Green Academies Project
The Green Academies Project enables young people to look after the green spaces where they live. We empower young people to understand the challenges faced by the environment, recognise the important role nature plays in our lives, and be part of the future of nature conservation.
Six of our places are working alongside young people and communities to look after the places important to them in Birmingham, South London, Greater Manchester, Newcastle and Wrexham.
To celebrate the 2019 Year of Green Action, the young people of the Green Academies Project share how they have taken action to help their local green spaces, and why they want to encourage others to do the same.
This is where the Green Academies Project all began, back in Birmingham in 2009. Young people have committed more than 20,000 hours of volunteering to date, including planting over 500 bluebell, wild garlic and wood anemone bulbs.
Qasim recently completed a Level 1 Land Management course with the Green Academies Project in Birmingham. He continues to volunteer with the National Trust and gained a seasonal paid role working with Rangers to inspire groups of local young people at The Vibe Youth Centre.
Morden Hall Park in London
The Morden Urban Rangers advocate for wildlife in London by holding events for their community and creating opportunities for local people to actively look after the park. They presented at the London National Park City Fair and fed into the consultation for the Mayor of London’s Environment Plan. Arjun has started a blog for the Urban Rangers and is encouraging other young people to share their social action stories in a similar way. There is also an Urban Ranger team in Pollards Hill.
Arjun is an Urban Ranger at Morden Hall Park. He works as part of a team of 11-24 year olds to plan, gain funding for, and carry out land management projects from a 10 year wildlife plan at Morden Hall Park.
Greater Manchester – Dunham Massey and Partington
George is a Partington Urban Ranger, working with a team of young people to make the Redbrook Trail more accessible and improve the community garden at Partington Library. Connecting with nature provides him with a noticeable calmness, overcoming social challenges presented by his learning needs and high anxiety.
George has boundless enthusiasm and is very good at teaching other young people about the conservation work he does, encouraging them to take action to protect the local nature trail.
Greater Manchester – Quarry Bank and Wythenshawe
Aiden started volunteering through his college and then joined the Wythenshawe Urban Rangers to look after his local green spaces. Using the skills and confidence gained through volunteering with GAP, Aiden successfully gained a Supported Internship and Manchester Airport. Groups like Aiden’s are creating a community garden at the Woodhouse Park Lifestyle Centre.
Gibside in the North East
GAP Gibside is working with young people and their local communities in Gateshead, Newcastle, Durham and Sunderland to develop their skills and confidence and improve local green spaces.
Josh volunteered to gain work experience to compliment his college course. This motivated him to continue pursuing a career in Land Management by progressing onto a college course.
Erddig and Wrexham
We established a Youth Club at Felin Puleston Countryside Centre back in 1999. Now Felin Puleston is a community hub where young people have planted an orchard, built a natural play area and even welcomed some resident scarecrows in to the garden.
Esther wanted to look after the environment for her local community to enjoy now and in the future. She and the ‘Friends of Felin’ volunteers carry out wildlife surveys, searching for butterflies, reptiles and other wildlife that share the Erddig estate.