Scotland’s young people can become healthier, happier, and more employable by taking part in environmental volunteering, according to the chairman of Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).
An estimated 90,000 people take part in environmental or wildlife volunteering in Scotland each year - and while many of these are young people, the majority are aged between 45 and 74 and from rural areas.
Ian Ross, a former volunteer himself, took over as SNH chairman last month.
He said he’d like to see more young people reap the benefits from this type of volunteer work and highlighted the many opportunities in and around towns and cities.
He said: “When someone takes part in environmental volunteering, they develop practical and social interpersonal skills, they gain a sense of achievement, self-confidence and self-esteem.
These are all qualities that can help them into permanent employment in whatever line of work they are interested in. This type of volunteering also helps young people build a connection with the natural world and sustain a life-long interest in its care.
“In broader terms, the hard work and commitment of environmental volunteers benefits communities, nature and landscape.”