Person cleaning beach

Caring for Nature Day Stay

Discover how to help protect the natural environment with YHA (England & Wales)

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Take part in important conservation work with the Caring for Nature programme.

Through activities and project work, participants will discover how they can help protect the natural world.

This opportunity is provided by YHA (England & Wales).


  • Type: Day visit
  • Dates: Various - see below
  • Locations: Various - see below
  • Cost: Free (fully funded)
  • Suitable for: Groups aged 15 - 26 years

About this opportunity

This day stay is offered at six different YHA locations across Cumbria, Derbyshire, East Sussex, North Yorkshire and Surrey.

It can either be delivered as a full day of practical skills and conservation project work – where the group takes on the challenge of a specific project. This could include practical skills around habitat creation, path maintenance, interpretation design, clearing invasive species, planting, developing meadows etc.

Alternatively, the day can be split with the morning spent on activities, such as team building and development. This will prepare participants for project work in the afternoon.

Need to know

How it works

Activities vary by location but may include:

  • beach clean (YHA Boggle Hole only)

  • log pile construction

  • tree planting

  • bee bombing and wildflower/meadow planting (YHA Castleton Losehill Hall only)

  • clearing of invasive species

  • building bug hotels

  • pond clearance and maintenance (YHA Castleton Losehill Hall only)

  • path maintenance

  • interpretation

  • litter pick and environment improvement

  • shelter building (YHA Castleton Losehill Hall and YHA Ravenstor only)

  • fire lighting (YHA Castleton Losehill Hall and YHA Ravenstor only)

  • rock pooling (YHA Boggle Hole only)

  • guided walks

  • team challenges

  • habitat studies (YHA Castleton Losehill Hall only)

Learning outcomes

Participants will learn practical conservation skills and will have the opportunity to complete elements of the John Muir award. 

What to bring

Packed lunch is provided.

Details of any specific project-based kit will be sent in advance if required.

As a guide, all participants should bring the following: 

  • day bag (small rucksack) to carry items out on activities
  • warm hat and gloves
  • old shirts or t-shirt
  • pair of old trousers (possibly old tracksuit, not jeans)
  • jumper or warm top (2 thin ones are better than one thick one)
  • warm and waterproof coat with hood and waterproof trousers
  • old trainers for use on wet or muddy activities
  • walking boots and ideally a pair wellies (especially for YHA Boggle Hole)
  • spare pair of socks
  • suncream and insect repellant
  • water bottle

There is a strong possibility that participants will get wet and muddy during their visit, so new and expensive items of clothing are best left at home.

All medication should be handed into the group leader with a note stating what it is, what it is for and the method and frequency of use. Medication should not be left around the centre.

All valuables should be kept with participants or handed in at reception. We encourage participants not to bring valuables with them and to keep pocket money to a reasonable level, in small denominations if possible.

Access guidance

Please refer to YHA accessibility statements for individual hostels.

Most, but not all, activities are suitable for all level of physical needs, however, this is hostel and activity dependent. Where possible we will do our best to alter activities or practices to make them as accessible as possible.

In terms of activities, none of the projects or grounds are likely to be suitable for participants with a physical requirement. We will endeavour as much as possible to offer bespoke opportunities.

Dates and locations

YHA Boggle Hole

Whitby, North Yorkshire, YO22 4UQ

Various dates available from September - November 2021

View the hostel

YHA Castleton Losehill Hall

Hope Valley, Derbyshire, S33 8WB

Various dates available from September - November 2021

View the hostel

YHA Hawkshead

Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 0QD

Various dates available from September - November 2021

View the hostel

YHA Holmbury St Mary Surrey Hills

Dorking, Surrey, RH5 6NW

Various dates available from September - November 2021

View the hostel

YHA Ravenstor

Miller's Dale, Buxton, SK17 8SS

Various dates available from September - November 2021

View the hostel

YHA South Downs

Lewes, East Sussex, BN8 6JS

Various dates available from September - November 2021

View the hostel

Sample timetable

YHA Caring for Nature Day Stay

Day one

10:00 - 10:30: Welcome, activity and safety briefing

10:30 - 12:30: Environmental art and team building

12:30 - 13:15: Lunch

13:15 - 16:00: Conservation project

16:00 - 16:30: Final debrief and review

16:30: Depart

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YHA (England & Wales) is delivering this opportunity as part of Generation Green.

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