Eco-grants help young people bring their green ideas to life

February 23, 2022

Grants awarded to young people through the Youth Environmental Action Fund have supported 33 grassroots environmental projects so far, with a new round of funding opening in February 2022.  

So far more than £25,600 has been awarded to help bring young people’s green ideas to life, benefitting the environment and communities.   

YDMT project officer Fiona Busfield explains more.

The Youth Environmental Action Fund (YEAF for short) is part of YDMT’s Green Futures programme. We aim to empower and support the ambitious and capable young people of Yorkshire, Lancashire and Cumbria to become more involved, aware and connected to the fantastic natural environment that’s right on their doorstep.

All too often youth groups, organisations and students have an idea for a green project, but don’t have access to the funds to get it off the ground.

We felt that a direct source of funding, that allows young people the opportunity to investigate and start their own projects, would be beneficial.

And that’s where the Youth Environmental Action Fund has been able to help. We’ve given out grants of up to £1,000, but also provided the knowledge, support and help to ensure the projects are a success.

We’ve funded projects such as school recycling initiatives, wildlife gardens and meadows, bio-diversity surveys and community art and dance performances to name but a few.

What has inspired me is the sheer talent, breadth and innovation of these schemes and the enthusiasm of the young people involved.

One scheme at the Queen Katherine School in Kendal created a community wildlife garden. The students overcame a lot of different obstacles, including the pandemic, to establish a real community asset. They did bio-diversity studies and installed a solar panel to use in their outdoor classroom.

And then there’s the Personalised Learning College in Northallerton who came to us with a completely different recycling project. They are recycling plastic to make chairs, coasters and key rings, and now the local community sends their waste to them.

Don’t take my word for it though! You can read about all the projects we have funded and what we’ve achieved over the last few years in our YEAF Report.

Grants for green projects – open now!

Have you an idea that could make a difference? If so, you can now apply for a grant… but you’ll need to do so by 1 April.

Grants of between £50 and £1,000 are available to cover up to 100% of the cost of running events, meetings or workshops aiming to shine a light on issues in local communities, or to purchase resources for practical environmental work that will improve the local natural environment.

Applicants need to be aged between 11 and 24-years-old and based in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, or areas of North Yorkshire, Lancashire and parts of Cumbria bordering the Park.

Submissions from Bradford, Keighley, Leeds, and north-east Lancashire are also welcome provided they are within an hour’s travel of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Want to join our grant panel?

We also have opportunities for 11-24 years olds to volunteer for our Youth Environmental Action Fund grant panel. It’s a terrific opportunity to develop your skills, enhance your CV, increase your confidence, and support other young people to bring their green ideas to life. To find out more email

Find out more and apply to the Youth Environmental Action Fund here, or contact Fiona Busfield at YDMT for more information.