Getting girls in London into nature

When young people connect with nature, it can improve their mental and physical health, confidence and social skills. It’s even linked to doing better in school. Yet research shows that only 10% of children and young people regularly explore and play in nature. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and Girlguiding London and South East England Region (Girlguiding LaSER) are working together to get girls in London into the great outdoors so they can reap these benefits.

We’re pleased to support RSPB with a grant of £13,429 to fund five London events, each involving at least 80 girls. Any girls who can’t attend the events can take part in nature challenges local to their Girlguiding group, allowing more girls to experience the great outdoors, even in the city.

  • The RSPB Girlguiding LaSER partnership engages an average of 2,000 girls annually.
  • The RSPB has more than 12,000 volunteers and 1.1 million members – they’ve been a voice for nature for more than 130 years.
  • RSPB members have access to over 170 nature reserves across the UK

Nurturing nature champions

Girlguiding UK found that 61% of girls are worried about the long-term impact of the pandemic on their mental health and 62% said being outdoors and in nature helped them to feel better. RSPB and Girlguiding LaSER’s events and nature challenges will immerse girls in nature. The five London events will include pond dipping, minibeast hunting, discovering birds and learning how to use binoculars. Through the nature challenges, LaSER members will discover nature on their doorstep in their local green spaces and parks. They will take part in scavenger hunts to find natural objects; ‘spot it’ activities to see birds, signs of the seasons changing and animal tracks; and make natural dyes from plants.

Many Girlguiding members say they worry about the environment. By learning about habitats and developing the skills to speak out and act, the project will help girls feel more confident and hopeful that they have an important voice and can stand up for nature.

“Inspiring children and young people about the natural environment is an incredibly important part of our work, as they will be the guardians of our world in the future. We’re particularly excited to be working with Girlguiding LaSER on events and activities for girls from diverse backgrounds in central London. To achieve our vision of creating a world richer in nature, we need more people, and more diverse people, to champion the natural world. We hope that through this project, the girls will feel as passionate about protecting and helping nature as we do.”

Paul Langley, Head of Engagement, RSPB England

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