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Generation Green project launched to inspire and connect young people to nature

Generation Green project launched to inspire and connect young people to nature

PUBLISHED ON: 11 DECEMBER 2020

The New Forest National Park Authority has been awarded funds as part of a green recovery plan to encourage and inspire the next generation.

Thousands of young people in the UK are to be given the opportunity to connect with nature through new jobs, training, volunteering roles, residentials and outdoor learning experiences thanks to the national award of a c.£2.5 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund grant to a coalition of not-for-profit outdoor education providers.

The £2,543,602 grant has been awarded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund on behalf of the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) to the Access Unlimited coalition which comprises YHA (England & Wales), The Outward  Bound Trust, Scouts, Girlguiding, Field Studies Council and the 10 English National Parks.

The grant, which will be shared by the six coalition members will fund their ambitious Generation Green Project which will prioritise young people from BAME groups, disadvantaged backgrounds and coastal communities.

Activities delivered through Generation Green will help create the spark for new groups of young people to see their career aspirations in the environment and outdoor learning sector.

With the award, the New Forest National Park Authority (NPA) will be employing a project officer supporting youth projects and two apprentice rangers who will gain six qualifications and work experience with Forest organisations. These positions will start in March 2021.

Helen Robinson, Lead Education and Youth Officer for the NPA, said: ‘The newly appointed project officer will seek to bridge a connection to nature and sense of place for young people in local communities by creating public nature sites in residential areas both inside and outside the boundary of the National Park. It is vitally important that young people have access to nature, many of whom faced lockdown without gardens or access to green spaces.

‘Using our strong connections with parish and town councils and involving young people in the design and creation of these spaces, our aim is to enable more young people than ever before to access, enjoy and learn about the special qualities of our National Park.’

Gillie Molland, the NPA’s Lead Ranger, said the Authority and partners had already trained six apprentice rangers. She added: ‘We are thrilled to be extending the successful apprentice rangers scheme working together with Forestry England, National Trust, Hampshire County Council and Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust we will offer two Environmental Conservation paid apprenticeships. RSPB will also join the scheme. This will give the successful candidates practical experience of how these organisations work together in the New Forest and open up opportunities for careers in nature.’

Generation Green will deliver against the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan (25YEP) to sustain and build capacity in the sector. It is also the first step in government support for the recommendation in the Glover Review that every child should spend a night under the stars in a National Landscape.

About the New Forest National Park Authority

Protect – Enjoy – Prosper

The New Forest National Park Authority’s statutory purposes are to:
-Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park – Protect.
-Promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities – Enjoy.

We also have a duty to:
Seek to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park – Prosper.

The New Forest National Park was designated in March 2005. Its unique landscape has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for quiet recreation, enjoyment and discovery.

Suzi Shilling, Communications Assistant
New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646602
Email: suzi.shilling@newforestnpa.gov.uk

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