Teenagers walking in forest

Caring for Nature Residential

Immerse yourself in the natural environment and help protect it with YHA (England & Wales)

 Applications have closed for this opportunity and places have been filled. Sign up for updates.

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).

Essentials

  • Type: Two-night residential
  • Dates: Various - see below
  • Locations: Derbyshire / North Yorkshire
  • Cost: Free (fully funded)
  • Suitable for: Groups aged 14 - 26 years

About this opportunity

This two-night residential is offered at three different YHA locations across Derbyshire and North Yorkshire.

Project work will be split over a morning and afternoon. Participants will have the opportunity to learn new skills, while completing all or part of a project designed to either improve or create habitats, or improve our use or understanding of the natural environment.

Group activities will vary by hostel and are designed to encourage and promote our use of the natural habitat as a creative, educational and engaging environment and resource. Alongside the project work and activities, participants will have the opportunity to feed into the new Countryside Code, hear about volunteering, apprenticeship and employment opportunities from guest speakers, and complete elements of the John Muir award.

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

  • climbing/abseiling/caving (YHA Castleton Losehill Hall and YHA Ravenstor only)

  • 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)

  • guest speakers

  • Countryside Code workshop

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 on the main day and day of departure.

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
  • several old shirts or t-shirts
  • 2 or 3 pairs of old trousers (possibly old tracksuit, not jeans)
  • 2 or 3 jumpers or warm tops (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)
  • shoes/trainers for use in the centre
  • several pairs of socks, including a thick pair if you have them
  • several changes of underwear
  • pyjamas
  • slightly smarter set of clothes for meals and wearing in the centre
  • wash kit and towel
  • suncream and insect repellant
  • water bottle
  • torch and spare battery (important for evening outdoor activities)

There is a strong possibility that participants will get wet and muddy during their stay, 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 in the bunkrooms or 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

  • 11th - 13th October 2021
  • 18th - 20th October 2021

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YHA Castleton Losehill Hall

Hope Valley, Derbyshire, S33 8WB

  • 13th - 15th September 2021
  • 20th - 22nd September 2021
  • 4th - 6th October 2021
  • 3rd - 5th November 2021

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YHA Ravenstor

Miller's Dale, Buxton, SK17 8SS

  • 15th - 17th September 2021
  • 4th - 6th October 2021
  • 11th - 13th October 2021

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Sample timetables

YHA Boggle Hole

Day one

14:00 - 17:30: Welcome, orientation activity and beach clean/fossil hunt

18:00 - 19:00: Evening meal

19:30 - 21:00: Guest speaker: Ana Cowie, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Day two

08:30 - 09:30: Breakfast

09:30 - 12:30: Rockpooling/beach clean

13:00 - 14:00: Lunch

14:00 - 17:30: Woodland habitat creation

18:00 - 19:00: Evening meal

19:30 - 21:00: Guest speaker: local beach artist / Surfers Against Sewage

Day three

08:30 - 09:30: Breakfast

09:30 - 12:30: Beach trash art

13:00 - 14:00: Lunch

14:00: Depart

YHA Castleton Losehill Hall

Day one

14:00 - 17:30: Welcome, orientation activity and YHA activities

18:00 - 19:00: Evening meal

19:30 - 21:00: Guest speaker: Ranger, Peak District National Park

Day two

08:30 - 09:30: Breakfast

09:30 - 12:30: Habitat creation, log pile, pond, meadow development, interpretation

13:00 - 14:00: Lunch

14:00 - 17:30: Habitat creation, log pile, pond, meadow development, interpretation

18:00 - 19:00: Evening meal

19:30 - 21:00: Night hike with talk from YHA staff

Day three

08:30 - 09:30: Breakfast

09:30 - 12:30: Adventurous activity with conservation task, tree planting or habitat work

13:00 - 14:00: Lunch

14:00: Depart

YHA Ravenstor

Day one

14:00 - 17:30: Welcome, orientation activity and habitat creation, conservation, hostel grounds improvement - paths, interpretation, tree trail, log pile

18:00 - 19:00: Evening meal

19:30 - 21:00: Guest speaker: Ranger, Peak District National Park

Day two

08:30 - 09:30: Breakfast

09:30 - 12:30: Adventurous activity with conservation task

13:00 - 14:00: Lunch

14:00 - 17:30: Adventurous activity with conservation task

18:00 - 19:00: Evening meal

19:30 - 21:00: Guest speaker: staff from YHA Edale Activity Centre

Day three

08:30 - 09:30: Breakfast

09:30 - 12:30: Hostel grounds work

13:00 - 14:00: Lunch

14:00: Depart

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