Skip to content
Grassroots ChallengeAnna Maggs2022-02-17T21:18:50+00:00
The Grassroots Challenge programme worked with 49 Young Farmers Clubs in Northern Ireland, 42 post primary special schools and 51 Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Groups. All of these groups have been supported to explore and improve their local environment for wildlife and for their local community.
668 environmental projects and activities were delivered involving 9,054 young people. In addition 2778 community members also engaged with and supported these activities. Projects have included digital wildlife and landscape photography, plastic recycling, community gardens, local clean up days, peatland restoration, native hedgerow planting, school ground improvement, grassland management, and building lots of wildlife habitat boxes.
Young Farmers Clubs were supported to incorporate environmental topics and considerations into the planning of their annual programmes so that over time they earned Bronze, Silver and ultimately Green Flag status under the Eco Club
Award Scheme administered by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful. 22 Young Farmers Clubs have engaged with the scheme achieving 15 bronze, 7 silver and 4 Green Flag awards between them.
More than 1,000 young people gained qualifications in various LANTRA, AQA and Duke of Edinburgh Awards
One key success for the project was to encourage the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs to engage and include young people in their consultation for Northern Ireland’s first environment strategy. This led to young people from the project being involved in the public launch of the consultation and a joint youth consultation event with Belfast Hills Partnership project at Stormont. There were other occasions when young people met with Ministers, MLA’s and MPs to share their views and ideas.
The Grassroots Challenge Youth Forum organised annual celebration events, read Arwen’s blog about the 2018 celebration here. You can also read Youth Forum member, Dara’s blog about how nature helped his Asperger’s. You can also learn more by downloading the Grassroots Challenge impact report and its evaluation report.