Taking part in nature projects in the UK boosted young people’s mental health, self-confidence, and employability, according to a new report by our Bright Future.

Over 128,000 people between the ages of 11 and 24 participated in Our Bright Future. Among the 31 projects, 3,000 community spaces were improved and 350 nature-rich areas were created, ranging from a vandalized churchyard in Hull to a rewilded quarry in County Down. Funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, the program was led by the Wildlife Trusts.

The majority of participants (95%) said taking part had improved their confidence, while 86% said it had improved their mental health. More than two-thirds said they had a greater appreciation of the natural world and a stronger belief in their ability to influence their local environment.

Craig Bennett, the chief executive of the Wildlife Trusts, said: “Our natural world is the bedrock of our society but it is under serious pressure.

“This report proves just how important it is to give young people practical experience to learn about nature and climate. We need to foster a new generation of green leaders to find solutions to the biggest environmental challenges of our time.”