People from backgrounds under-represented in the conservation sector will be given special opportunities to get involved in wildlife projects thanks to a team of organisations led by the London Wildlife Trust.
Delivered by a new exciting partnership comprising London Wildlife Trust, John Muir Trust, Headliners UK, London Youth and V•Inspired, the ‘Keeping It Wild’ programme aims to enthuse and involve young Londoners from diverse backgrounds - not currently engaged with nature - in protecting and promoting the wildlife in their own local neighbourhoods.
A series of action days will introduce young people aged 11-25 years to their local wild species and habitats and give them a taste of urban conservation. Participants will work towards a John Muir Award, under the guidance of the John Muir Trust, while youth engagement charity Headliners will work with young people to produce films about wildlife and nature.
Britain's leading youth volunteering and social action charity, V•Inspired, will recruit young people for the Keeping It Wild programme, with help from youth club charity London Youth, which represents 300 youth organisations across the capital. The two organisations will help participants develop their own social action projects in their local green spaces.
A final element to the programme involves the creation of a young people’s forum; their remit will particularly be to help improve the way London Wildlife Trust communicates and works with young people.
Leah McNally, London Wildlife Trust’s Director of Visitor Engagement, said: “We are keen to see more young Londoners engaged in and enthusiastic about nature and wildlife in the capital, and we also want to harness the immense talent and energy of the young people in our community – the Keeping It Wild programme is the perfect opportunity for them to get involved.”
Keeping It Wild is backed by the Heritage Lottery Fund’s new ‘Kick the Dust’ programme, which aims to engage young people with heritage. The partnership has been awarded a grant of £38,700 to develop its project plans further.