Image for ‘World’s largest’ youth-led conservation scheme begins in Wales

‘World’s largest’ youth-led conservation scheme begins in Wales

The project is unfolding on a 2,000-acre upland estate in the Brecon Beacons National Park

The project is unfolding on a 2,000-acre upland estate in the Brecon Beacons National Park

Young people aged 12-17 are taking part in an ambitious project across 2,000 acres of the Brecon Beacons to help tackle the decline in British wildlife. Organisers, the environmental charity Action for Conservation, say the Penpont project is the largest youth-led nature restoration scheme of its kind in the world in terms of the geographical area covered.

Twenty young people from diverse backgrounds will work with tenant farmers, landowners and local people to enhance habitats in an attempt to protect the local flora and fauna. It is hoped the programme will create a global “gold standard” for youth-led environmental action. The team began by carrying out ecological surveys across the site this month, and the next phase of work will begin in September.

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Under the young people’s management, the project seeks to restore habitats and ecosystems and explore innovative approaches to farming and forestry. Low input, high impact solutions that rely on natural processes will be prioritised.

Willow, 16, from Cardiff, is among the inaugural members of the youth leadership group. She told Positive News she was “so excited” to be taking part: “The natural world is in real trouble, in Wales and beyond, and we need to work together to find creative ways to turn this situation around,” she said.

We need to work together to find creative ways to turn this situation around

“By working with the tenant farmers, landowners and conservationists I really hope that we can demonstrate the value of putting young people at the heart of positive environmental change and inspire other projects to take a similar approach.”

Gareth Davies, a tenant farmer whose family have farmed the estate for three generations, added: “This is an inspiring project and we are looking forward to working together with these passionate young people to show how nature restoration can go hand in hand with sustainable farming practices, to make sure we maintain healthy soils, clean water and vital wildlife species long into the future.”

In photos: the Penpont project begins

Images: Penpont project

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