The Hagge Woods Trust has received a grant of £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project to inspire young people about UK wildlife.
Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project is being launched this spring at Three Hagges Wood-Meadow between York and Selby.
Hagge Woods Trust, the environmental charity committed to restoring biodiversity in our countryside and based at Escrick, has been working with young filmmaker and ex University of York biologist Nicholas Atherton and founder of Project: WILD C.I.C. to build a project that encourages young people to explore and record our native wildlife.
Nick, a passionate environmentalist will be offering talks in schools in the area and leading a series of workshops at Three Hagges Wood-Meadow for primary and secondary age children, as well as a “How to Film Wildlife” weekend.
The workshops and filming weekend will offer young people the great benefit of exploring wildlife alongside professional ecologists who will share their enthusiasm and knowledge with young people and hope to inspire a new generation of wildlife enthusiasts.
Nick, 22, says: “I loved my childhood spent outdoors, far from a PS3 or Xbox. With more electronic entertainment options appearing every year, fewer young people spend their free time roaming the local countryside and engaging with their natural heritage. By providing local children with an opportunity to explore in a safe environment and learn from expert ecologists at the Three Hagges Wood-Meadow, we can hopefully inspire the next generation of researchers and recorders!”
Hagge Woods Trust is also teaming up with Girlguiding UK Abbey Division and The Scout Association Selby District to create a special “nature” badge to offer young members in the area.
Alison Cunningham OBE, the Selby Girlguiding Commissioner says: “This is a brilliant opportunity for our young people to learn about local wildlife, to gain new skills and to engage with a community initiative. My Scouting colleagues and I are delighted to be involved.”
Running alongside these activities will be a photography competition, “Snap Wild”, with prizes for a variety of categories including ‘Up Close and Personal’, ‘In motion’ and ‘Habitat landscape’ in two age groups: 8–11 year olds, and 12-16 year olds. ‘Snap Wild’ is open to all young people in these age groups in the schools and organisations we visit who are interested in recording nature in their area or at Three Hagges Wood-Meadow.
Rosalind Forbes Adam, Chair of Hagge Woods Trust, says: “We are very grateful to have received support thanks to National Lottery players. This project was inspired by 13-year -old naturalist and blogger Zach Haynes’ report of the 2017 Yorkshire Naturalists Union Conference where he suggested filming as a route for young people to become excited about the wonders of our planet.
“We hope it will inspire many young people to get involved and bring their families along with them to learn too. Our ambition is for all generations to become engaged in and appreciate the beauty and biodiversity that our countryside offers.”
David Renwick, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “We’re delighted to support the Hagge Woods Trust to explore and share the wonder of the natural world with the next generation. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, this project will help young people to get outdoors and discover the fantastic wildlife on their doorstep.”
The project culminates in the Hagge Woods Trust Eco-Explorers Exhibition and Prizegiving for the Snap Wild Competition in Selby Abbey on Friday 28 September.