The Young Ecology Adventurers project began in 2016. SOCOPA was concerned that young people were growing up with few opportunities to experience the natural world. Many live less than a kilometer from the River Soar and the Leicester branch of the Grand Union Canal yet visit it rarely , if ever. Thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and by working with the Canal and River Trustand the Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre, we have created a unique programme that addresses these challenges. Young people are learning to canoe so they can explore the waterways. The 12-week programme includes lock keeping, carrying out wildlife transects, testing water quality, setting camera traps and a visit to Saddington Tunnel to look for bats. We are supported by Cardiff University’s Sustainable Places Research Institute who are helping us to understand the impact of the project on all those who take part. View our outcomes framework here. At the end participants receive the John Muir Award and present the results of their work to staff at the Canal and River Trust. If you’d like to know more about the project please contact us