This autumn young people, aged 16-17, from South London have been out in force, dedicating their time to support London Wildlife Trust with some conservation work at The Great North Wood.
The young people were able to volunteer by taking part in the National Citizen Service (NCS) autumn programme, which is delivered locally by Palace for Life Foundation (Crystal Palace FC) as part of their work with the EFL Trust.
Prior to the second National Lockdown the young people were hard at work with the London Wildlife Trust providing them support with nature conversation and how they can protect the precious green space in South London. The young people took part in a wellbeing activity connecting with nature around them, followed by education on conservation techniques. These techniques were then put into practice including the felling of small trees to create more light in the woodland for more vegetation to grow in the soil, and building a dead hedge using woodland tools to create a path outline in the woods to again protecting the forest floor from being over trodden, so more nature can flourish.
Emmanuel, 16, was impressed by what the group had achieved:
“I really enjoyed being able to help plants gain access to sunlight for more to grow. Together, we prevented the unwanted growth of invading tree species in the woods by felling certain trees.”
Showing resilience, the young people carried out their volunteering during the typical October weather and a number of them want to continue volunteering with the London Wildlife Trust.
Chloe, 16, is one of the teens that wants to come back to help with the conservation. She said:
“I tried things I never thought I would, such as chopping down trees. I want to do this again in the future and spend more time helping the London Wildlife Trust.”
Chantelle from London Wildlife Trust was really impressed with how the group got stuck in:
“Working with the young people was definitely a highlight of our project year for me. They came with open minds, put their all into the tasks they were given and worked well in their teams. The groups made a great start on building a dead hedge and as it’s a task with multiple stages, they had to learn a lot very quickly and I was super impressed with how well they took to each task as they rotated between the different stages. The completed dead hedge will serve as a guide to keep people on the desired path and protect the soil on the other side from trampling, which should eventually make way for wildflowers and native tree seedlings to populate the area and increase overall biodiversity. I feel so proud of the young people and they should be proud of themselves too!”
The Palace of Life Foundation are part of EFL Trust’s network of NCS delivery partners who, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, are supporting thousands of young people this Autumn through NCS. To find out more about NCS this autumn visit wearencs.com.