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Tue 1st May 2018
Eco-Explorers Project
We are pleased to announce the launch of our new project Eco-Explorers.

We are delighted to have received a grant of £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project to inspire young people about UK native wildlife.

Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project is being launched shortly at Three Hagges Woodmeadow.

young filmmaker and ex University of York biologist Nicholas Atherton and founder of Project: WILD C.I.C. to build a project that encourages young people to explore and record our native wildlife.

Nick Atherton, filmmaker, biologist and founder of Project Wild C.I.C will be giving talks in local schools during May and will be leading a series of workshops at Three Hagges Woodmeadow for primary and secondary age children, as well as a “How to Film Wildlife” weekend.

The workshops and filming weekend will offer young people the great benefit of exploring wildlife alongside professional ecologists who will share their enthusiasm and knowledge with young people and hope to inspire a new generation of wildlife enthusiasts.

Nick, 22, says: “I loved my childhood spent outdoors, far from a PS3 or Xbox. With more electronic entertainment options appearing every year, fewer young people spend their free time roaming the local countryside and engaging with their natural heritage. By providing local children with an opportunity to explore in a safe environment and learn from expert ecologists at the Three Hagges Woodmeadow, we can hopefully inspire the next generation of researchers and recorders!”

We are also delighted to be teaming up with Girlguiding UK Abbey Division and The Scout Association Selby District who are creating an ‘Eco-Explorers’ badge for Guides and Scouts in the area.

Alison Cunningham OBE, the Selby Girlguiding Commissioner says: “This is a brilliant opportunity for our young people to learn about local wildlife, to gain new skills and to engage with a community initiative. My Scouting colleagues and I are delighted to be involved.”

Running alongside these activities will be a photography competition, “Snap Wild”, with prizes for a variety of categories including ‘Up Close and Personal’, ‘In motion’ and ‘Habitat landscape’ in two age groups: 8–11 year olds, and 12-16 year olds. ‘Snap Wild’ is open to all young people in these age groups in the schools and organisations we visit who are interested in recording nature in their area or at Three Hagges Woodmeadow.

Rosalind Forbes Adam, Chair of The Woodmeadow Trust, says: “We are very grateful to have received support thanks to National Lottery players. This project was inspired by 13-year -old naturalist and blogger Zach Haynes’ report of the 2017 Yorkshire Naturalists Union Conference where he suggested filming as a route for young people to become excited about the wonders of our planet.

“We hope it will inspire many young people to get involved and bring their families along with them to learn too. Our ambition is for all generations to become engaged in and appreciate the beauty and biodiversity that our countryside offers.”

David Renwick, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “We’re delighted to support the The Woodmeadow Trust to explore and share the wonder of the natural world with the next generation. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, this project will help young people to get outdoors and discover the fantastic wildlife on their doorstep.”

The project culminates in the The Woodmeadow Trust Eco-Explorers Exhibition and Prizegiving for the Snap Wild Competition in Selby Abbey on Friday 28 September.

The Woodmeadow Trust Eco-Explorers project is open to all schools and young people in the area. If you are interested please contact Emma Daniels, Project Coordinator, The Woodmeadow