There are so many resources out there so we’re here to show you the best places to go to make sure you find the stories that really speak to you.
The IGNITION project is bringing together inspiring resources for anyone with a passion for the environment and reversing the climate crisis.
Louisa, Zainuldeen and Emily from Greater Manchester-based charity City of Trees tell us their favourite places to get all the latest climate and environment news.
Read: Wilding – Isabella Tree
As a passionate environmental activist, I spend a lot of time outdoors either working or exploring. I find that uplifting stories of conservation or nature-based solutions really keep my brain ticking. It can be hard to stay motivated in the current climate, and sometimes reading the success stories of determined conservationists can give you a positive mindset. Follow the highs and lows of the Knepp Forest rewilding project in Isalbella Tree’s book, with beautiful descriptions of its landscapes, and a real insight into the work that goes into repurposing land for alternative use.
Watch: This Farming Life
It’s always important to learn about different agricultural and livestock practice and methods of using land, and This Farming Life covers that perfectly. Across some of the most beautiful landscapes of the UK, farmers are working to grow local and healthy produce while tackling extreme weather conditions and struggles. This programme follows six farming families and gives an insight into their struggles and achievements, offering a wonderful and comforting watch.
Following a range of environmental and conservation pages can not only brighten your Instagram feed, but also introduce you to new projects, charities and initiatives that are happening all around you. Even if you don’t know where to start, search for a few hashtags that grab your interest and go from there! Some of my favourites are #nature #rewilding #conservation #climatechange
Find your favourite conservation star
Working in conservation teaches you a lot about what nature can improve and provide for wildlife, communities and the planet. There are many inspiring reads, examples and people of conservation that could get you through our battle with lockdown measures. However, my personal favourite is the inspiring story of three pioneering women known as the ‘Trimates’.
These anthropologists revolutionised the field of primatology and are globally recognised as experts on primate behaviour and conservation. Jane Goodall is known for her work with Chimpanzees, Diane Fossey with her work on Gorillas and, my favourite, Birutė Galdikas, who studies and helps conserve Orangutans. Their stories are realistic examples of working in conservation, the highs and the lows and everything in between.
If you know of Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion, then you’ll understand why the famed naturalist, Sir David Attenborough is going to extraordinary lengths in encouraging the public to be more aware of their contribution towards climate change. The United Nations have an initiative known as the Sustainable Development Goals which includes climate action, no poverty, clean energy and much more. It is a great place to understand a bit more about the indirect effects of environmental conservation and the impact of climate change.
If the above seems like heavy reading, then have a binge on some animated shorts created by Ted-Ed on YouTube. Their channel has a playlist of over 40 videos that address Our Changing Climate. They provide the fundamental basics on how the small things in life affect our global climate. They address important topics such as clean water resources, fisheries, extreme weather and my personal favourite, why cities need trees!
I found the best way to learn about the environment was to get out there and experience it. I’ve gained a lot of my knowledge through the volunteering experience that I have had and through chatting with the people I’ve met along the way. This might seem tricky right now but there are lots of ways to volunteer for an organisation and you can still register your interest in volunteer roles so that you can get started once lockdown measures lift.
Many of my volunteer roles have been residential, but if you have a nature reserve nearby, you can enquire about volunteering on a weekly basis. Volunteering with your local Wildlife Trust or RSPB reserve will give you hands on experience that you can’t get from a book, and it gives you the chance to get outside and witness nature and wildlife in action for yourself. Not only that, it also gives you the chance to meet like-minded people who can inspire you with their stories. And maybe you can inspire them with yours.
You don’t need a fancy camera to take photographs, your phone will do just fine! But it’s through photography that I really learnt to stop, listen and take notice of the world around me. Through photographing landscapes, you can witness the beauty and variety of habitats that come together to create a landscape – you can also see the impact of human activity. Through photographing individual animals, you can improve your ID skills as well. Knowing the species you share your walks with can help build a greater connection with your local environment.
Thanks so much to everyone who contributed to our blog series! Let us know your favourite environmental reads and listens on social media. Follow us at @GMGreenCity to join in the conversation!