Outdoors: Groups offer young people chance to engage with nature

More than 15,000 young people across Northern Ireland are set to stand up for nature thanks to a £1.8m funding boost from Big Lottery Fund
Andrea McKernon

IF YOU are aged between 11 and 24 and want to learn about conservation and the great outdoors, now's the time to get in contact with two environmental groups who are running new projects designed for young people.

The Belfast Hills Partnership and Ulster Wildlife are bringing the great outdoors to life due to a £1.8 million Big Lottery Fund cash injection aimed at helping young people engage with nature.

The initiative called Our Bright Future, aims to combat a lack of social cohesion and economic opportunities for young adults.

From tackling marine pollution to caring for local green spaces, young people will become environmental leaders, influence decisions in their local areas and improve their employment prospects.

Over 15,000 young people across the north will be helped to create this brighter future, the Big Lottery Fund says.

The Belfast Hills Partnership will engage with 200 young adults each year, helping them design and run environmental projects that have a meaningful impact on their surroundings and improve cultural links.

An additional 2,000 young people will be reached through schools, youth organisations and clubs to help them learn about pollution, wildlife and the archaeology and history of the Belfast Hills.


Dr Lizzy Pinkerton from the Belfast Hills Partnership encouraged anyone aged from 11 to 24 to get in touch to find out what's on offer in the hills above Belfast, Lisburn and Newtownabbey.

“We want to develop confident, experienced and multi-skilled young people who can find employment, and continue to respect and care for their local green spaces."

Ulster Wildlife will bring the great outdoors to life for 5,000 young people across Northern Ireland through Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and special schools.

Jennifer Fulton from Ulster Wildlife said: “Helping young people experience nature and make a difference to their environment is a big part of our work. They are the leaders of tomorrow and their interest and involvement will help secure a better future for our wildlife and special places."

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