Nurturing a love for nature   

February 14, 2020

Children with a greater connection to nature are more likely to behave positively towards the natural environment and wildlife in future. But many children are missing out on spending time outdoors.

We’re changing that.

Children enjoy a Schools Out trip to hunt for the Clapham Boggart

Schools out!

Over the last three-and-a-half years we have helped 5,027 children to have fun and learn in the fantastic outdoor classroom on their doorstep – the Yorkshire Dales. We’re helping them to build a love and understanding for the place they live in, its spectacular landscapes, heritage, people and wildlife.

Even though they have grown up in the Dales, some young people don’t have the opportunity to spend time outdoors in nature. Anthea Hanson, YDMT Schools Out Project Officer, said:

“Our Schools Out programme connects children with the Ingleborough area, so they have a desire to invest their time and emotions into it in the future. We embrace the joy of children doing what they do best – being children – in an environment that encourages them to learn and discover.

Over the last year we have caved, climbed and taken more than 100 children up Ingleborough in one session as well as undertaking a number of forest schools. We have used and made maps, created felt pictures of Ingleborough and used the wealth of resources that this small part of the Yorkshire Dales has provided for us, from people to landscape to heritage.

We have visited limestone pavements, rivers and sites of old settlements, and been archaeologists, geologists, botanists, explorers, artists and musicians. We’ve also held our first residential, squelching through the moss with bare feet to experience the wild.

It’s been an amazing project and we have a packed year ahead.”

Children search for the Clapham Boggart on a Schools Out trip

Connecting people with nature

Schools Out is one of several projects delivered by YDMT that help give people the opportunity to connect with nature and enjoy time outdoors in the Yorkshire Dales. In 2019 our work inspired thousands of people through learning activities, training, events and courses. Many of those involved are young people.

We also aim to reach people who are disadvantaged in some way and don’t normally have the opportunity to visit and enjoy the benefits of the great outdoors. Our work reaches some of the most deprived people in the country, giving them respite and inspirational learning opportunities in the Dales, helping them to overcome challenges such as obesity, mental health problems and loneliness. Read our 2019 Impact Report to find out more about our work with people.