Young Voices Inspiring Action for Wildlife
Our Young People's Forum is made up of Wildlife Trust BCN members aged 13-24. The aim of the group is to help the Trust work better for young people. Here is what some of the current members say they want to achieve:
I want to...
"...show young people they can make a difference"
"...reverse biodiversity loss in my area"
"...encourage people to appreciate what's around them"
"...help disabled people enjoy wildlife"
"...get people off their phones"
What is the Young People's Forum?
The overall aim is to support the Wildlife Trust BCN to work better for local young people.
We do this by:
Advising the Trust on how to support local young people interested in conservation and environmental issues
Representing the Trust to young people, and helping bring young people's ideas to the Trust
Increasing opportunities for young people to come together to enjoy nature, and learn about, and take action for, wildlife and the environment through organising events, and creating content for our website, social media and newsletters
Meet the forum members
Our Young People's Forum is made up of passionate people from across our three counties
In recent times, I have felt powerless in the global fight for the protection of the natural world and so becoming a member of this Forum seemed like the perfect opportunity to make a change at a local level. I am very fortunate to have access to such a wonderful array of wildlife on my doorstep and I cannot wait to meet others who feel the same way and share a passion to conserve our environment so that others may enjoy it too.
I have always been fascinated by wildlife and the environment. One thing that I love about nature is that there is so much beauty in the world. I want to work in conservation when I am older. This is a really good opportunity for young people to have a voice and be the change that they want to see in their local area.
I am very passionate about the natural world and enjoy expressing this love through writing and music, as well as taking part and organising some of the Youth Climate Strikes pre-COVID. Through the forum, I seek to help educate and empower my peers to take action on an issue that will so much affect our lives. I hope that by taking steps to save our natural world we can form a culture of agency and ownership over our future, allowing both us and this Earth to flourish.
The natural environment has always been a source of great interest to me. I have loved the outdoors since before I can remember, and this has evolved into a deep interest in meteorology, environmental issues and conservation. I'm looking forward to working with other young people with similar interests to tackle environmental issues on my door-step. I'm sure that the Young Peoples' Forum will be a wonderful platform for communicating environmental issues to other young people in the community.
Ever since I can remember, I have been fascinated by the natural world and all of its wonder. However our beloved natural world is in danger and I am looking forward to helping the Youth Forum to spread awareness on this issue in order to help reverse this process.
I believe this forum can make impactful change to the condition of the local area and improve local spaces to benefit wildlife and people alike. Biodiversity is in decline but young people can make a difference.
I’m passionate about our local birds and protecting their environment for future generations to enjoy. In my spare time, I love growing my own fruit and vegetables! Reducing plastic waste, our carbon footprint and increasing biodiversity are topics that are also close to my heart. The Young People’s Forum will be a great way to meet and work with others on ensuring the countryside is accessible to all and preserving the wildlife in our community.
I’m passionate about wildlife and protecting habitats and have been going to The Wildlife Trust groups for many years. I wanted to join the Youth Forum to help find ways to engage other young people in conservation. I also want to work to make the countryside accessible to all, especially for those with disabilities.
I wanted to join the Youth Forum as I believe and want to make a positive impact on the environment, no matter how small. I love the outdoors, and have since I was little, and I hate when people are careless concerning wildlife. I hope to be a conversationalist in the future, or something similar. I am particularly concerned about plastic pollution and ways to reduce our waste.
I’m a PhD student studying how cuckoos trick other birds, and how those birds defend themselves. Going from being someone who didn’t know much about wildlife to studying animals full-time has been quite the journey for me, and I’ve loved every minute of it - even the rainy ones! It’s also made me very aware of how valuable and threatened nature is, and I want to help make a difference there. Through the forum, I’m also keen to help engage more young people who might also enjoy greater connection with nature. Some research suggests that social media, scrolling and technology is having an impact on the mental health of young people in the UK. I know that even if I’m just walking through town, seeing a swallow or group of long-tailed tits always brightens my day. If I can share this with others, that would be great!
My name is Ionathan and I am a 13-year old member of the Youth Forum. I am crazy about wildlife, and I have a particular interest in the ways wildlife is connected. My local area, Cambridge has lots of beautiful nature reserves surrounding it such as Waresley Wood, Magog Down and Ouse Fen. The problem is lots of young people (And most older people, too) have absolutely no clue about all this, and are unaware of the fact that sewage is being illegally pumped into the River Cam. However, I have been able to raise awareness among my year, and now many people are more interested in moths. If this is the impact one Year 8 can make on 20 people, what can the Young People's Forum do? I really look forward to working with the young people in the Forum to help others get more interested in wildlife, and so much more.
What we've been up to
Taking practical action
- Volunteered to meet and greet visitors to one of our precious ancient woodland bluebell woods to ensure people got the most out of their visit, and understood how to enjoy the reserve sustainably
- Carried out tree guard removal and scrub clearance on Cambourne Nature Reserve
- Did some litter-picking
- Helped open up paths at one of our partner projects in Bedfordshire
Learning and sharing
- Took part in training on creating videos linked to our Great Fen project
- Took part in an interview with a journalist for an article in our members magazine
- Took a tour of the Wildlife Trust BCN head office and discussed different departments
- Met with different staff and volunteers across the Trust to discuss their role and career path
- Created a presentation and display for the Trust's annual Members Day event
- Attended a national Youth Nature Festival planning meeting to share views on what an annual gathering of young people would look like
- Suggested an idea for a national website aimed at young people that was taken to the new national lead on youth activism for The Wildlife Trusts
- Suggested an organised a creative competition for primary-aged children
- Helping to plan a series of pop-up youth ranger activities across our three counties
- Connected to local rivers charity and relevant staff to take forward an interest in water pollution
Aged 13-24? Concerned about climate change, biodiversity loss, and local wildlife? Interested in supporting other young people to take action?
The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and Northamptonshire is looking for passionate volunteers just like you to join our Young People’s Forum. Visit our volunteer page to find out more.
If you have any suggestions for the Young People's Forum please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org