This video was made by the Keeping it Wild trainees to explore how public engagement with green spaces has changed over the course of the pandemic, and the magnitude of people’s impact on the environment - specifically the wildlife.

Headliners have been working in partnership with London Wildlife TrustJohn 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.

Over the past 14 months, a large proportion of the population in London has been stuck indoors due to the social distancing impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. During the lifting of lockdowns throughout the past year, the presence of young people in nature reserves has increased greatly, with more spending time in parks, forests, and nature reserves, due to shops, amusement parks and travel being restricted. People have been more eager and motivated to take advantage of these spaces opening up, causing both positive and negative impacts towards wildlife in nature reserves.

“This is an issue for me because I believe we all have a responsibility to look after these spaces so wildlife can thrive and we can continue to enjoy them.”

“Likewise, young people may be unknowingly contributing to the issues. Raising awareness can help understand how to use these spaces to minimise disturbance and damage to nature.”

“Nature reserves being open to the public can be a hugely beneficial practice, increasing public engagement and by extension their involvement with conservation initiatives. Additionally, on a human level it can have a huge positive impact on mental health – an aspect that has been evidenced through multiple studies.”

“My local nature reserve, Sydenham Hill Woods, has experienced some noticeable impact of increased footfall since the start of the pandemic. This highlighted to me that the pandemic may have affected nature reserves negatively. The pandemic is also something that everyone has experienced simultaneously, and so younger people will have some association with issue.”

This film was produced by Keeping it Wild trainees Deepak Sharma, Jamie Mitchell, Rianna Badeesha and Max Harbord.
Filming took place at London Wildlife Trust sites Sydenham Hill Wood and Woodberry Wetlands.
Edited by Aidan Campbell
Project Officer: Martina Horner
The Keeping it Wild is kindly funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund.