Young people are to be given new opportunities to connect with nature in the New Forest.
The New Forest National Park Authority has been awarded a Green Recovery Challenge Fund grant as part of £2,543,602 funding which has been awarded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund on behalf of the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra).The grant is to be shared by six members of a coalition which comprises YHA (England & Wales), The Outward Bound Trust, Scouts, Girlguiding, Field Studies Council and the 10 English National Parks.
With the award, the New Forest National Park Authority (NPA) will be employing a project officer supporting youth projects and two apprentice rangers who will gain six qualifications and work experience with Forest organisations. These positions will start in March 2021.
Helen Robinson, lead education and youth officer for the NPA, said, “The newly appointed project officer will seek to bridge a connection to nature and sense of place for young people in local communities by creating public nature sites in residential areas both inside and outside the boundary of the National Park. It is vitally important that young people have access to nature, many of whom faced lockdown without gardens or access to green spaces.
“Using our strong connections with parish and town councils and involving young people in the design and creation of these spaces, our aim is to enable more young people than ever before to access, enjoy and learn about the special qualities of our National Park.”
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