These are the proposals in the manifesto, listed by the ministry. You may comment on the proposals, preferably with a view to selecting something for action. If you would like this to be considered as a project for further discussion as to the exact action desired, please advise in the comment.

Young People in Nature Aims

1. Every urban area to host an annual ‘Borough Bioblitz’, where children conduct audits of their local wildlife, assessing ecological health of an area and how to improve it. A bioblitz is an intense period of biological surveying in an attempt to record all the living species within a designated area. Recording is an extremely useful way to monitor population trends of various species, and therefore help protect them. It can also help people connect with and develop an appreciation of the wildlife on their doorstep.

2. ‘Wild Zones’ – outdoor teaching areas – in every school, with government funding to support ponds, flowers and trees.

3. PSHE or wellbeing classes to include a section on the importance of regular contact with nature to benefit physical and mental health. PSHE stands for Personal, Social, Health and Economic education. The curriculum should have a strong emphasis on the importance of regular contact with nature, as the benefits both from a psychological and physiological perspective are countless, especially for developing children. 1 , 2

4. Every primary school in Britain to be twinned long-term with a farm as a means of 'growing' farming into children's lives, and also for them to shape farming in return. It’s one thing to believe nature is good for kids and another thing to establish habits that put that belief into practice. Gardening is the sort of activity that can bridge this gap, whether this is done in an outdoor space or in a couple of pots at home. Children who grow their own fruit and veg and cook it are more likely to eat it: they will understand where it comes from, will feel a sense of achievement and will be excited to eventually see it on their plate. This promotes a sense of ownership and responsibility, as well as a much deeper connection with nature and, last but not least, improves the eating habits of young gardeners. 3

5. Pre-downloaded educational apps on school technology to include at least two nature/conservation apps. More and more teaching today is delivered through the use of technology and educational apps and the global education apps market is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 27.46% during the period 2018-2022. Appropriate technology can support and enhance the outdoors learning of the children and make them aware of wider ecological issues.

6. A national campaign to promote the importance of nature for mental health, specifically focused on how it can benefit young people.

7. A nature conservation work placement programme offering 5,000 annual placements to inner city pupils by large NGOs (RSPB, National Trust, etc...)

8. A government-funded nature apprenticeship scheme to widen access to conservation jobs, with one trainee warden for every national nature reserve.

9. An annual competition celebrating the best young nature vloggers and bloggers on social media, backed by BBC channels and magazines.

10. The creation of a Young Person’s Nature Advisory Panel for the UK within government, giving young people a long-term and powerful voice in environmental decision-making. The government represents all citizens, not only those legally allowed to vote. Representation is more than just participation or citizenship, but children and youth rarely enjoy significant democratic rights to influence policies, shape laws, or elect representatives. A panel of young nature advisors would allow the younger citizens to express their needs and concerns, and advise on changes to current legislation that would benefit them. In a truly democratic system, this would be possible.

References:
1. Maller, C., Townsend, M. (2006). Children's mental health and wellbeing and hands-on contact with nature
, International journal of learning, 12(4): 359-372
2. Tillmann, S., Tobin, D., Avison, W., Gilliland, J., (2018). Mental health benefits of interactions with nature in children and teenagers: a systematic review.
J Epidemiol Community Health,0:1-9
3. Libman, K., (2007). Growing Youth Growing Food: How Vegetable Gardening Influences Young People's Food Consciousness and Eating Habits.
Applied Environmental Education & Communication,6(1): 87-95

 

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Wildlife Overseas Aims
Diversity in Nature and Conservation Aims
 

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Thursday, 20 June 2019