Young people can apply for funding for projects to help them connect with nature through an environmental programme which also aims to help reduce levels of “eco-anxiety”.
NatureScot has launched the next round of the scheme with £20,000 in funding and urged anyone aged between 11 and 26 with ideas to apply.
The scheme aims to increase the number of young people who connect with nature and empower them to take positive actions towards reducing biodiversity loss and climate change.
The fund was closed during the Covid-19 pandemic, but its return seeks to remove some of the barriers that prevent young people from engaging with nature and provide support for those who want to take positive action.
Calling 11 to 26 year-olds for fresh ideas to connect young people with nature in Scotland! We're looking for ways to engage, encourage and inspire young people about nature, and combat climate change, with our latest round of our Future Routes Fund. https://t.co/QDgQhR9zXL pic.twitter.com/lN5t26XRwN
— NatureScot (@nature_scot) April 25, 2022
It also aims to help reduce levels of eco-anxiety in young people following the lockdowns they have experienced over the past two years, by allowing them to feel part of the natural world again.
Abi Gardner, NatureScot biodiversity and climate change engagement officer, said: “During the Covid-19 pandemic, we saw young people value nature more and more, and, it is vital that we continue to support everyone to feel engaged and empowered to take positive action for nature and the environment.
“It’s so important to reduce barriers to accessing greenspaces and equip young Scots to be leaders in addressing the twin challenges of the climate and biodiversity crises.
“The Future Routes Fund welcomes ideas from young people for young people and their communities. We look forward to seeing the imagination and creativity behind the applications for 2022, and helping them become a reality.”
The fund is open to young people living in Scotland aged 11-26 and has been designed by Scotland’s youth biodiversity panel ReRoute to be supportive and accessible.
Individuals can apply for funding of between £500 to £2,000, while teams can apply for £1,000 to £5,000.
Anyone interested in creating a project who needs advice on how to carry it out is encouraged to submit their idea with as much information as possible.
The application period runs until May 29 and applicants can fill out a form, or send in a video or voice recording.
The applications will then be reviewed by a panel of young people who will select the projects that they think will be the most beneficial to fellow young people and their communities.
The Future Routes Fund was launched in 2018 as part of Scotland’s Year of Young People, with £100,000 available over five years for young people to deliver activities, projects and ideas which engage their peers with nature.