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At the beginning of this year Emma Grant – who works in Wildland’s accounts department – was approached by the Cairngorms National Park Authority to co-design the Youth Manifesto – European Parks: Inspired by the Next Generation.

The purpose of this manifesto, which will be presented at the EUROPARC conference in September 2018, is to outline ways which young people can be meaningfully engaged in the future safekeeping of our natural heritage.

“As a young person working within a national park I was eager to contribute my views on getting young people more involved in decision making, volunteering, living in Parks and making our opinions heard so with the support of Wildland and the encouragement of its Managing Director Tim Kirkwood in particular, I am so pleased to be able to grab this opportunity”.

Emma was invited to to join thirty other young people from protected areas and rural communities across Europe in Kalajoki, Finland where they discussed the problems Europe’s National Parks and big open spaces face and potential solutions to some of these problems. Over the week Emma and the group were introduced to a range programmes designed to enable young people to shape how they live, learn and work in these special areas – all whilst also getting outdoors to appreciate the spectacular, natural landscapes that Finland has to offer.

“We collated all our ideas into the final manifesto document to be published later this year. Personally, I am proud to have this opportunity to present our group’s thinking to over five hundred delegates at the EUROPARC conference where we all hope to inspire and motivate European Parks to pledge to make a difference for youth in all of our protected areas”.

Emma Grant