Backyard Nature, a campaign funded by the Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation (IFCF), is celebrating its first anniversary with the support of thousands of children, who have acted to protect plants and wildlife during lockdown. In just 12 months, the nationwide campaign has inspired more than 10,000 children to sign up as Backyard Nature Guardians, pledging to protect nature in their own neighbourhoods.
Children from the Channel Islands to the Shetlands, Belfast to Barry, have spent over 600,000 hours protecting nature in their communities, including taking part in Backyard Nature’s seasonal ‘missions’ to ‘Save the Bees’ and ‘Love Bugs’. In summer 2019, 15 million wildflower seeds were planted in an effort to save native bees, and 300,000 bug hotels were given away from Iceland and The Food Warehouse stores this January to help protect the country’s insects.
Backyard Nature is a partnership between the IFCF and Semble, a social enterprise that connects businesses with grassroots communities to drive positive change. Aiming to connect all children with nature, wherever they live, the campaign was launched last summer with support from HRH The Duchess of Cambridge, Backyard Nature was inspired by the ‘Eco Emeralds’, a group of young environmentalists from Anfield, Liverpool, and has now gone on to encourage the next generation to connect with the environment and take action.
Co-Founder of Semble, Mark Shearer said: “We’re delighted the army of Backyard Nature Guardians has surpassed 10,000 in its first year alone. There couldn’t be a more important time to help children get outside and provide nature missions that genuinely make a difference in their own neighbourhoods. This is very much a campaign by the children for the children. We can’t wait to see it snowball from here and have thousands more patches spring up across the UK and beyond.”
Richard Walker, Managing Director of Iceland and IFCF Trustee, said: “The impact of Backyard Nature has been phenomenal and helped engage the next generation with our country’s wonderful wildlife. The campaign was created to encourage children to spend time in protecting nature on their own doorstep and they have responded incredibly with more than 10,000 of them from all parts of the UK doing their part to help our planet.
“Interestingly, there has been a surge in children committing to protect their patch during lockdown, with it being clear that this time has made us all appreciate our great outdoors and the beautiful wildlife that inhabits it.”
The Backyard Nature website asks young people, and their grown-ups, to sign-up their patch of nature online and become a Backyard Nature Guardian for their area. Users can find their patch using a map highlighting local green space and download useful DIY guides to protect nature where they live.
Sign up to become a Backyard Nature Guardian here.
Learn more about the IFCF’s work here.