Helping young people connect with wildlife and improve their emotional wellbeing
Go Wild at Hudnall is a YCH Services for Young People project delivered in partnership with Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust which focuses on improving the emotional wellbeing of children and young people as well as the natural habitats for wildlife at Hudnall Park through nature-based activities and practical conservation work.
The project enables young people to engage in a wide range of activities, from mindfulness and art in nature to building bat and bird boxes, as well as offering opportunities to volunteer to create and improve wildlife habitats.
15 pilot sessions and a six-week Forest School programme took place during 2019, helping 96 young people to access nature and learn about wildlife, gaining skills and confidence at the same time. Following the success of the pilot programme, funding for a three-year programme has now been secured.
Who is it for?
All Go Wild sessions are free for young people aged 11-24 who are at risk of, or living with, emotional wellbeing issues or mental ill health. There are also some sessions for primary-aged children vulnerable to wellbeing issues and their families. Groups of young people from any organisation supporting young people, including charities, support services, schools and colleges, can also take part.
These sessions are all about emotional wellbeing and enabling young people to improve their mental health by connecting to nature.
Young people can take part in a range of mindfulness activities, such as breathing exercises, mindful tasting, making natural art, wood whittling, basic survival skills and creating soundscapes.
These sessions are all about wildlife and their habitats and what young people can do to help wildlife local to them. Activities may include creating bee and hedgehog homes, traditional woodland crafts and wildlife identification, as well as some mindfulness activities.
Wild Wellbeing and Wild About are both half-day or one-day sessions and can either be booked individually or as a block of six weekly sessions.
Forest School sessions
All sessions enable young people to explore the natural world using the five senses of sight, sound, touch, smell and taste in a fun and engaging way. They will also learn some useful mindfulness tools that they can use to help them manage their emotions on a day-to-day basis such as anxiety, anger, frustration and sadness.
Habitat improvements and conservation
In addition to offering nature-based activities there are also opportunities to volunteer to create and improve wildlife habitats as part of the conservation plan. Over the three-year project, the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust will lead the delivery of a programme of conservation works which aim to create more diverse and sustainable grassland, pond, woodland and hedgerow habitats as well as an orchard.
There will be two open days a year for families and communities to come to Hudnall Park and find out more about the project and the landscape.
Want to take part?
If you would like to know more about future programmes, make a booking or refer a young person to the programme, please contact the YCH Services for Young People Go Wild Team:
The number of participants in each group is currently limited to eight (excluding staff and accompanying adults). Appropriate social distancing measures will be observed throughout all sessions. These are discussed on booking and at the start of each session. Hand sanitiser will be available at all times.