Celebrating Earth Day 2024 with Girlguiding members

To celebrate Earth Day 2024, members of the Rainbows, Brownies and Guides visited three RSPB reserves to take part in activities, from beachcombing to birdwatching, inspired by our partnership ‘Feel Good in Nature’ challenge pack.

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Girlguiding members sit in a circle for a group learning session in the woods.
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What and when is Earth Day?

Earth Day is an international celebration of the achievements of the environmental movement. First started in 1970, it was created to inspire citizens to become involved in conservation and to educate them on the issues threatening the environment. Now a global movement, Earth Day is celebrated annually on 22 April.   
This year, to mark the occasion, the RSPB welcomed Girlguiding members from across Anglia to spend time connecting to nature, and learn about the threats it faces, at three of the RSPB’s nature reserves: The Lodge (Bedfordshire), Minsmere (Suffolk) and Rainham Marshes (Essex).

A weekend in nature

The weekend of nature-themed events was held as part of a partnership between the RSPB and Girlguiding  Anglia. Over 260 members of the Rainbows, Brownies and Guides explored the beaches, heathlands and wetlands of the reserves. 
The girls spent the day with staff and volunteers from the RSPB, taking part in activities including minibeast hunts to discover and learn about insects, beachcombing, nature art, birdwatching, pond dipping and sweep netting to survey insects.  

Partnership project aims to help girls build nature into their everyday lives

The RSPB and Girlguiding Anglia have been working in partnership since 2022; it builds on the success of the RSPB's partnership with Girlguiding London and South East Region, established since 2015. The RSPB has also been working in partnership with Girlguiding North West England since 2023.  
Between 1st April 2023 and 31 March 2024, the three partnerships have engaged over 7,300 girls and 1,300 adult leaders in connecting with nature and/or actions to help nature. Together, we are helping more young girls and women to discover nature and empowering them to take action to save it. 
The partnership aims to increase the number of girls who are building nature into their Girlguiding experience and everyday lives to improve their wellbeing. We also hope to increase the number of girls who are making nature-friendly choices and taking positive action to help nature. 
Claire Course, Deputy Chief Commission for Girlguiding Anglia, attended the event at The Lodge. Claire said: 

Our partnership with the RSPB has given girls across Anglia the opportunity to explore nature and have amazing adventures whilst caring for their mental wellbeing and the environment. It’s been wonderful to see the girls connect with the heart of the challenge, with the love of nature it instils and with the mental health benefits being out in nature can afford – I think that’s why it’s been our most successful partnership challenge to date.”


Two girlguiding members hold up their pooters showing their bug finds.

Flagship research finds nearly three quarters of girls want more opportunities to spend time in nature

The Girls' Attitude survey is Girlguiding UK’s flagship research, which asks girls and young women how they feel about their everyday lives. Over 2,000 young women and girls between the ages of 7 and 21 were surveyed in 2023. 

74% said they wanted more opportunities to spend time in nature. 81% of them felt that spending time in the outdoors made them happier. This is also supported by research that suggests a deeper connection to nature is linked to better mental wellbeing and educational attainment amongst children. 

Feel Good in Nature: a partnership challenge pack

The results from the Girls Attitudes survey inspired the creation of the ‘Feel Good in Nature’ challenge pack. The partnership pack includes a collection of activities to help girls spend more time in nature, as well as ways they can bring nature into their local communities, such as litter picking or planting wildlife-friendly plants in green spaces.  

In total, over 5,000 Girlguiding members in Anglia have now completed the ‘Feel Good in Nature’ challenge.

Yvonne Hunt, RSPB Youth Partnerships Officer, said: “There’s nothing better than seeing a love of nature sparked in young people, whether that’s finding their first minibeast or a quick game of hide and bird seek! We hope that we can create a lifelong connection for these young people with the natural world that is good for their wellbeing and good for the environment.”   

The ‘Feel Good in Nature’ challenge pack is available for anyone to use and can be downloaded from the Girlguiding  Anglia website. For more information about opportunities for young people to connect with nature with the RSPB, visit our youth group page.

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