The Royal Parks

Connecting young people with nature

As public spaces open up again after lockdowns, we want to make sure young people get opportunities to rebuild lost learning and skills, particularly when it comes to nature and the environment. The Royal Parks charity is working with state schools from the local area in most need of extra support through their Green Futures project. A unique programme for 11 to 14 year olds and 16 and 17 year olds, Green Futures teaches about biodiversity and the climate emergency, helping young people feel more connected to green spaces and understand their value, in particular London’s Royal Parks.

  • Our grant of £80,000 will fund the Green Futures project for two years.
  • The project will benefit up to 815 students from local state secondary schools, selected from the boroughs of Westminster, Camden, Kensington & Chelsea, Lambeth, Southwark and Wandsworth.
  • 99% of feedback received from teachers rated their experience with The Royal Parks as “excellent” or “very good”.

Developing our future green leaders

Importantly, the Green Futures project is linked to the school curriculum and includes hands-on STEM learning days in the parks. There are practical citizen science lessons which teach participants about biodiversity and the climate emergency, as well as helping them develop team and leadership skills. Pupils get to meet experts in the field and learn about careers in the nature heritage sector.

Older students will have the opportunity to join a Green Leaders programme, helping plan and deliver conservation days for the younger participants. In the second year of the programme, the previous year’s leaders will be invited to return in an advisory role and form a new youth forum, offering valuable experience to those interested in a conservation career.

“At The Royal Parks we believe that everyone should have access to information, education and learning opportunities about nature, wellbeing and heritage. The Green Futures project will help support groups of young people in some of London’s most deprived areas to understand the importance of the natural environment, to learn together and build knowledge and skills. We know that the pandemic has exacerbated difficulties faced by so many young people across London and we believe that, with the Kusuma Trust’s support, this programme can help make a real difference.”

Andrew Scattergood, CEO, The Royal Parks

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