Green Health Week Nature Funding for Young People

Group of young people celebrating
Alan Robertson

Funding for unique environmental projects designed by young people for young people has been announced by NatureScot during this year’s Green Health Week.

Anyone between 11 and 26 can apply to the Future Routes Fund with project ideas that directly connect young people with nature and help improve their local environment. Green Health Week highlights how greater use of the outdoors can help to tackle physical inactivity, mental health issues and health inequalities. This year it overlaps with Mental Health Awareness Week, the theme of which is ‘moving more for our mental health’.

YouGov research for The Woodland Trust last year showed that although seven out of 10 16-24-year-olds in the UK are worried about climate change and its effects, 86% of people surveyed felt that being outdoors and among nature had a positive effect on their mental health.

NatureScot hopes the Future Routes Fund will increase the number of young people who access nature and empower them to take positive actions towards reducing biodiversity loss and climate change.

NatureScot is launching the next round of the scheme with £20,000 in funding, seeking to remove some of the barriers that prevent young people from engaging with nature and provide support for those who wish to take positive action. It also aims to help reduce levels of eco-anxiety in young people.

Individuals can apply for funding of between £500 to £2,000, while teams can apply for £1,000 to £5,000. Successful projects will need to be delivered by 30 of November 2024. The application period runs until 19 June 2024, and successful recipients will be announced in July.

If people are interested in creating a project but need advice on how to carry it out, they are encouraged to submit their idea with as much information as possible. Applicants can fill out a form or send a video or voice recording. These will then be reviewed by a panel of young people who will select the projects that they think will be the most beneficial to fellow young people and their communities.

The Future Routes Fund was originally created by Scotland's youth biodiversity panel, ReRoute. The young people on the ReRoute panel developed the aims, results and criteria for the fund in collaboration with NatureScot and Young Scot. They designed it to be for the benefit of young people and easy to apply for.

NatureScot Biodiversity and Climate Change Engagement Officer, Shivanka Gautam, said: “This Green Health Week, we are excited to offer this opportunity for young people to bring their ideas for protecting and restoring Scotland’s nature to life. Young Scots are full of imagination and ambition to take positive action for the environment, and we want to break down any barriers they feel are in their way to help their communities and natural spaces thrive.

“The Future Routes Fund welcomes ideas from young people for young people and we look forward to seeing the creativity behind the applications for 2024, and helping them become a reality.”

Young people interested in applying can ask any questions about this Fund by emailing, or checking out the information on the Future Routes Fund web page