In February 2018 Defra commissioned Traverse to design and deliver a qualitative research project to understand the motivations and behaviours of young people (aged 16-24) in environmental volunteering. The research aims to understand the barriers and enablers to environmental volunteering and identify how young people could be better supported to take part.
The research was commissioned to help inform the implementation of policies within Chapter 3 of the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan; specifically Defra’s work with Step Up to Serve and other organisations to help more children and young people from all backgrounds to engage with nature and improve the environment, particularly in ways where they can be brought into contact with the natural world. The research aims to build new evidence and insight around the current environmental volunteering ‘offer’ to inform the best ways to increase participation by this age group.
The study comprises stakeholder interviews, an evidence review, a stakeholder call for evidence, 16 focus groups (with environmental volunteers and non-volunteers), a nationally representative survey of 1000 16-24 year olds and a stakeholder workshop to generate recommendations.
A wide variety of motives for environmental volunteering were identified and analysed. Barriers were identified and explored. Final report is available from the Defra website.