News from Rohan Long Preston – Inaugural Youth Environment Summit

Bird Box Construction with Settle Young Rangers

News from Rohan Long Preston

Young people from across the North West spent a weekend exploring environmental issues and looking at ways to create positive environmental change at the inaugural Youth Environment Summit.

The 11-24 year olds took part in a range of practical activities including bug surveys, bat detecting, footpath improvements and eco-orienteering, as well as learning how to build bird boxes and bug hotels.

Path maintenance on the Pennine Way

The group also discussed a variety of green issues, developed solutions to reduce waste and encourage people to reuse and recycle more, learnt how to measure and reduce their own carbon footprint and made their own eco-pledges for the future.

19 year old Sian Bentley from Kendal was one of the participants. She said: “I liked the mix of ages, and learning about the different backgrounds through which people got involved in the environment. Everybody was open-minded and eager to share their knowledge and learn new things. The combination of outdoor, practical activities (such as building bird boxes, path maintenance and bug hotels) that would affect the local environment and the workshops (water use, waste and food awareness) which took a more holistic, global and lifestyle approach was ideal, because often the two aren’t practised together – which is the way forward!”

More than twenty young people took part in the event which was hosted at Malham Tarn Field Centre, marking the official launch of ‘Green Futures’ – an exciting five year programme largely funded by the Big Lottery Fund that will support and develop environmental opportunities for young people right across the region.

Gail Smith, Green Futures Programme Manager at YDMT, said: “Our first Youth Environment Summit was an absolute joy. The young people involved embraced the issues up for discussion and worked hard at the practical tasks on offer. I came away from the weekend enthused and inspired by this fantastic group of young people and hopeful of the positive environmental action they will be taking on behalf of us all. We are looking forward to them having an ongoing input into Green Futures and the planning and running of next year’s summit, enabling even more young people to reap the benefits of this fantastic youth environment programme.”

By working together and building on a collective wealth of experience, the Green Futures partnership aims to enthuse and inspire 4000 young people to connect with their local environment around the Yorkshire Dales and its catchment. A range of initiatives will help to raise awareness of environmental issues, develop knowledge and skills, and provide exciting hands-on opportunities for young people to get involved and make positive environmental changes, now and in the future.

Green Futures forms part of Our Bright Future – a movement of 31 youth-led projects across the UK each receiving around £1m of funding from the Big Lottery Fund to inspire and develop the next generation of environmental leaders.

Cath Hare, Our Bright Future Programme Manager, said: “The first Youth Environment Summit showcased the unstoppable force of young and engaged citizens involved with Green Futures. We are thrilled to be investing in opportunities for them to gain skills, experience and employment as the next environmental leaders.”

Read more about Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust

Read more about Rohan Long Preston





Rohan Heritage

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