|Green Volunteers is a programme of residential weekends and one day projects for 14-25 year olds led by adult volunteers trained by the Green Team. Young people learn about the environment while making improvements to countryside sites for people and wildlife.|
Green Shoots is our social inclusion project delivering customised practical environmental and outdoor learning programmes to groups of young people who are disadvantaged. Each project is unique, set up through consultation to meet the needs of the young people involved and those of their organisation.
|Green Schools works directly with secondary schools carrying out conservation projects in school grounds or adjacent green spaces. Projects can form part of Healthy Living weeks, Outdoor Education programmes or suspended timetables. We offer activities that meet the priorities of the Curriculum for Excellence.|
|Green Champions is our corporate volunteering programme offering teams of employees the opportunity to go wild in wild places, carrying out a range of practical conservation activities that benefit wildlife and enhance local areas for peoples enjoyment. Funds raised through this programme support our other work.|
|Green Angels is a programme of Saturday events for girls aged 12-18 years led by Green Team volunteer leaders. Projects take place at a variety of local countryside sites and tasks may include planting wildflower meadows, tree thinning, beach tidy ups and clearing invasive species. Lots of opportunities for crafts and environmental art activities.|
Each project is centred around a practical task that benefits the environment such as tree planting, footpath building and repair, clearing rhododendrons or survey work. But it's not all hard work! Time is spent exploring the local countryside, learning more about it and taking part in environmental activities such as art, crafts and games. Activities take place in a variety of countryside sites that are chosen for their wildlife, green space and special qualities.
These are some of the activities that we might get up to during a project:
- talking about the benefits of the conservation work we are carrying out
- looking at the diversity of wildlife surrounding us
- discovering the food chains and ecology of the site
- learning about the local environment and its importance to local people
- bird watching
- using field guides
- learning to use tools safely
- discussion of global environmental issues such as fair trade, destruction of habitats, recycling and energy
- personal development through team building and trust
- using natural materials to create ephemeral art and crafts
The main focus of Green Team activities is to help young people learn more about their natural heritage in a fun and informal way.
In 2007 an evaluation study was carried out by Volunteer Development Scotland, whose staff got their wellies on and came to join us on several day and residential projects. Thanks to all the participants who took part in the focus groups and were prepared to be quizzed about their Green Team experience.
In the Green Team our main objectives are about engaging young people with the natural environment, communicating the need to value it and protecting it from modern day threats ranging from habitat loss to climate change and vandalism. This survey found that taking part in Green Team projects impacts in a positive way on young people's behaviour, attitudes, knowledge and skills. Learning about the environment was found to be a natural by-product of participating in Green Team activities. The survey showed an increase in understanding by young people of how much work goes into maintaining a green space and how individual acts, such as dropping litter or damaging trees, can have a cumulative effect. The participants surveyed said that this fact would make them change their behaviour in the natural environment. Learning about and using tools for various conservation tasks was seen as an area where skills increased and the value of working as a team was clearly felt.
The residential projects were shown to offer greater opportunities for learning, partly due to the amount of time spent on the project but also due to the time spent with the volunteer leaders whose enthusiasm and knowledge about the environment was more readily communicated in a residential setting.
The full report can be downloaded, click here (pdf file, 107kB).
The Green Team (Edinburgh & Lothians) Ltd is a charity registered in Scotland SCO29319