In this Social Sciences Engagement Fellowship project, we are partnering with the youth-led nature recovery organisation Youngwilders to explore the strategies, policy frameworks, collaborations, and funding opportunities that can support the participation of young people (aged 18-30) in nature recovery-related activities. The project also seeks to enhance the partner organisation’s ability to support this participation by identifying and co-developing new engagement activities and co-designing their approach to impact evaluation.

The main ongoing activities of the project are:

  • Working with landowners and young people across 6 small-scale nature recovery sites across England and Wales to develop and pilot a year-long ‘project officer’ programme in which young people are placed into paid decision-making roles within an active nature recovery project, co-design management plans and interventions for the sites, and engage in monthly seminars and knowledge-sharing activities with their cohort of young project officers.
  • Assisting Youngwilders with reviewing their activities and impacts to date, written up into an Impact Report for dissemination to partners and funders, and co-designing their long-term impact evaluation approach.
  • Working with the European Young Rewilders network coordinated by Rewilding Europe to develop knowledge exchange activities, including a ‘Readwilding book club’, to build shared understanding and new networks among young nature recovery practitioners working across Europe.
  • Launching a special issue of ‘Routes: The Journal for Student Geographers’ on young people and rewilding together with journal editors Dr Jonathon Turnbull and Dr Liam Saddington