Child smiling in a forest

Generation Green

Connecting young people with nature

Generation Green is a 16-month funded project that aims to connect young people to nature, create and save jobs, and build an aspirant workforce for a green recovery.

Through new jobs, training, volunteering roles, residentials and outdoor and online learning experiences, the project will provide more than 100,000 opportunities to connect young people to nature – many for the first time – and to cultivate a sense of care for the natural environment.

Why is the project needed?

The environment workforce is one of least diverse workforces in England.

It has never been more important to support young people’s routes into employment. Young people from deprived areas, BAME groups and disadvantaged backgrounds have fewer opportunities to experience nature and the outdoors at an early age, affecting their engagement with the natural environment in later life.

Connections to nature improve wellbeing.

We know there are five things that help us connect better to nature and maximise these wellbeing benefits. This project has a specific remit to look at ways to respond to these challenges.

Physical contact with the natural world

Finding an emotional bond with, and love for, nature

Taking time to appreciate the beauty of nature

Thinking about the meaning and signs of nature

Showing compassion and care for nature

With thanks to the Nature Connectedness Research Group at University of Derby

How will the project help?

Generation Green will support thousands of young people.

Improving diversity of access to nature and the natural world, for young people now and in the future

Testing approaches to ensure more children and young people connect with – and care for – nature

Delivering activities that will inspire young people to see their career aspirations in the environment and outdoor learning sector

Who will benefit?

While the project will deliver national reach and benefit young people aged 7 years and upwards, the primary target beneficiary group is young people aged 14 to 26 years from the North, Midlands, and coastal and deprived urban areas.

At the very core of these are young people that are traditionally less likely – due to social, economic and cultural factors – to connect with nature, or engage with nature and nature preservation/conservation.

Who is running the project?

Generation Green is the first project to be delivered by the Access Unlimited coalition. The coalition comprises YHA (England & Wales) – who are hosting the project on behalf of the partners – The Outward Bound Trust, Scouts, Girlguiding, Field Studies Council and the 10 English National Parks.

The project capitalises on the coalition partners' combined reach of more than two million young people.

YHA (England & Wales) has 150 hostels, 45 campsites and one aim: to make adventure available to all.

The Outward Bound Trust helps young people to defy limitations through learning and adventures in the wild.

Scouts provide fun, challenge and adventure to many thousands of girls and boys across the UK.

Girlguiding empowers thousands of girls and young women across the UK through adventure, friendship and fun.

The Field Studies Council offers outdoor residential, day, outreach and virtual school trips for all ages.

The 10 English National Parks work together to give people incredible opportunities to explore amazing spaces.

How is the project funded?

Generation Green is funded by the Government's Green Recovery Challenge Fund.

The fund was developed by Defra and its Arm's-Length Bodies. It is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England, the Environment Agency and Forestry Commission.

Project funding

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