2019 is the Year of Green Action (YOGA), Defra’s initiative to get more people engaging with activities that help the natural world, with a big focus on encouraging more young people to take part. The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust know first hand how important young people are.
It’s not just the young people who are going to be the next set of conservationists, but also those who are going to run businesses, raise families, be a part of society in any way. If everyone has nature in their hearts, no matter who they become, we hope that nature will be a part of their lives, for the benefit of them and the natural world .
We have the pleasure of working with super inspiring young people every day, in particular at our Nature Therapy group, Young Naturalists and Wildlife Rangers. These young people are great ambassadors for wildlife, helping us to manage our reserves, taking part in beach cleans and shouting about their experiences. Take Florrie, who the Trust first met aged 5 when she joined us at a Wildlife Watch group at Swanwick Lakes nature reserve. Now she’s 17 and has her own business educating people about birds of prey and fighting for their conservation.
We know that young people want their own voice, the recent climate strikes are evidence of this, and we want to support that. We want to inspire more young people to become engaged with our work, and we’d like them to help guide us and build what we do to make it more relevant for more people.
Wilder Futures Competition
We’re really excited this year to launch our Wilder Futures Competition, open to people between the ages of 11-25.
If you have a brilliant idea, and just need some funds to get it off the ground then our Wilder Futures Competition might be for you.
Thanks to the Southern Coop we’re offering four prizes, worth £400 each for individuals, schools or groups to do something amazing in their local area.
We want entries into four categories: small spaces, school grounds, urban places and rural communities. If this sounds like you then take a look here for more information.
If you want to know more about the work we do with young people, and how you can get involved then please take a look at this page.
We’d love to hear from you, whatever you’re doing for the planet this Year of Green Action. Tag us on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #iwillfornature to share your stories.
We can’t wait to hear what you’ve got planned!