By Melanie Cousins 4th September 2023

Over the last six weeks we have welcomed 80 Young Darwin Scholars onto their immersive five-day learning experiences. Their time has been spent exploring the natural world, from dancing dragonflies to majestic trees, their imaginations captured by experts in their field leading engaging and informative sessions. Scholars have also been undertaking hands-on conservation activities helping our environment.

  • smiling girl with insect on finger
  • tutor and young person using a hand lens
  • moth trapping with moth guide
  • group pond dipping
  • smiling young people outdoors
  • two girls looking in a pond

The locations included a Scottish Island with fascinating coastline, the rolling countryside of Shropshire and Somerset and urban experiences in York and London. The young people who have taken part all have a passion for the natural world and wanted to grow their environmental knowledge, get inspiration about future study and career paths and also meet others with a similar interest.

Spotlight on London

In London the young people discovered some of the amazing spaces for nature within the city, and learning from an impressive lineup of organisations and partners. This included practical habitat management, citizen science, and woodland monitoring. They also benefitted from lessons led by staff at the Natural History Museum, focusing on invertebrate identification and conservation, plus teaching covering habitat restoration and community engagement with the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust.

Spotlight on Millport

The scholars ventured along the coastline of the Isle of Cumbrae to discover the wildlife living there. Over the course of the week they learnt how to identify different species, delved into their ecology and examined plankton specimens under the microscope. They also embarked on a trip inland to explore freshwater habitats. They’ve gained the know-how to identify healthy ponds and developed their understanding of the role woodlands play in sequestering carbon.

We’ve really enjoyed meeting all the 2023 Young Darwin Scholars and look forward to continuing to support them as they take their next steps.

the 2023 young darwins in a line smiling