Why it’s vital to connect young people with nature

August 15, 2019

Connecting young people with nature is vitally important if we want to protect our landscape and wildlife, and tackle climate change. And above all nature makes us happy!

Yet young people have never been more disconnected from nature.

Our Green Guardians project aims to reverse this trend by helping young people make that link to the natural world around them. 

Young people experience life on the farm life on a visit to Keasden Head Farm.

Young people experience life on the farm life on a visit to Keasden Head Farm.

Over the last 12 months Green Guardians has connected nearly 500 young people to the countryside through 54 events. They have planted more than 1,000 trees at five different sites. They have made bird and bug boxes. They have cleared Himalayan balsam with Ribble Rivers Trust and have weeded hedges. They have visited the show caves, climbed Ingleborough and explored Malham. They have done Citizen Science surveys, learnt bushcraft skills and completed John Muir environmental awards!

Life-changing opportunities

Dylan is part of Willow Young Carers. He joined Green Guardians in 2016 to undertake a John Muir Award, leading
activities and acting as a great role model. His youth worker says it’s changed his life. Dylan says:

“I never used to care about the environment before I came here, now I never drop litter and tell other people to pick up theirs.”

We hear stories like Dylan’s all the time. It’s amazing that we can make such a difference to young people’s lives. Making the connection with nature is really important. We do it in a way that enhances a young person’s skills too. It’s great to offer young people different opportunities and broaden their horizons. A lot of the young people we work with don’t get out of their hometown to the nature on their doorsteps. It’s a shame, as learning about nature and connecting to it is really important for our wellbeing.

Green Futures

Green Guardians is part of our Green Futures scheme, funded through the National Lottery Community Fund and is one of 31 projects which together form Our Bright Future, a UK-wide movement helping young people step up and take what is rightfully theirs: a healthy planet, a thriving economy and a brighter future.

If you’d like to get involved, or to find out more contact Sarah Deane sarah.deane@ydmt.org or call us on 015242 51002.