The Huddersfield Riverside Nature Park is all about linking people to the environment in Huddersfield. Experience in practical environmental skills is essential for young people if we are to pave the way for climate action into the future. EPIKS’ Volunteer Engagement Officer, Anne Merry has been running a comprehensive programme for Kirklees College on sites within the Huddersfield Riverside Nature Park. Here’s an extract from the Kirklees College land based studies tutor Rachel McCaffrey explaining this worthwhile project. Thanks to all the continuing hard work and input from the students and college staff. 

“EPIKs delivers environmental projects to make Kirklees a better place to live and work. Their projects give people the chance to enjoy better access to green spaces, active travel and ways to make our local environment a better place.

EPIKs are a not-for-profit organisation comprised of volunteers and paid staff. They work in partnership with community groups, institutions and businesses which helps them to get the best local knowledge and impact from their projects.

The students have been working with Anne Merry, Volunteer Engagement Officer for EPIKs, at Snow Island near the University of Huddersfield to improve the footpaths, remove any invasive species and create better access for walkers.

The students are enjoying their contribution to EPIKs. They are picking up skills which help them to make sense of subjects studied on their course and working with the community to promote outdoor recreation, reduce congestion, reduce pollution and promote healthy living. The students are really passionate about creating ways to attract the community to use nature’s highways, for example, nature trails, fire pits, better signage, outdoor gyms and orienteering.

Rachel McCaffrey, Agriculture and Animal Management Tutor said:

“The Level 2 Agriculture students are using this experience to broaden their understanding of the conservation and improvement of British habitats. The students have made a real difference to some of our local green spaces and they are excited to see how the local community react and enjoy using these spaces.

Anne Merry and the rest of the EPIKs team have been fantastic with the students and they have really enjoyed the project.”