Laura Kravac is AFC’s Programme Manager and leads our WildED workshop programme.
One of our young conservationists getting ready to take action.
It’s been a great start to the year here at Action for Conservation (AFC), with the news that we have been awarded a £20,000 grant from the Postcode Local Trust to support the expansion of our ‘WildED’ conservation workshop programme to secondary schools across the country.
With 56% of UK species in decline, we need people of all ages to become responsible stewards for the environment. Unfortunately, over 68% of people are unaware or unconcerned about the declines in wildlife and 79% of children lack an adequate connection to nature, making them less likely to fight to protect it as adults. We believe that young people need more opportunities to connect to the natural world and impactful programmes that teach them how to tackle some of our most complex environmental problems, which is where WildED comes in.
Our determined WildED competitors arriving at the London final
WildED is AFC’s newest education initiative that has evolved through years of running conservation workshops with young people. It takes students on a 10 week long immersive expedition into the world of conservation where they gain skills and knowledge to lead their own environmental action projects in their local area. Students present their projects to our panel of expert conservationists at city-wide competitions all over the country where the top teams are crowned the grand WildED champions.
Our team has piloted the WildED programme in eight schools across London over the past year and we have been so inspired by what these young people have accomplished. We’ve seen students lead habitat restoration projects, design urban food gardens on their school grounds and even go face-to-face with their local council to address recycling issues in their area. Even more importantly, we’ve witnessed their passion for protecting the natural world and the desire to lead positive change.
With the support of the Postcode Local Trust, we will expand the WildED programme to Bristol, Manchester, Liverpool and Brighton in 2018. Supported by our team of volunteer workshop leaders, young conservationists working in the field, we plan to lead 60 workshops in 20 schools, empowering up to 600 students to lead environmental change projects in their school or local area. We are passionate about bringing nature into the lives of all young people, regardless of circumstance, which is why we aim to lead WildED in schools in which at least 50% of pupils are in receipt of pupil premium.
We will keep you updated on our progress as the programmes get under way and showcase the incredible projects that students are leading along the way.
If you are a teacher from one of our target cities and are interested in hosting the WildED programme, please get in touch with our Programme Manager.
If you are a young conservationists living or working near our target areas and want to share your passion for conservation with the next generation then we want to hear from you!
Postcode Local Trust is a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.