Green futures youth programme

YDMT's youth programme, Green Futures, helps to tackle the inequalities that make it hard for young people to access and enjoy the countryside, and brings them together to take action for nature here in the Yorkshire Dales.

We are committed to making sure every young person is supported and empowered to make a positive difference on the issues that affect their lives, their communities, and wider society.

Through a wide range of projects we help young people to reconnect with nature, tackle climate change, and get involved in conservation work, gaining new experiences, skills and confidence, and seeing their health and wellbeing improve along the way. 

Got a green idea?

Our Youth Environmental Action Fund gives funding of up to £1,000 to young people to set up and run their own green projects that improve the natural environment or help raise awareness about environmental issues. 

We've helped young people to run their own eco festivals and recycling projects, create school wildlife areas and community gardens...and lots more. 

Find out more

Pathways to a Green Future

Too often society fails to listen to young people’s views or recognise their ability to make a difference. This is even more true for young people from low-income backgrounds and marginalised communities.

We know these young people can make an incredible difference to their communities and the environment - because we've seen them do it. 

Our Green Futures pathway inspires young people to connect with nature in the first instance and then helps them to develop the confidence and leadership skills they will need to influence change and improve their own life chances.  


Engaging and inspiring young people from isolated areas

Through our Green Guardians project we reach young people who would not usually get the opportunity to connect with the natural environment, giving them inspirational experiences and practical skills, from planting trees to caving and much more. 

Our Green Influencers scheme helps many young people take part in social action for the first time, and empowers them to build lasting connections to the natural environment that improve their health and well-being.

Developing the skills and confidence to lead environmental change

Our Youth Environment Forum brings young people together regularly to explore issues and take action for the environment. Forum members also plan and deliver our annual Youth Environment Summit, bringing a diverse group of young people together to enjoy a weekend of sharing ideas and taking part in fun practical activities.    

Our Youth Environment Action Fund gives young people the funding and support to develop and implement their own environmental projects in their local area. Find out more & apply

Raising aspirations and breaking down barriers to help young people find their dream job

Our Rural Apprenticeship Scheme can be life-changing - helping local young people to develop their skills and get experience in the environment sector. The scheme combines college study with certified training courses and hands-on, work-based experience with a range of organisations. 

Our Bright Future  

Green Futures first started in 2016 as part of Our Bright Future, a £33 million programme funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and led by The Wildlife Trusts that aims to tackle three big challenges facing society today - a lack of social cohesion, a lack of opportunities for young people and vulnerability to climate change. 

By the time the programme came to an end in 2021 81% of the young people involved felt that they could now make a difference to the environment. This is what else we achieved together with the young people involved: 

  • 884 projects delivered by young people 
  • 76% of young people involved in Green Futures felt more confident 
  • More than 279 qualifications gained, including John Muir Award, navigation, and First Aid
  • £26,500 awarded to young people to run their own projects, including recycling schemes and eco-fairs
  • 1,250 trees & hedgerows planted and 200+ bird, bug and dormice boxes built   

Today our commitment to young people is as strong as ever, and we continue to put them at the heart of everything we do. Read about YDMT's committment to young people


More about our work with young people

Young persons guide to a green future

Young person's guide

Meet some of the inspirational young people who are fighting for a better future for our planet, celebrate their impact and find out how you can get involved…  

Green Guardians

Green Guardians 

Green Guardians provides inspirational experiences and practical skills to groups who would not usually get the opportunity to connect with the natural environment.

Green Influencers

With the support of YDMT’s Green Mentor young people are learning new skills that will inspire them to lead the way as ‘Green Influencers’ in their communities.