Keeping it Wild this half-term with Cassie, a London Youth Delivery Officer

Cassie Doerfler, Youth Action Delivery Officer, London Youth

I was lucky enough to spend every day of the half-term week outside with the fabulous team from the London Wildlife Trust delivering our Wild Action Days to the youth organisations participating in Keeping it Wild. Besides feeling a little sick from too many marshallows, I share the young people's opinions on how much fun and insightful these past days have been.

Keeping it Wild is an ambitious project funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund inspiring young people aged 11-25, from backgrounds currently under-represented in natural heritage. Young people have the opportunity to discover, explore and conserve a wild space in their community and share their knowledge with others.  

The project is delivered in partnership with London Wildlife Trust, Headliners (UK)John Muir Trust, and London Youth.

Surrey Docks Farm Wild Action Day KiW

Surrey Docks Farm Wild Action Day at Woodberry Wetlands credit Cassie Doerfler

Why is it so important to conserve our wild spaces?  

With the whole world talking about climate change and the ecological crisis, it’s so important not to neglect the places on our doorstep too. It's important to understand why we need to conserve the habitats surrounding us right here in London. Wait, what? Why should we care about wildlife in London when the Amazon is on fire?  

That’s right! Halloween isn’t the only scary thing happening in the world right now.

Overexploitation and depletion of natural resources, climate change and pollution are major threats to our wildlife population. Although it is proven that some animals and plants are adapting to urban spaces like the underground mosquito, we are still facing a drastic decrease in biodiversity. Birds are disappearing and reports show that our hedgehog count dropped from around 30 million in 1950 to less than one million in recent years. According to The State of Nature 2019 report, 41% of UK species studied have declined since 1970. 

How did the Wild Action Days affect young people?  

Spending the week at the many London Wildlife Trust sites across our capital gave young people the opportunity to do some hands-on conservation work and helped them better understand why it is so important to protect and conserve our wildlife habitats. 

On top of that, we saw nothing but smiles, spending time outside left us and the groups feeling very zen at the end of each day. It is no news that being in nature has a positive outcome on our physical and mental health. 

'I loved today - although it was raining, it was worth it!' - a young person on Keeping it Wild

This half-term didn’t just inspire me to get more young people involved in Keeping it Wild, it resulted in my own stress levels dropping drastically, too. 

Young people from Hogarth

Young People from Hogarth Youth Club on their Wild Action Day credit Cassie Doerfler

What you can do

Here are some fun and practical ways to work with young people and help your local wildlife:

Get involved:  

We are currently recruiting teams of young people for our January cohort of Wild Action Days on Keeping it Wild. To sign up or find out more please visit this page or email cassie.doerfler@londonyouth.org