30 October 2019
It’s been an eventful half term week for most of us at London Youth. We kicked it off with a very successful inclusion network and a pitch event for East London leaders and despite the weather we had a had a great time at our sports events.
I was lucky enough to spend every day of the week outside with the fabulous team from the London Wildlife Trust delivering our Wild Action Days to the youth organisations participating in Keeping it Wild. Besides feeling a little sick from a marshmallow overdose, I share the young people’s opinions on how much fun and insightful these past days have been.
What is Keeping it Wild?
Keeping it Wild is an ambitious project funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund inspiring young people aged 11-25 to get outdoors to discover, explore and conserve a wild space in their community and share their knowledge with others.
Why is conserving wild spaces so important in London?
With the whole world talking about global warming and the climate crisis it’s so important to look after our wild spaces and understand why we need to conserve the habitat of biodiversity surrounding us right here in London. Wait, what? Why should we care about the wildlife in London when the Amazon is on fire?
That’s right! Halloween isn’t the only scary thing happening in the world right now.
Overexploitation and depletion of natural resources, climate change, global warming and pollution are major threats to the UK wildlife population. And although it is proven that some animals and plants are adapting to urban spaces like the underground mosquito, we are still facing a drastic decrease in biodiversity. Birds are disappearing and reports show that our hedgehog count dropped from 36 million in 1950 to one million in recent years due to new roads and building developments as well as warmer temperatures during winter. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) the earth has lost half of its wildlife in the last 40 years.
How did the Wild Action Days affect young people?
Spending the week at the many London Wildlife Trust sites across our capital gave young people the opportunity to do some hands-on conservation work and helped them better understand why it is so important to protect and conserve the habitat of wildlife.
On top of that, we saw nothing but smiles and spending time outside left us and the groups feeling very zen at the end of each day. It is no news that being in nature has a positive outcome on our physical and mental health.
This half term didn’t just inspire me to get more young people involved in Keeping it Wild, it definitely helped lower my stress levels too!
Here are some fun and practical ways in how you can get young people to conserve the environment and increase biodiversity in London:
- Build a bug hotel to help encourage insect pollination
- Volunteer at one of your local wildlife trust sites
- Create your own wildflower seed balls to increase biodiversity, colour and beauty to London gardens and balconies
- Consider a career working outdoors with the London Wildlife Trust paid Traineeships or Future Gardeners
- Have conversations with your friends and family and help spread awareness on social media using #KeepingitWild
– Cassie Doerfler-Heath, Youth Action Delivery Officer