Future environmentalists have been given the chance to develop their skills thanks to funding from a County Durham housing association.
Durham Wildlife Trust’s Nature Rangers and Young Rangers sessions offer young people aged between 11 and 18 years old the chance to spend time outdoors, learn new skills, and discover more about nature while developing their confidence and making new friends.
The groups meet every two weeks, usually at Low Barns Nature Reserve in Witton-le-Wear. They take part in practical conservation tasks, such as removing Himalayan balsam, raking grassland, surveying, pond creation and cutting vegetation.
Running since October 2021, the Nature Rangers and Young Rangers programme aims to inspire young people to take up jobs in the environmental sector and plug the skills gap for these roles in County Durham.
Hannah Smith from Durham Wildlife Trust said: “Many young people in County Durham might not have considered a job in the environmental sector. We’re hoping that the Nature Rangers and Young Rangers programme will encourage younger generations to look at an environmental career, while also learning more about nature in their area.”
The Nature Rangers and Young Rangers programmes were funded through believe housing’s community grants programme. The Seaham-based housing association provided £6,600 of funding to help run the fortnightly sessions.
Community Investment Coordinator at believe housing, Joanne Norman, said: “Spending time outdoors and learning about nature is massively important for young people in the region. By funding the Nature Rangers and Young Rangers programme, we are not only giving young people of County Durham the chance to develop their environmental knowledge, but also to meet fellow budding environmentalists.”
Nature Rangers and Young Rangers meet every two weeks and sessions are free for believe housing customers. To sign up and keep track of future sessions, head to the Durham Wildlife Trust events page.
More information on believe housing’s grant programme is available here, or by calling the Community Investment Team on 0300 1311 999.