Young Nature 2021

Join the Teaching & Learning SIG, Royal Holloway University of London, and Brighton University for this online event for those passionate about connecting young people with nature.

A child blowing dandelion seeds into the wind

Building on the success and energy of Young Nature UK 2019, this four-day, interdisciplinary, online event is for anyone passionate about connecting young people with nature and empowering them to protect it. This timely event provides the unique opportunity to:

  • Showcase and learn from existing efforts aimed at connecting young people with nature on their doorstep.
  • Facilitate collaborations to build and identify demand-driven, scalable and cost-effective interventions.
  • Explore how young people can be the vital link in nature-based community initiatives.

Our programme will be centred around education (primary and secondary), health and wellbeing, and biodiversity conservation, with our final day focusing on community in order to bring everyone together and foster collaborations. Although activities in the UK will be at the heart of our programme, we hope that hosting this event online will encourage participants from across the world to bring their input to this globally relevant topic.

This inclusive event is open to all: practitioners, researchers, educators/teachers, and students.

Organisers

This event is co-organised by

  • Dr Deborah Harvey (Royal Holloway University of London; @deborahjharvey, @schoolsbioboost)
  • Dr Rachel White (University of Brighton; @Rach_L_White)
  • The BES Teaching & Learning Special Interest Group (@BES_TLSIG).

Format

Running across four days, with alternating half-day morning and afternoon sessions, the programme will include keynote speakers, lightning talks, posters, workshops and round-table discussions focusing on core issues.

Each day will highlight one of four themes:

  • Education (considering how learning about nature and the environment features in the primary and secondary curriculum).
  • Health and Wellbeing (focusing on the benefits that being outside in nature brings to young people’s mental and physical health).
  • Biodiversity and Conservation (highlighting the important role of young people in conservation and enhancing local biodiversity).
  • Working Together (building collaborations between schools, local communities, practitioners and universities).

Confirmed keynote speakers

Professor Marcus Grace (University of Southampton)

Marcus is Professor of Science Education at the University of Southampton. Previously, he taught science at comprehensive schools in London and was Headteacher at a Berlitz school in Tokyo. His main interests centre around learning and teaching about socio-scientific issues, particularly biodiversity conservation, health and wellbeing and environmental issues, and outdoor science education. His current work includes developing realistic ways of helping young people engage with outdoors to enhance their appreciation of the natural world and improve health-related attitudes and behaviour.  Find out more here.

Dr Nadia von Benzon (Lancaster University)

Nadia is a social geographer based as Lancaster University with particular interest in geographies of children and families and geographies of health and wellbeing. Previous research has included research with learning disabled young people exploring access to the natural environment. She is particularly interested in methods, ethics and practice of research with marginalised and vulnerable people and the promotion of knowledge sharing opportunities in this area. Nadia’s current research looks at nature-based interventions for young people’s health and wellbeing, and she was lead editor of the textbook Creative Methods in Human Geography, published by SAGE earlier this year. Find out more here.

Julie Newman (XPolli:Nation Educator and Outdoor Education Trailblazer)

Julie is an educator with over 30 years experience across the primary age range. Actively involved in outdoor education for about 13 years, she is passionate about getting children outdoors, with the aim of inspiring them to connect with local nature. This has included teaching citizen science projects, gardening and exploring the use of technology in nature engagement. Involved in national projects in a variety of roles, she is currently part of X-Polli:Nation, working to bring about positive change for pollinators. She is currently based at St Alban’s CE Primary School, Hampshire, where students created the national conservation campaign PolliPromise and won three Bees’ Needs School Champion Awards from DEFRA. @msnewman1001

BTO Youth Advisory Panel

The British Trust for Ornithology’s (BTO) Youth Advisory Panel aims to ensure young people’s voices are better represented within the organisation and the wider birdwatching community. The Panel consists of 11 young volunteers, aged 16–25, from a wide variety of backgrounds. Since launching in 2020, they have developed a three-year youth engagement strategy and recruited 15 BTO Youth Representatives. They are now working hard to deliver the ambitious objectives of their strategy, which include the launch of a birdwatching equipment donation scheme, developing school resources on birds and wildlife, and creating free online training courses for young people. Their enthusiasm, motivation and dedication to making birdwatching more accessible and inclusive are truly inspirational. Faye Vogely (BTO’s youth engagement programme lead) and members of the Panel will deliver this talk. Find out more here.

Call for proposals

We invite you to present a lightning talk or poster or run either a round-table discussion or workshop at this exciting interdisciplinary online event

The deadline for proposals is 17:00 (BST) Friday 2 April. For further information about the proposals and how to submit, click here.

Registration

Tickets are still available for this event with the following prices:

  • BES Student Members – £20
  • Regular Student – £30
  • BES Member – £30
  • General Admission – £40

Registration is open until 17:00 (BST) Monday 31 May.

Register here

Follow the event on Twitter with #YoungNature2021

If you have any questions about the event, please get in touch with Deborah Harvey and Rachel White