Since 2016, we've been running a series of practical sessions for young people in urban areas of Gloucestershire. During these sessions, participants get hands on and work together to improve green spaces around the county, whilst learning new skills such as how to build bird boxes.
These sessions give young people a fantastic opportunity to make a real difference to their local community, which in turn benefits residents, visitors and wildlife alike.
Young people from all walks of life participate, which creates an excellent platform to improve social skills and build better social understanding. Teamwork is a key element in all of our sessions as we are keen to develop transferrable personal skills as well as practical skills – all of which give young people experience, improve their confidence and help them to prepare for paid employment.
Pupils from a wide range of schools and colleges have already been involved, including Alderman Knight, All Saints Academy, Barnwood Park, Belmont, Bettridge, Cleeve, Gloucester Academy, Holmleigh, Severn Vale, St Georges, St Peters, and Gloucestershire College.
In Tewkesbury, Gloucester & Cheltenham
Our Bright Future runs four wildlife workshops for 16-24-year-olds each week:
- Mondays - Gloucester, 2pm - 4:30pm, at 48 London Road, Youth Support Team building,
- Tuesdays - Tewkesbury, 2pm - 4:30pm at 101 Queens Road, Priors Park,
- Wednesday mornings - Cheltenham, 9:30am - 12:20pm, at Tewkesbury Road garden, next to American Golf,
- Wednesday afternoons - Cheltenham, for under 19s, 2pm - 4:30pm, Whaddon Youth Centre, Dart Road
Activities we run during the sessions
During each project, participants are likely to have built raised planters, bird boxes, bee homes and compost bays; created log piles and dead hedges and improved their identification skills. We focus on recycling and upcycling materials, and work with local businesses who provide us with scrap materials – it saves us buying new and stops materials going to waste! Every activity contributes to the improvement of our urban habitats, supporting a wide range of local species from house martins to hedgehogs and solitary bees.
Our Priors Park wildlife workshop in Tewkesbury is an exemplar wildlife garden in the heart of an urban social housing area. Local people of all ages regularly volunteer at the garden to help create innovative growing areas and sustainable water collection and dispersal features. It has been changed from a patch of grassland into a habitat for a diverse collection of flora and fauna. The garden showcases space saving practices, offering our native urban based pollinators a bank of pollen and nectar throughout the year. Thanks to the bathtub pond it is also home to both common toads and frogs.
Young people have the opportunity to earn AQA certificates for activities they take part in at the Wildlife Workshops and in school sessions.
How to get involved
Schools - For more information about the sessions we run in schools, email Georgia Spooner, the Our Bright Future Learning Programme Officer.
Weekly Wildlife Workshops - To book your place for one of our weekly workshops, or for more information about them, email Milly Spencer, the Our Bright Future Project Officer.
Our Bright Future is supported by the Big Lottery Fund. Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, in conjunction with Avon Wildlife Trust, is delivering one of 31 funded projects throughout the UK. Participants have joined after seeing Facebook adverts, because of word of mouth recommendation, and because of connections made with organisations and projects such as Young Gloucestershire, Kingfisher Treasure Seekers Youth Forum, the Youth Support Team, Prospects Training Services and Jobcentre Plus.