Caroline Lucas set for University nature conference

MP Caroline Lucas is among the speakers at a University of Brighton symposium that will explore the benefits of connecting children and teenagers in the UK with local nature.

The Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion will give a talk entitled ‘Young People and the Natural World: The Art of Paying Attention’ on the first day of the event. She will make the case that “connecting young people with nature is not only vital for their wellbeing, but for the wellbeing of the planet as well”.

The two-day conference – ‘Connecting children and teenagers with local nature: UK research showcase and networking event’ – is co-organised by the University of Brighton’s Dr Rachel White and Royal Holloway’s Dr Deborah Harvey.

It will be held at the University of Brighton’s City Campus on 17 and 18 June and is an opportunity for academics, researchers, environment professionals, educators and students from across the UK to network and share findings.

Other speakers include delegates from WWF, Earthwatch Europe, Natural England and the South Downs National Park.

The focus of the symposium is on children and teenagers from five to eighteen years old. The event will consist of round-table discussions, exhibits, poster sessions and talks.

Dr Rachel White, Senior Lecturer in Ecology and Conservation, said: “Multiple benefits can arise from interacting with the natural world first-hand (such as biodiversity conservation, education, health and wellbeing), yet there are growing concerns that people are becoming increasingly disconnected from nature.

“This interdisciplinary and inclusive event will provide the unique opportunity to showcase and learn from existing efforts aimed at connecting children and teenagers with nature on their doorstop.

“From this, we hope to facilitate collaborations and identify ways to expand upon and scale-up successes to date.”

Further information can be found on the event website here http://bit.ly/2Nmmjye and via the hashtag #YoungNatureUK on Twitter.

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