Millions of pounds to unleash young minds on the challenges posed by climate change

NEW projects to inspire a fresh generation of environmental leaders across Yorkshire have been awarded almost £4m.

Picture: Ian Day.

With grants from the Big Lottery Fund, a consortium of organisations led by The Wildlife Trusts will deliver initiatives that aim to tackle social cohesion, a lack of opportunities for young people and climate change.

Four projects which will operate in Yorkshire are among 31 across the country that have been awarded nearly £1m each to launch the Big Lottery Fund’s Our Bright Future programme.

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They include the ‘Youth in Nature’ project in Hull which will see young people create a centrepiece wildlife corridor and 16 local wildlife zones in partnership with local businesses, developers and volunteers.

Steve Alltoft, general manager of Probe (Hull) Ltd, which is leading the scheme, said: “We are delighted to be involved as one of only 31 projects delivering an exciting and ground-breaking project, which will have significant beneficial impacts on both local people and the local environment.”

Disadvantaged teenagers in West Yorkshire will be recruited to lead local environmental projects as part of another project, called Green Leaders run by the Groundwork charity.

Among a series of projects co-ordinated by Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust is a ‘Young Rangers’ scheme for young people in the north of the Dales National Park.

Young people will also meet regularly through a Youth Environment Forum, and two-year countryside management trainee posts with local employers will be offered to young people aged 16-24.

Elsewhere, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust plans to recruit 96 young people over five years to year-long placements which will see them carry out practical environmental tasks as well as campaign for the good of the environment.

Peter Ainsworth, UK chairman of the Big Lottery Fund, said: “Our Bright Future is designed to unleash the ambition of young people to make a personal and collective contribution to making our environment brighter, happier and more resilient.”