Building on the success of The Wilderness Foundation’s Imbewu Scotland pilot trails run in 2013 and 2014, the charity will officially launch the 2015 programme at an invitation event in Scotland on 2nd June 2015.
Hosted by Lyon & Turnbull at their premises in Edinburgh, the event will provide the charity with the opportunity to share its vision for expansion of this vital project across Scotland.
CEO of The Wilderness Foundation, Jo Roberts, says:

Our youth face some of the greatest challenges of any generation through history, due to increasing urbanisation, economic crises and over-population.   This includes their loss of a vital connection to the natural world and rural heritage skills, impacting on wellbeing and sustainable futures.
Imbewu Scotland is an inter-generational project sharing the knowledge and wisdom of stalkers, ghillies and others in the rural sector, to encourage young people from urban backgrounds to consider rural employment opportunities and inspire them to become future stewards of Scotland’s magnificent heritage.

The key objectives of Imbewu Scotland are for project participants to:

  • Participate in a nature-based project for six days;
  • To develop a deep and meaningful connection to nature and the rural parts of Scotland;
  • To understand the opportunities for work in the rural sector on estates;
  • To benefit from personal and social development.

The pilot phase of the project was sponsored by Scottish Natural Heritage, Aberdeenshire LEADER, Cairn Energy, The Dulverton Trust and The MacRobert Trust, amongst others.    The whole two year scheme was monitored and evaluated by the University of Essex, whose detailed report of the outcomes achieved is available on request.    Highlighted outcomes achieved for young people included:

  • 51% of participants made curriculum choices based on their Imbewu experience, with a further
  • 34% making further education choices based on their Imbewu experience;
  • 94% reported an increased connection to nature;

The charity exceeded its target for building pathways for further education and employment for participants in collaboration with project partners and in total over the two years reached some 1,372 young people.  Overall, the Imbewu Project provided a number of health benefits for participants, including improvements in self-esteem, mood, hope and resilience.
Imbewu Scotland is an initiative of the Wilderness Foundation UK, working in partnership with Scottish Land & Estates.
For further information on Imbewu Scotland please visit the project page on our website or contact the Imbewu Scotland team.