Guest speakers from Alton Climate Action Network (ACAN) and Alton Natural History Society visited Alton College as part of Great Big Green Week, which celebrates community action to combat climate change and protect nature.

ACAN chair Jenny Griffiths and Alton Natural History Society chair Cathy Wilson presented to two groups of A-level environmental science students to discuss topics including sustainability, community green spaces for wildlife, seeking protection for rare species, and hedge planting.

Both speakers were keen to inspire the teenagers while explaining how they can do charitable work as a life skill and for personal development. Environmental science is a popular subject at many universities so doing voluntary work for groups such as ACAN can significantly enhance an application.

Jenny discussed the Young ACAN group, which has a network of Young ACAN ambassadors who meet frequently.

Jenny and Cathy also explained issues they faced with rewilding public spaces because of obtaining council licences and commitment from volunteers, giving students more understanding of things related to their studies and summer conservation projects.

Cathy said: “We are really keen to inspire and encourage students in relation to nature and biodiversity challenges, and how to address this locally and nationally. We also hope some students will pursue this further in the future. We are very excited to work with Alton College and other local colleges as this is a great way to join up action and work together.”

Jenny added: “Coming in to speak with students is an important part of engagement and we are really keen to continue to partner with Alton College and the local community. This has been a great opportunity.”