on dietary choice (e.g. health, identity, culture), and to use this information to develop an improved shared understanding of the issue.

As far as we are aware, despite being a UK-wide problem, this is the first time that the link between individual diet, water quality and freshwater ecology has been made. Our approach to engaging the local community in this environmental issue is therefore radical. We are adopting a ground-breaking and creative approach to addressing this specific issue, but the principle of linking individual behaviour to environmental quality is one which has wide application for a range of other issues. As everyone eats, the issue we focus on has wide appeal and can encourage a range of individuals to consider how they might make positive changes to their own behaviour, whether through their diet or more broadly, to improve their environment.

This project makes environmental issues relevant to people’s everyday lives by increasing their understanding of the role of food in their lives and the impact it can have on community wellbeing, and seeks to encourage them to question their attitudes towards food. The work is highly participatory in that it explores food sustainability through a range of inclusive approaches.

We will let you know how we get on. Fingers crossed!!!!