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Going Smallnormous with TFT Community Hubs

Image by Joby Newson. Words by Leigh Rose.

Here at Trash Free Trails we describe ourselves as being ‘small-normous’. We're a tiny organisation seeking to great a huge impact through a large ecosystem of small groups of committed and passionate volunteers. We support these people with the help of our A-TEAM, who you were reintroduced to last week, and now, thanks to the support of The North Face, the European Outdoor Conservation Association, and the Hydro Flask Parks for All Fund, our incredible Community Hubs.

You might have heard us talking about Community Hubs as part of a pilot last year. We were overwhelmed and overjoyed with the positive response, with countless small businesses, community groups and centres, bike shops, cafes, Trail Assocations, Village Hall committees and more signing up to join our ecosystem. Now, thanks to the support of our partners we've been able to expand Community Hubs into a fully formed Programme, supported by our new Community Hubs Coodinator (that's me!). This is a huge milestone for us, and one that has the potential to take our smallnormous mentality one step further.

Image by Tom Hill

So, what are Community Hubs?

TFT Community Hubs are, at their simplest, a local business, organisation, or physical space who have been inspired by the TFT’ mission and want to bring it to their own community. They bring their community together through the act of trail, park or woodland cleaning. This year thousands of community members from all over the world will be heading to their local trails and the wild places they love to (re)connect with nature, rallying together to remove Single-Use Pollution and celebrating the amazing adventures these places host.

Each wild space has their own set of problems and challenges for its community to face. Because of this, it's never really made sense for us at TFTHQ to come up with one universal rule-book on how to protect your trails. So instead we're providing the tools, resources and support for community leaders to pave the way for their own trail communities to come together and take action in the ways that makes most sense to them, and the issues they're working to overcome. This is our favourite thing about this project. Each Community Hub has their own set of trails, their own community, TFT means something a little different to each of them. It is through collaboration, support and solution focused approaches that we work together. 

It’s more important now than ever before that we come together to protect wild places with faces old and new. This is why we're encouraging our Community Hubs to commit to reach people across their community. We know there's thousands of you who want to protect your trails, and now there's a place you can go locally to share that passion with someone else. From bike shops in Cornwall to outdoor centres in Inverness; there's a Hub for everyone.

So, now you’re wondering how you get involved? It's easy! Head to the Community Hub page to find your local. Pay them a visit and hear about what they'll be getting up to this year.

Your local Hub will be hosting trail cleans throughout the year - the first big one being in April around our Earth Day Spring Clean. (More on that coming soon!)

No local Community Hub near you? Why not set up your own, or encourage a local community leader to do so! Help us create an incredible network of Hubs across the world.


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