As the Our Bright Future project comes to an end, we are looking back on our successes over the last five years. Over 6,000 young people have taken part, with more than 130 working with us longer term to take positive youth-led action for nature. With their help, we’ve improved green spaces for people and wildlife, and given young people the space and voice to act as catalysts for change. And behind the figures lie some truly inspirational stories.
The Young Volunteer programme within Avon Wildlife Trust was a perfect example. Around 85 keen young people came out with us, rain or shine, to gain experience in practical conservation and have a great time out in nature. They have been involved in helping us manage our nature reserves, grow food and wildflowers at Grow Wilder, survey wildlife and so much more. A favourite memory of mine is the autumnal day in 2019 which saw our team of enthusiastic young naturalists visit the famous Aardman studios and help them clear out a pond in their gardens. We learnt about the important of ponds as habitats and how to safely use tools. It was cold, but we kept warm by working hard! The amazing staff at Aardman rewarded our volunteers with a warm lunch from the canteen and a behind-the-scenes tour of the studios. Meanwhile, in Weston-super-Mare’s Grove Park, over 100 young people helped improve the area by building planters, planting native wildflowers and creating bug hotels.