Building the next generation of conservationists
Newsletter January 2016
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It has been all systems go at Action for Conservation over the last few months, so we're attempting to squeeze all our exciting news into this quarterly newsletter! Scroll down for updates from our latest workshops and placements, and more on why we do what we do!


On Your Feet!

As Action for Conservation bounds into the new year, we’ve been collecting more exciting ideas for workshop activities. We are expanding our use of active games even further in our workshops, moving away entirely from traditional presentation based methods. We know that students are excited to discuss the knottiest environmental issues and we want to facilitate as much of this as possible. You can find out more about why we think this is so important by checking out the article we wrote recently for ECOS on revitalising conservation. 

We thought we'd share a couple of our favourite activities with you.

'Biodiversity anybody who'; a warmup game where the group gathers in a circle with one member in the middle shouting out something they have done related to nature such as 'anybody who walked past a tree to get to school this morning'. Anyone else who has also done this activity must then switch chairs with another group member, and whoever is left without a place after the scramble becomes the person in the middle. We were chuffed that at a recent workshop at Babbington Community College in Leicester one of the students told us: 'I really enjoyed the biodiversity anybody who game as normally you wouldn't think of all the biodiversity around you and how it links to you in day to day life. I will now definitely try to connect with nature more, even in the smallest ways.'

‘The Human Bar Chart’: students stand in a line and are read a controversial statement (e.g. 'some species are more important to conserve than others'). They then  move out from a central line, forward if they agree, backwards if they disagree. And then comes the fun part - asking the students why they chose to move a certain way, and watching while full scale debates ensue!

We’ve already had impassioned discussions on topics from zoo ethics to sustainable hunting. We can’t wait to see what we can get young people fired up about in 2016!

'We got to think about exciting things that we never heard about and this workshop inspired us to plan our future in this field. I think conservation is important because it helps improve our environment.' Yr 11 student, Leicester, 2015

'Save the Forests': AFC London Challenge Winner 2015
Save the Forests: London Challenge Winner 2015 
This film is the winning entry for our London 2015 Challenge. We loved Natalia's direct points and hopeful message and new she would get a lot out of the prize, a week of work experience with the charity Froglife. Natalia is a budding film maker so we're looking forward to seeing more from her in the future. Bravo!

Revitalising Conservation

How to breathe new life into the conservation movement was the theme of the December issue of ECOS, the journal of the British Association of Nature Conservationists. We were honoured to be asked to contribute and to share our views on how conservation can empower younger generations to act for nature. You can read our article here and please do feel free to send us any comments and thoughts. 

The Great Outdoors?

After some recent soul searching to fully define AFC's mission and values, we felt it was time to return to some of the concepts that motivate us and reassess them. With that in mind we asked our intern, Max Isaac to delve into the issue of Nature Deficit, ten years old this year, to assess it's continued relevance to our work. See his piece here.

Off to see a man about a frog

Our wonderful 2015 London challenge winner Natalia wrote us a delightful blog entry about her placement with AFC partner Froglife. Read about what she got up to here.

Why Nature needs Culture

In September, one of our trustees, Robert Macfarlane wrote a brilliant article for the New Statesman celebrating an emerging 'culture of nature'. You can read his hopeful and inspiring piece here. In response, one of our bloggers explored how we can connect with nature through drawing which you can find here.

5 Things AFC Loves

  1. Trees for Life's scheme to involve young people in the regeneration of Scotland's Caledonian Forest got off the ground recently thanks to a generous grant
  2. The viral game phenomenon Minecraft released 'We are the rangers', a playable map where youngsters (and adults!) can play as a conservationist, solving issues and saving species
  3. Scientists discovered a biofluorescent turtle in the solomon islands - good news for biodiversity but also just plain mind blowing
  4. Peru has declared 1.3 million hectares of The Amazon a national park
  5. The UK's first National Park youth council was launched in Northumberland in 2015 - we hope many more will be inspired to do the same!
For more conservation news and to keep up with all our work follow us on twitter 

AFC in 2016

We're gearing up for a very exciting year ahead. A new website is in the pipeline and will make for a far more interactive and inclusive experience. We will be continuing to visit schools across the UK and training a new group of wonderful workshop leaders in the spring. Look out for us at teaching  conferences, workshops and lots of conservation gatherings across the UK; all in aid of reaching, engaging and empowering 1000’s more young people in 2016!

How you can help Action for Conservation

If you feel you can help support our work, please consider making a regular donation here.
Teachers/Youth Leaders
Sign up to our schools’ mailing list to receive our information pack or contact us to discuss your school’s needs.
If you would like AFC to come to your school ask your teacher to get in contact with Follow us on twitter @action4conserv and check out our website for more ideas of how you can get involved.
Young Conservationists
If you are interested in becoming a workshop leader for AFC then get in touch, we would love to hear from you! 

A big thank you to all our supporters

Individual Donors
Both through our crowdfunding campaign and through our website.

Trusts and Foundations 
The Garfield Weston Foundation, James Gibson Charitable Trust, Bryan Guinness Charitable Trust, HDH Wills 1965 Charitable Trust, Fine Family Foundation and Jesus College, Oxford.

Partner Conservation Organisations
The National Trust, Dorset Wildlife Trust, Suffolk Wildlife Trust, South and West Wales Wildlife Trust, Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust, Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, Brecon Beacons National Park Authority and Froglife.

Students, Teachers and Schools
For believing in our work.

AFC Advisors
Dame Helen Ghosh, Dame Joan McVittie and Alex Kelly.

Young Conservationist Volunteers
You know who you are.

The Team and Trustees
Our Chair, Professor David Macdonald, Dr Robert Macfarlane, Aoife Bennett-Curry, Alex Mills, Sam Piranty, Hendrikus van Hensbergen, Kate Huggett, Forrest Hogg, Max Isaac, and our blog contributors.

Other Supporters
Spike Golding, Synchronicity Earth and all those who so nobly assisted us with the crowdfunding campaign at the very beginning - whether providing prizes or spreading the word.
Copyright © 2016 Action for Conservation, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Action for Conservation
49 Elgin Crescent, London W11 2JU

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