Youth conservation projects

The Youth Environmental Action Fund (YEAF) supports projects that aim to protect our wildlife and habitats, and to help more people experience and care for it. All the projects are designed and led by talented young people.    

Orin's Bioblitz

11 year old Orin was awarded £1,000 to run a family friendly bioblitz event at the National Trust's Footprint Centre near Windermere.

His aim was to make the event more attractive to young people and the grant enabled him to buy materials for nature themed craft activities and surveying equipment. The equipment is still being used by local schools. He inspired 162 people to join him to investigate the number of species at the site and they found a total of 468, nearly 300 of which hadn’t been documented there before! These included wood mouse, bank vole and common shrew along with common pipistrelle and soprano pipistrelle bats, four species of frog, toad, and the smooth and palmate newts.

“I love surveying wildlife." Orin told us. "Seeing the animals gives me such joy and I love watching the ecosystems around me. I really wanted to organise my own bioblitz event to help local people find out what wildlife lives in the area. My hope is that lots of people and especially young people were inspired to love the natural world around us. I believe that if people know and understand what lives alongside them, they will be more passionate about protecting it.”

Eels in the Classroom - Sedbergh Primary School 

A grant of £756 gave pupils at Sedbergh primary school the chance to experience nature first hand by raising baby eels (elvers) in their classroom and eventually releasing them into the wild. The project helped the young people to learn about the importance of eels and their habitats, and raise awareness about their conservation. 

Eels in the classroom

Over six weeks the young people explored the eels habitat by stream dipping in the River Rawthey and identifying the creatures they found. They learnt about rivers and river management, the food cycle of eels, eel anatomy and their life cycle. After nurturing the elvers in a tank in their classroom until they were ready, the young people then released them into the River Rawthey. 

One young person involved told us, “I know a lot more about the environment and eels and where they come from. I will treat the world how it should be treated.”

The project facilitator, Rachel, said: “The project has been a great success in engaging young people in their local environment and helping them increase their awareness of other living things by actively caring for the elvers in their school. Our eel-lite team members have all said they care more about the environment and feel they could make a difference since taking part in the project which is wonderful news."

Projects that raise awareness about environmental issues >