I’ve seen that look from older people time and time again; I’m looking at my phone and I feel the sharp stare of judgement, you know, ‘The youth of today, always on their phones/technology, they’re apathetic and wrapped up in themselves’ etc etc ?! They won’t know that I was answering a comment on my blog or replying to an email about the decline of waders or entering some sightings on my BirdTrack app. They don’t know that I care deeply about the world around me and that if I could do more, I would. I’m not alone either, there is a growing pacifist army of young naturalists, each fighting our individual corner – landscape, special species, ideals, hopes and dreams.
As a matter of fact, you can now find many of us in one place thanks to New Nature an online e-zine, full to the brim of inspiring articles by young nature and wildlife lovers. It’s a fantastic project led by James Common, a great writer, blogger and naturalist. The project is entirely ran by young people; the writing, editing, production and publishing! Amazing!
I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to write an article in the February edition – highlighting the stunning beauty of a special Mountain in my beloved Fermanagh. You can read the article Here – I’m on page 16/24 but please read it all, it’s fabulous!
One of the things I have noticed on Social Media is the obvious enthusiasm by most but also the disbelief that those outside the recommended age bracket can’t contribute. It seems that we can’t win, on one hand we’re apathetic on the other we’re ageist and want to do things for ourselves. It’s certainly an eye opener and I guess we’ll always have that friction between generations? Personally, I have been welcomed under the wing of many older and experienced naturalists, scientists of all description and many writers too. I cherish these connections and I hope they all know how each encouraging comment, each bashfully received compliment and each offering of support and advice is helping me on my journey to become the best I can be. They are all helping this young cub in unimaginable ways and I relish the chance to learn and grow so much. I realise the opportunity to make these networks so young, is a real privilege. I hope too that they realise that sometimes, the young ‘uns will want to stand strong together and form a firm generation which hopefully can make a difference to what is a very uncertain time for nature and wildlife. Mostly though, I just want us to learn together, from each other, for we all have very unique views, knowledge and ways of interpreting things.
So please, if you are in the depths of despair, thinking that the young people of today don’t care, don’t experience the wild as ‘we’ once did. Think again, we do, we are and you know what else? We’ll be the one’s clearing up the environmental mess that we find ourselves in right now and the predicted future. We will need to think of new ideas, new ways of thinking…new technology; we will do that and we will do it with passion, with each other and I hope, with the positivity and support of our elders, conservation charities and organisations.
Many congratulations to the New Nature team, I hope that it goes from strength to strength, inspiring and enlightening as it goes!
Thanks for reading