Applications open for Species on the Edge Youth Panel

Species on the Edge partnership 
2 October 2023

Read in Gaelic / Leugh ann an Gàidhlig 

A new conservation programme, Species on the Edge, is inviting young people from Scotland’s coasts and islands to apply for its Youth Panel.

Species on the Edge is a partnership programme of NatureScot and seven conservation charities, all dedicated to supporting vulnerable and threatened species found along Scotland’s coast and islands.

With over £6 million of funding, including £4 million from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Species on the Edge partner organisations are delivering a four-and-a-half year programme of conservation activity across seven project areas: the Outer Hebrides; the Inner Hebrides and Argyll; the North Coast; the East Coast; Orkney; Shetland; and the Solway Coast.

The programme is now recruiting 14 young people between the ages of 16 and 25 from across the seven Species on the Edge project areas for their Youth Panel.

The Species on the Edge Youth Panel will bring these young people together to discuss issues relating to the natural environment and their communities. Panellists will meet at least four times a year online, and will have the opportunity to join a fully funded spring residential. The purpose of the Youth Panel is to support young people in developing the skills and confidence they need to become champions for nature in their communities.

Through the Species on the Edge Youth Panel, panel members will: meet new people and learn from experts within the conservation sector; receive training and develop their skills, confidence, and employability; and receive support in developing their own project to encourage others to connect with nature. 

Applications are now open and are accessible from the Species on the Edge website.

Fiona Strachan, Species on the Edge Programme Manager, said:

“It’s great to see the Species on the Edge Youth Panel opening for applications. This will be a fantastic opportunity for young people in our project areas to have a say on what happens in their area, whilst connecting with panel members in other areas and learning from each other and experts in the field. The experience they gain through being involved will be really valuable to both them and Species on the Edge and we are looking forward to meeting them.”

Francesca Osowska, NatureScot’s Chief Executive, said:

“Scotland’s nature is suffering, with some of our most vulnerable species now on the brink of extinction. Biodiversity loss is a global threat to humanity so it is imperative that we act now to support nature and bring back species from the edge.

Species on the Edge is one of Scotland’s most ambitious conservation projects to date and we are very excited that as part of this programme we will be supporting young people to become advocates for their local wildlife in their communities. Investing in young people and providing them with the tools to develop problem-solving and leadership skills is vital to the preservation of the natural world.”

Caroline Clark, The National Lottery Heritage Fund Director for Scotland, said:

“Species on the Edge is working with some of Scotland’s most geographically remote communities. The Youth Panel is a fantastic opportunity for young people to support practical conservation work where they live and gain skills and experience of working strategically at a national level.

Through the Youth Panel, these young people will develop their ability and confidence to advocate effectively for our natural heritage, and for the benefits to communities of supporting its preservation.”

Find out more about Species on the Edge on their website.

And follow along with the programme on Twitter (@SpeciesEdge) and on Facebook.