Young Roots Project
Project Introduction and Trail Leaflet Download
Over 1200 young people and 500 adult volunteers created an eight point art trail from High Wycombe town centre to Kingsmead along the River Wye – Wycombe’s Secret River. At one local Secondary School only four pupils out of eighty knew the name of the river that flows through High Wycombe! The Wye is very special, in fact it is an internationally rare chalk stream. We hope that this trail will mean that it will be more valued, cherished and celebrated by the people of High Wycombe.
Young Roots’ fun practical workshops took place at these trail sites during school holiday in 2016 and ’17; activities included conservation work, planting, habitat improvements, painting art installations, nest box building and decorating, making and editing short films, interviewing local residents, camp fire cooking and so much more… So many young people groups joined us and got involved including; Scout and Guide groups, Young Deaf Activities, School groups, Bucks Young Carers to NCS teams.
As the project developed some of our regular young people developed into young leaders, coming early to events to set up and to lead activities with the professional team. The project was lead by ranger Paul Stack with help from the Chiltern Rangers Team, Sadia Hussain and the Wycombe Youth Action team, our amazing National Award winning artist Dan Wilson and Gary Blake and Scott Bullock from Highway productions who created a skilled and motivated young people film team.
The best way of seeing the impact of the project on our river and the young people who worked on it is to watch the videos and visit the art on the trail. The biggest transformation was to the centre of town where our young people worked with so many community partners including Wycombe District Council, the Fire Brigade, Environment Agency, Chiltern Conservation Board to bring the river back to life in Wycombe’s Town Centre. It is now a wildlife oasis in the centre of our town and the planting is maturing nicely!
The largest art installation is at Funges Meadow Nature Reserve, transforming an often tagged railway bridge with five huge pieces of art.
‘It has been an extremely memorable experience and it is very rewarding to know that I am helping to make a change to the environment.’ Jasmine aged 14