Young Eco Defenders join the fight against climate change in Chelmsford
3rd August 2021
Reposted from InYourArea.
A Chelmsford-based charity has launched an inspiring new project which aims to empower 15 ten to 11-year-olds with a passion for nature and the environment to change the environment and society for the better.
The Wilderness Foundation offers nature-based outreach programmes and nature therapy to youths and adults.
Thanks to funding from the Essex Community Foundation and support from the #iwill youth social action campaign, the Wilderness Foundation is offering a free outdoor club, Eco Defenders, aiming to actively educate a new group of young people on how to look after the environment.
They will also explore why there is a need to tackle climate change and how everyone can do their bit to ensure the environment is safe for future generations.
The club is designed to teach children a wide range of skills such as ‘grow your own’, designing gardens for wildlife, nature craft, recycling, local fauna and flora, how to protect eco-systems, community engagement and much more.
Carolin Rogers, project leader of Eco Defenders, said: “We desperately need to encourage our young people to find out how they can connect to nature so that they can learn about their natural environment and take ownership of it in order to increase the chance of looking after it.
“At the end of ten and 11, young people start to make their first own major decisions as they go through the transition from primary to secondary school.
“This project is their chance to become part of something big and worthwhile, to have a voice and for that voice to be heard and respected.”
The recent launch of the government’s new scheme to boost tree planting presents one of many opportunities to get young people actively involved in climate and social action. Eco Defenders is hoping to join local government planting projects later in the year.
Jo Roberts, CEO of Wilderness Foundation UK said: “Covid enabled so many of us, young and old, to connect with the natural world and to draw benefits from it for mental and physical health.
“Our Eco Defenders programme takes this engagement further for those who really connected and want to do more about protecting the natural world. They will work for a year on developing their leadership skills and honing their impact as young change-makers for the environment. We cannot wait to see what they will achieve.”
The Eco Defenders programme will run primarily at the Wilderness Foundation ‘Down to Earth’ allotments at Melbourne Park in Chelmsford, Essex. The programme began on Monday, July 26 with a one-week ‘summer camp’ consisting of daily sessions from 10am to 3pm.
Thereafter, sessions will continue to run from 10am to noon on Saturday mornings and 4pm to 6pm on Wednesday afternoons until approximately May 2022.