Youth Eco Forum member Henry Ball presenting books to the eco council at Tanbridge House School

Sussex Green Living’s Youth Eco Forum is a young persons’ environmental group where we speak about current news and creatively demonstrate climate activism in many forms. The YEF was founded in June 2020 in the hope of connecting like-minded teenagers to make a difference for our planet during a period of disconnection… so we started it virtually! However, that has never stopped us having loads of fun with eco-actions.

Since then, we’ve taken part in a biodiversity count (aka BioBlitz); created a shop window display in Horsham; run a mini foraged cookery class and helped create a learning resource for the Sussex Green Living eco milk float. The climax after our year’s work was our outdoor woodland day for schools, appropriately named “Beyond BeLeaf”!

The Beyond BeLeaf day was held in early July. We invited young teenagers, many who had never been to a woodland before, to join us in various workshops.

I led a wood whittling workshop; Adam and Henry led a workshop on fire lighting and biochar (charcoal which helps regenerate nature-depleted soils); Flora gave everyone recycled notebooks and got creative about all things nature; Nina took groups for nature walks, explaining the marvels of woodlands and Catherine co-ordinated a nature inspired dance workshop in the woodland theatre. Everybody seemed to enjoy and benefit from the experience, including all of us young leaders!

After the event, we bought and presented our favourite eco-books to each of the schools. These included books about fungi, rewilding, tree identification and climate change.

We recently said goodbye to former YEF leader Catherine so she could pursue her nature inspired dancing passion in France. We miss her incredible enthusiasm, but she has set us in good stead, and I’m delighted to take on the role.  We have lots of ideas and events for the year ahead, our first event is our Christmas “Green Run” on 18th December, where everyone takes part in pre-loved or green clothes (see the flyer below). We are also planning a tree planting event, we have collected hundreds of native tree seeds this year, and we’d love to invite you to plant some with us during February half term.

If you are 11-18 years  we’d love to meet you! Check out more about the Youth Eco Forum, the Beyond BeLeaf video and our e-zines here, or book to attend our next meeting here, or email us at .

Pupils at City Academy Southwark delighted with their new books

Written by Max Moorcroft