The aim of the Keeping it Wild programme was to empower and inspire 600 young people aged 11-25, from backgrounds currently under-represented in natural heritage, to gain vital skills while discovering, conserving and sharing their experiences of the capital’s wild spaces. 

Headliners worked in partnership with London Wildlife Trust, John Muir Trust, and London Youth to inspire the young people to investigate the issues facing green spaces and to engage with nature through social action projects and traineeships.

Headliners’ role in the Keeping it Wild project is to deliver journalism and media training to the young people which take part, to enable them to produce media content that can help protect and promote the wildlife in their own local neighbourhoods, sparking their curiosity to discover, explore and share their stories of natural heritage.

Young people also gained accreditation in digital media skills, journalism and personal progression.

Keeping It Wild has five element of the programme, including Young People’s Forum, Wild Action Programme, Wild Action Days, Represent! Social Projects and Keeping it Wild Traineeships.

Keeping it Wild was funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Our project came to an end on 31st July 2021.

You can follow the programme legacy on social media using #keepingitwild


Overall, the majority of Keeping it Wild project targets were achieved or exceeded:

  • 1,397 young people engaged
  • 93% of young people were from at least one of the target groups: Black, Asian and minoritised ethnic groups (BAME), disabled young people or young people from lower socio-economic communities
  • 59 Wild Action Days, 16 Wild Action Programmes, 31 Traineeships and 46 Social Action projects delivered
  • 397 John Muir Awards achieved
  • 152 Level 1 and 31 Level 2 Media Accreditations achieved
  • 6 nature reserves improved, 39 wild spaces recorded and 20 projects resulted in improvements to natural heritage



The Keeping it Wild project has achieved the following outcomes:

  • Large increase in the amount of London Wildlife Trust communications content about natural heritage produced by young people, including blogs, films, photographs, surveys, social media campaigns and exhibitions
  • Improvements to natural heritage, at London Wildlife Trust nature reserves and local community greenspaces
  • Young people felt positively engaged and empowered through their experiences
  • 85% of young people have a better understanding of natural heritage and 82% feel that heritage is now more engaging to young people
  • Young people feel that nature and wildlife is accessible and inclusive; 74% agreed that heritage represents people like them
  • As well as practical skills, young people have developed softer skills such as communication, team working and leadership and 93% feel that the skills they have developed will be useful for them in the future
  • 67% of trainees agreed that they have gained more knowledge about jobs in the conservation sector, 89% agreed that their CV has improved and 100% agreed that the traineeship was relevant to their career goals
  • Young people are more likely to take ownership and action as a result: 82% are more likely to visit their local greenspaces, 80% have a greater sense of ownership over their local greenspace and 87% feel inspired to take action
  • 77% of young people feel their overall health and wellbeing has improved.
  • In addition, there has been considerable organisational change with partners embedding new ways of engaging young people in nature and wildlife.


The critical success factors for London Wildlife Trust in Keeping it Wild were:

  • London Wildlife Trust’s ability and success at reaching a diverse audience, through the partnership with London Youth
  • The skills, dedication and passion of the people and the strength of the partnership
  • Keeping it local; the focus on nature and wildlife in London
  • Emphasis on all elements being youth- led
  • Flexibility and adaptability throughout, but particularly through the Covid-19 pandemic