The South Downs National Park is encouraging young people to do some hands on conservation work across Sussex as part of their free Youth Action Days.

The days are aimed at people aged 25 or under with a passion for environmental action and the work will involve helping to conserve the internationally important chalk grassland and heathland habitats of the National Park, which are home to species such as the rare Field Cricket, smooth snake and Duke of Burgundy butterfly.

Student, Youth Ambassador and volunteer ranger for the National Park Kirsty Ferris, 20, says: “The beauty of these Youth Action Days is that they are all free and you don’t need any experience – just a passion for the environment!”

South Downs Youth Action Day

Five events are planned for this October half term following the success of the South Downs Youth Action during the summer, which involved dozens of young people taking part in vital conservation work such as collecting plastic that could threaten wildlife.

Kirsty said the return of the event was an exciting opportunity across the school holidays and a similar level of popularity is expected for the Autumn days.

Activities such as scrub clearance, which is the clearing of things like hawthorn bushes, brambles and nettles and coppicing, which is the cutting down of trees to allow the stumps to regenerate for many years, are vital to keep these precious habitats intact and will be a key focus for the Autumn action days.

South Downs Youth Action Day

Daniel Greenwood, a volunteering opportunities developer for the National Park, said: “We know young people are passionate about nature and the environment, perhaps like never before in history.”

“These free events give people a chance to get involved with an amazing range of activities happening in the South Downs National Park. We hope to see lots of young people getting involved!”

The schedule runs from Mon Oct 28 until Fri Nov 1 and will take part in Chichester, Winchester, Shoreham and Brighton.

For more information or to take part visit www.southdowns.gov.uk.