The Wilderness Foundation, together with project partners Scottish Land & Estates, was delighted to be hosted by Lyon & Turnbull in Edinburgh last night for the official launch of Imbewu Scotland 2015.  Wilderness Foundation CEO Jo Roberts and Imbewu Scotland Project Coordinator David Eckersley were in attendance and were joined by Sir Humphry Wakefield Bt (WF Patron-in-Chief), Lady Norrie (advisor to the trustees) and participants from the previous year’s Imbewu course, including Sean Campbell.
Sean has really grasped the opportunities provided to him by Imbewu and following his experiential learning week and pathway support provided by The Wilderness Foundation, has completed two work experience placements on the Angus and Douglas Estate and is now looking forward to starting work on the estate as a new apprentice in September 2015.  Here Sean tells us about why Imbewu and his rural heritage matter to him, along with the difference the programme has made to his life:

Imbewu Scotland is an inter-generational project which shares the knowledge and wisdom of people who live and work in rural Scotland, including estate managers, countryside rangers and wilderness guides, with young people from urban backgrounds.  Week-long residential trails, which include wilderness journeys in the most remote and beautiful parts of rural Scotland, enable young people to grow an awareness and love of nature and the outdoors.  A leadership and personal development curriculum underpins the programme, thus supporting citizenship, employability and improved social skills in young people.
The 2015 programme will comprise week long experiential learning courses, each for up to 12 young people, including a 3-day wilderness trail, led by professional wilderness guides, during which the group will explore the area, camping in remote locations where they will learn about land use, landscape and camp craft and take part in nature based activities.
The curriculum will cover access to nature, ecological heritage, history of landscape, conservation practice, estate management, rural heritage skills, sustainable land management, biodiversity, ecosystems and the link between nature and well-being.
Participants will develop awareness and hands-on experience of rural jobs such as wildlife conservation, estate management, shepherding, fishing and forestry, tourism and renewable energy. We then work with our partner estates and others to source further work placement and volunteering opportunities for our graduates building on the successes of the pilot programme.
On completion they will receive the John Muir Discovery Award and Leave No Trace Awareness accreditation – enhancing personal development and employability skills.

How you can help

The project connects with forward thinking teachers, youth groups, estates and other partners.  If you would like further information please contact David Eckersley (Project Coordinator) email: david@wildernessfoundation.org.uk