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An Interview with UK Youth For Nature

Updated: Jul 4, 2023

By Jessica Humphreys and Olivia Tugulea

Wild Magazine talks to representatives from UK Youth 4 Nature (UKY4N), the leading UK Youth movement calling for urgent action on the nature crisis.

Credit: UK Youth for Nature


It is no secret that UK biodiversity is in decline, and the scale of nature loss is amongst the worst in the world. The latest report by State of Nature in 2019 showed that 41% of species have reduced in abundance and 15% of species are threatened. UKY4N’s mission is to empower young people to call for decisive action for nature and wildlife in the UK. Our aim with this article is to introduce you to UKY4N, and answer some of the questions you might have about the amazing work they do, and how you can get involved.


Can you give us an introduction to your organisation?


We are a network of 16-35 year olds based around the UK, united by our passion to protect and preserve nature! Our members have a range of different backgrounds, from students to professionals. Our mission is to mobilise and empower young people to seek and call for decisive action on nature and wildlife in the UK. We achieve this through running training courses for the next generation of leaders, and forming public, evidence-based, and creative campaigns. These campaigns call for all of society, but particularly politicians to create this urgent action. One particularly successful campaign we ran involved working with artists and communities all over the UK to install murals, depicting locally declining species.

Credit: UK Youth for Nature

How did you both get involved with the organisation?


We both discovered UK Youth For Nature through their social media accounts and followed their work throughout different campaigns. Through this we then heard about and attended a week of online nature-themed workshops that UK Youth for Nature had organised, called Silent Spring at 60, commemorating the 60 year anniversary of Rachel Carson’s monumental book. Seeing the fun and passion the team had, as well as the opportunities they have been given, we decided to join their organising team!


Credit: UK Youth for Nature


Can you tell us about your latest campaign?


Our latest campaign is called ‘Nature Cannot Wait’. The idea came about when the COP15 biodiversity conference was continually being pushed back, and we all felt very strongly that ‘nature cannot wait’ this long. It’s had a longer time frame than many of our other campaigns, having started in March with our enormous sand drawing which drew a lot of attention! Have a look at our campaign video here. If you would like to support us in this campaign you can join our organising team to help us run the campaign, or simply sign our youth manifesto which can be found on our website!

Credit: UK Youth for Nature

What does your ideal next year look like?


To have progressed in our ultimate vision to increase the visibility of nature in all decision-making, raise political awareness about the loss of nature and wildlife in the four countries of the UK, and secure a more nature-filled future. More specifically, we hope to achieve this by growing our organising team to include more members across the UK, particularly in our more under-represented areas like north/mid England, Scotland and Ireland.


Through our ‘Nature Cannot Wait’ campaign we are pushing for our government to commit to legally binding targets to halt and reverse the loss of nature by 2030. We want to see a delegation from the UK government attend COP15 in Montreal this December and for the promises made there to be translated to national targets at home in the UK. We would hope that the EU retained law bill will be scrapped for the sake of local nature protection. Alongside these campaigns, we are also running a freshwater pollution campaign, and we hope to strengthen this over the next year to reduce the use of agricultural chemicals and therefore chemical pollution in our waterways, in order to return our rivers to being classified as in good “health”.


How can young people get involved?


There are many ways you can get involved with our work! Our campaigns are run by our organising team, and we’re always looking for new young people to join us! It’s also really important to get politically active if you want to make a positive change for nature, especially with the way the world is changing at the moment. You can also follow us on social media @ukyouth4nature, or sign up to our mailing list to keep up to date with our campaign progress.


Find some useful links to find out more about UKY4N below, and keep an eye out for an upcoming event with Wild Magazine and UKY4N.



About the Author: This article was written in collaboration with UKY4N members Jessica Humphreys and Olivia Tugulea, and put together by Wild Magazine’s Managing Editor Antonia Devereux.

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