Generation Green

Explore the outdoors and connect with nature with the Generation Green project

Girlguiding are proud to be a part of the Access Unlimited coalition, connecting young people to nature and the outdoors through the Generation Green project.  

About Generation Green 

Generation Green was the first project delivered by the Access Unlimited coalition. The coalition is made up of YHA (England & Wales), who hosted the project, The Outward Bound Trust, Scouts, Girlguiding, Field Studies Council and the ten English National Parks. 

The Generation Green project made the most of the combined reach of the coalition partners of more than two million young people. The 16-month funded project connected young people to nature, created and saved jobs to build an aspirant workforce for a green recovery. 

Through new jobs, training, volunteering roles, residentials and outdoor and online learning experiences, the project provided more than 115,000 opportunities to connect young people to nature - many for the first time - and to cultivate a sense of care for the natural environment. Find out more by downloading the Generation Green celebration and impact report, or watching our short video.

This project was funded by the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund and delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, in partnership with Natural England and the Environment Agency. 

What did we do at Girlguiding? 

At the end of 2020 we embarked on a 16-month journey to help make nature and the outdoors more accessible to more young people. The project concentrated on supporting those from the North and Midlands regions, as well as those from urban, coastal or deprived areas, and other marginalised groups. 

Building confidence and skills with our volunteers 

  • We ran 17 subsidised walking scheme sessions which helped us to upskill almost 200 volunteers through the project. These ranged from navigating walks in open countryside to mountain leader training.  

  • Over 400 volunteers attended brand new outdoor training weekends that were designed with our team of volunteer outdoor activity advisers. These volunteer run weekends helped volunteers develop skills including navigation, map reading, bushcraft, campfire, camping and outdoor cooking.
  • They were so popular that we created a training resource and subgranted regions in England some of this funding to support a wider rollout in 2022. 
  • We also created 11 brand new videos to inspire and support more outdoor adventures, from ‘top tips’ to ‘how to' guides. Keep an eye out for these across the website and the learning platform. 

All the sessions were fun, interesting and so useful. The trainers were excellent! ​ I'll look forward to participating in more outdoor sessions with our local units and sharing skills and ideas. ​- Volunteer who went to an outdoor training session

Taking young people to new places 

  • Almost 350 young people got to experience a day connecting with nature. They had lots of fun making dens, planting beans and going on nature walks to find things to help inspire stories and collages.  
  • A connecting with nature activity sheet and guidance resource have also been created to help even more young people to get outside and enjoy nature. 
  • Over 160 girls and young women enjoyed a two night Caring for Nature residential to help care for nature, doing adventurous activities and conservation work. 
  • Over 5,000 young people have camped at one of our sites in the North or Midlands regions by the end of 2022 too. This was made possible through the purchasing of equipment and resources to improve access and sustainability, as well as through over 2,000 grants to help young people from marginalised groups spend a night under the stars. 
  • A Night under the stars badge was also launched by our ambassador, Anna McNuff, to help encourage young people to get outside as much as possible and to get closer to nature.

The girls absolutely loved it and all the parents have said how thankful they are!​ This weekend reminded me why I became a leader, to provide these amazing experiences for girls and I thoroughly enjoyed myself as well! - Caring for Nature residential attendee 

What’s next? 

The coalition are committed to continuing to work together in this space and are seeking further funding opportunities to make sure nature and the outdoors is accessible for more young people. Watch this space!