Hertfordshire young people set to 'Go Wild' at Hudnall Park

20 July 2020

A new project at Hudnall Park will help connect young people with wildlife and improve their emotional wellbeing

Go Wild at Hudnall, a YC Hertfordshire project delivered in partnership with Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, focuses on improving the emotional wellbeing of young people across Hertfordshire as well as the natural habitats for wildlife at Hudnall Park, through nature-based activities and practical conservation tasks.

The National Lottery Heritage funded project aims to deliver high-quality, tailored engagement with nature for vulnerable young people and families, to improve emotional wellbeing and foster a sense of caring for, and enjoyment of, nature. It follows a successful pilot project that helped 96 young people to access nature, gain skills and confidence and gave them the opportunity to learn about wildlife.

Over the course of the three-year project, young people will be engaging in a wide range of activities from mindfulness and art in nature to building bat and bird boxes, as well as opportunities to volunteer to create and improve wildlife habitats.

Cllr Teresa Heritage, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families at Hertfordshire County Council said:

“It’s great to see the National Lottery Heritage Fund supporting local communities in this way. Hudnall Park is set in 85 beautiful acres of woodland and grassland on the edge of the Chiltern Hills in Dacorum. The Go Wild Project will be an effective way to improve children’s, young people's and families’ wellbeing, knowledge and skills through connecting to nature and wildlife.”

Activity sessions will take place at Hudnall Park, near to Hemel Hempstead and Tring, but we are looking to attract groups from across the county. We will also create more diverse and sustainable grassland, pond, woodland and hedgerow habitats as well as an orchard. These are just some of the exciting habitat improvements we will be delivering over the next three years.

Tim Hill, Conservation Manager at the Trust said:

“We are delighted that the Go Wild Project will continue for another three years after the success of the pilot. Hudnall Park has some really special wild places and we are looking forward to helping young people experience nature, learn about wildlife and how to care for the habitats on which it depends. Access to nature has been proven to have a positive effect on mental health and wellbeing so this is a really important initiative to improve young people’s lives.”

YC Hertfordshire aims to start delivering activity sessions with young people from Autumn 2020. If you are interested in finding out more about these sessions or want to know how to get involved with the project, please contact the Project Co-ordinator Leanne Clayton at leanne.clayton@hertfordshire.gov.uk.