New opportunities for young people to work with nature and wildlife in London

New opportunities for young people to work with nature and wildlife in London

Abi March 

Keeping it Wild is a new project, led by London Wildlife Trust and funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund, that will inspire and empower hundreds of Londoners aged 11-25 to take part in urban nature conservation.

The project will be shaped by the participants themselves, using their skills, knowledge and experiences. Further support and expertise comes from project partners, Headliners (UK)John Muir Trust and London Youth

The project will work with 600 young people who are not currently engaged with nature, providing opportunities to gain employment skills while discovering and looking after the capital’s wild spaces, and sharing their experiences. 

Keeping it Wild will give young people from across the capital opportunities to enjoy Wild Action taster days, take part in eight week Wild Action programmes, and receive three month bursaries to gain practical conservation experience at London Wildlife Trust’s nature reserves.

Funding will also enable young people to create and deliver their own wildlife conservation projects, based around youth clubs, with the help of project partners London Youth.

Training and awards

Participants can work towards gaining a John Muir Award, under the guidance of the John Muir Trust, while youth engagement charity Headliners will work with them to produce a film about nature and wildlife that’s local to them, along with training and awards in media skills and journalism.

A key focus of the Keeping it Wild project is to enable the participants to spread the word about urban wildlife conservation, reaching and inspiring other young people across the capital.

A youth forum will inform decisions made by London Wildlife Trust’s board of trustees, giving young people a defined role in the structure of the organisation, which is the only charity working across London to protect the capital’s nature and wildlife.

Keeping it Wild Project Manager Emily Morshuis said: “This is an exciting opportunity to reach and inspire young people across the capital. Nature is essential for our health and wellbeing, especially in cities, and yet too many people overlook and undervalue their local wildlife and wild spaces." 

“We hope to inspire hundreds of young Londoners to take notice of and care about the world around them, creating a new generation of guardians for the capital’s nature and wildlife.”

Keeping it Wild has also received funding from the George Bairstow Charitable TrustTallow Chandlers Charitable Trust and Investec.