A Focus On Nature

The Youth Nature Network

Join the youth conservation movement in Britain: get in contact today.

A Focus On Nature

Future Wildlife, Future Farming

On Saturday 4th November, the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust hosted a first in conservation agriculture. Young Farmers and AFON members, from all realms of farming and conservation interests gathered under one roof to learn about and discuss issues surrounding the future of farming and wildlife in the UK. People from Exeter right up to the hills of Yorkshire gathered, and guided by the likes of Rob Yorke, the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, the National Federation for Young Farmers, and a few other innovative people in the farming industry, came up with some fantastic solutions to issues in conservation agriculture. [Read More]

A Focus On Nature

The University Mammal Challenge

Hi, mammal lovers! So, the University Mammal Challenge has come to an end, and we recently found out that our team won the prize for the most mammals recorded outside of bulk-capture methods. For this, we definitely have to thank the infamous rabbits of UEA (University of East Anglia) – so abundant on campus that they’ve become the university’s unofficial mascot – for providing us with no end of opportunistic mammal sightings.

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Now for Nature

#NowforNature – Appreciation is Caring

The sciences are an overwhelmingly broad field. Oftentimes seen as distinctly separate within their fields, many scientists yearn for greater appreciation, greater understanding from an audience that may often seem like they’d rather ignore the numbers or facts being hurled at them. I, too, have yearned for that receptive understanding ever since I was in high school.

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Now for Nature

The Magnificent Seven – Now for Nature

There are young people across the UK who are already taking action Now for Nature. They are making our Vision for Nature a reality. While proof of any progress on a governmental level can be dumbed down to twiddling thumbs and choruses of humming and hawing, these young people embody what Now for Nature values – action. We hope that decision makers will follow where they are leading. Featured below are seven magnificent young individuals from across the UK who are doing amazing things Now for Nature.

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A Focus On Nature

Conservation Optimism: not quite what you might think

Optimism. It’s an odd word. It’s often used to describe people who are unfailingly cheery even in the direst of straits; those people to whom the glass is always half-full, almost to the point of denial. The optimist is the person who, at the approach of a threatening storm cloud, grins manically and says “it’ll pass” …as the sky as far as the eye can see turns a permanent shade of steel grey.

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A Focus On Nature

We’re Recruiting!

We are currently recruiting for two A Focus On Nature committee roles – a Project Officer, and a Fundraising Officer and Treasurer. Read on for details! [Read More]

Now for Nature

The ‘V’ Word – why you shouldn’t turn your back on volunteering

Volunteering, a word that can strike dread in those looking to pursue careers in conservation, ‘’not another unpaid position, what are my parents going to think!?’’. This to some may be seen as an exploitation, however in a sector which is so competitive and where experience is so highly revered volunteering can be a fantastic opportunity.

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Books and Reviews

Book Review: Linescapes by Hugh Warwick

Hugh Warwick’s Linescapes is an uplifting and heartfelt review of our landscape here in Britain today. The result of 11,000 years in the making, we sit upon a fragmented patchwork of application – we have made this island our own. The people whose feet stomped the dusty path beneath mine have built a prosperous nation, a safe haven for humans but at an indifference to the ecological consequences of continued progress. [Read More]

A Focus On Nature

A Day in Burghead

The drive to Burghead was beautiful. This small seaside town is situated on the edge of a peninsula protruding into the Moray Firth, so it’s surrounded by open ocean on three sides. As we made our way up the high street it felt like we were at the edge of the world, and in a way we were. More of northern Scotland could just be seen in the distance, but the space between still seemed vast.

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Richard Benwell – AFON Mentor, Environmental Policy

Introducing Richard Benwell, AFON Mentor and Parliamentary Programme Manager for the RSPB.

Why did you decide to become a mentor for AFON?
The thrill of the law… the terms for a teacher… the hope in medicine… the gadgets in science… When you’re a young person choosing your path in life (or picking your way day by day), there are a thousand different options ahead. So many young people with green hearts and wildlife-filled lives end up settling for grey day jobs because of the perception that more traditional career paths are safer or more grown up. Certainly, it’s hard to get a foot on the nature jobs ladder. So, as a mentor, I hope to help one or two more young folk convert their conservation conviction into conservation career. The more people saving the world the merrier!

How have you helped/could you help potential mentees?

Not all conservation careers start with binoculars on a windy clifftop (sadly), or with a science degree. My route has been via academia, politics, policy and Parliament. It’s been fun and fascinating. I’d be glad to offer some guidance to anyone interested in environmental policy.

What’s your top piece of advice for a young person starting out their career in nature conservation?

Remember what we’re fighting for and never let it become just a job! With every career, there will be some tasks you don’t take to and some days that are difficult, but remembering we’re part of a movement keeps every day feeling positive and worthwhile. As it happens, that’s good for your state of mind and as well as your career – we’re always on the lookout for folk with the drive to make a difference. Good luck and have fun!

Flick through our mentors and find out how to apply