A unique group of young people, who volunteer their time to help conserve and promote the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, scooped the Commitment to the Environment Award at the recent Radio Pembrokeshire Young Achiever Awards.
The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority’s Youth Rangers are a group of 16-25 year olds, who volunteer a day or weekend every month to undertake a wide range of activities including practical tasks and visiting some amazing places out in the National Park.
Youth Ranger Scheme Co-ordinator, Tom Moses said: “The Youth Rangers have been very involved in championing volunteering in a variety of ways and also undertake John Muir Awards which recognise their achievements outdoors – discovering, exploring, conserving and sharing wild places.
“They have carried out diverse practical tasks in all the habitats within the National Park, as well as working in local communities to raise awareness of the benefits of environmental engagement amongst local people.
“I am not aware of another youth environmental volunteering group that involves such a diverse range of young people that have shown such dedication and motivation, and in general maintain their involvement for such a long period.”
The scheme has attracted a range of young volunteers since it started in 2013 with many recruited from organisations involved with the Park Authority’s Your Park project.
The group currently consists of fourteen members with two having attended since the scheme started and a further five have been involved for at least two years.
People attend for different reasons – some to get new skills and experience, some for the social benefits but most because they are passionate about the outdoors and have a lot fun.
The scheme helps overcome barriers to volunteering that many young people face including transport, learning disability, economic disadvantage, lack of direction or low confidence and self-esteem.
The Youth Rangers have been particularly involved in a long term project in Portfield Gate near Haverfordwest, helping to improve biodiversity and access to the neglected woodland.
Taster days for new recruits are held regularly – for more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information please visit: pembrokeshirecoast.wales