A new scheme has been launched to provide opportunities for young people aged 16-17 from all backgrounds to spend time in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT) and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) have partnered with NCS (National Citizen Service) to create Green Routes, with the aim of empowering hundreds of young people through a series of practical and inspiring experiences.
The aim is to create outdoor experiences in the Yorkshire Dales over the next 12 months that encourage teamwork, improve health and wellbeing and provide opportunities for social mixing for young people from Bradford, Blackburn with Darwen and North Yorkshire.
Youth groups from underrepresented and underserved communities who might otherwise face barriers to accessing nature and green spaces are invited to apply.
“We hope that through Green Routes, the young people we work with will develop life skills, confidence and resilience that can be taken forward into their future lives,” said Fiona Busfield, Green Futures programme manager at YDMT.
“We aim to provide a supported pathway that will hopefully inspire them, whether it be a lifelong passion for the outdoors or creating positive change for the environment and their communities.”
Examples of the kind of experiences that will be on offer include: green woodworking, walking, bushcraft and campfire cooking, lambing, tree planting, species identification, dry stone wall building, path laying and natural crafts.
Lizzie Bushby, member champion for recreation management at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, said: “We want to make sure everyone, regardless of ability, background or lived experience has the opportunity to come and explore our special landscapes.
“Providing experiences that enable people to access the special qualities of the National Park, through schemes like this, is one of our key objectives and we look forward to working with partners to deliver successful outcomes for the young people taking part.”
Participants will take part in regular Youth Forum meetings which will encourage peer-to-peer learning and development through exploring different environmental challenges and identifying ways they can take action.
There will also be a Big Dales Day Out, where all the groups will come together to take positive action for the environment.
The scheme has been made possible through funding from NCS.
Youth groups and leaders are invited to apply to participate in the scheme by emailing email@example.com. There is a rolling application process until October 2024.
For more information please visit: www.ydmt.org/green-routes