This week sees the release of a free online toolkit developed by The Prince's Trust, Natural History Museum, Voyage Youth and other regional partners, to bring urban nature to life for young adults across the UK.
The toolkit will support youth workers with activities to connect young people with the wonderful urban nature that can be found in cities and towns up and down the UK.
Focus groups and interviews carried out by The Prince’s Trust and the Natural History Museum in 2020 highlighted that some youth workers lack confidence in discussing environmental issues and assume that only outdoor adventure activities leaders can run sessions connecting to nature. Youth workers want to use their local green spaces more and want to use a connection to urban nature to enhance the wellbeing of the young people they work with.
The partners designed the toolkit collaboratively with youth workers across the UK, following a series of training and workshops in London, Newcastle, Birmingham and Glasgow, to bring together the most engaging and energising content and activities specifically designed for young people living in urban environments.
The activities are designed so that no prior knowledge about nature is required and include everything from warm-up icebreakers and nature exploration challenges to mindfulness activities and useful and interesting information on common, easy to find urban nature species.
Katherine Eveleigh, Senior Head of Service Delivery at The Prince’s Trust, said: "We are delighted to be partnering with The Natural History Museum on this brilliant project. Our youth workers have enjoyed taking part in the Urban Nature training and using the toolkit, which looks at innovative ways to connect young people with nature through local green spaces and in urban areas.
Lauren Hyams, the Natural History Museum’s Head of Garden Activities, said: "As part of our Urban Nature Project, this toolkit will support youth workers to engage their young people with the wonders of urban nature and show that to connect with nature you don’t need to visit the countryside, there’s a wealth of amazing wildlife right on our doorsteps in our towns and cities. By connecting them with nature and showing the importance of protecting what we have, we’re building a new generation of advocates for the planet."
By 2030 it is projected that 92% of the UK population will live in urban areas, leading to larger cities and more challenges for wildlife. This means towns and cities are rapidly becoming where most people will experience nature, therefore key places to protect the UK’s biodiversity, and the perfect place for the younger generation to learn more about the value of nature.
The organisations partnering with the Natural History Museum on this toolkit are:
- The Prince’s Trust
- Voyage Youth
- RSPB Glasgow
- Great Museum of the North: Hancock
- Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust