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The rise of the next scientific leaders in environmental science – Open Wilding Project

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Logo: The Open Wilding Project

Launched by a community of current students spread across the United Kingdom, The Open Wilding Project is empowering the next generation of scientists and specialists.

Image: The Open Wilding Project
The Open Wilding Project

Each year, opportunities for student jobs, work experience, research and investigation become more and more difficult, with the sector heavily saturated with part to full time only volunteer opportunities that are inflexible and hard to come by, and employers requiring academic and practical experience, leaving graduates discouraged and eventually abandoning a profession in nature.

We are changing that.

Image: help us help the environment (The Open Wilding Project)
The Open Wilding Project

There are 3 roots to the Open Wilding Project: environment, students, and community.
Through our environment root, we will take on land, either gifted, sponsored or purchased, and develop it into sustainable and resilient ecosystems in the face of climate change directed by the combined knowledge of our members and specialist advisors.
We work with what is there and utilise the natural resources to the benefit of the land, wildlife, community, and wider environment. No parcel of the Earth is too small to support, and none is too big. You can read all about our land management process in our scientific framework here 

Our students are the driving force behind the organisation and are known as our second root. We are all equally invested in seeing and creating change and this organisation was created from an absolute passion to do better, as individuals and as students of the Earth.
Currently, we are developing a network of organisations that can offer flexible, field training and work experience opportunities in exchange for the volunteered time of the student.
We listen to our student members and learn what they want to achieve and recommend them for placement. This isn’t a first come first serve system, it Is a process designed to champion each other and accelerate our learning and experience.
Founding member and director Crystal Rosen said, “The key to protecting the Earth is in listening and investing in our current students and the next generation of scientists and specialists. That is why the Open Wilding Project is so important. We’re tackling conservation in the UK like no one else - with the backing of our student community and their scientific knowledge. All of our learning is then recycled. Once a student has completed training, they can work to train other members and so on. Our entire process is circular, self-sustaining and efficient.”

Finally, our community root is about our connection with the Earth as a society. We are looking to develop community food forests, learning spaces, SEN gardens and outdoor classrooms and invite the public to join the Open Wilding Project under a public membership, a new initiative that should be rolling out in summer.

Image: The Open Wilding Project - created by students for students and the environment
The Open Wilding Project

How to get involved:

  • Join our network of organisations offering field experience opportunities. If you are part of an environmental science/ conservation/ rewilding etc organisation and have some time to spare to train some of our members, or a space for them on your volunteer cohort, please get in touch!
  • Sign up as a member! If you are a student looking to gain field/ work experience and be a part of a community, go to https://openwildingproject.com/ to sign up.
  • Keep an eye out for our public membership if you aren’t a student. Its available to anyone looking to gain experience in environmental sciences or looking for a career change.
  • We’re currently looking for a piece of land to use as our first OWP site. If you have land that is underused or not efficiently supporting the environment, get in touch. We can work to manage land on your behalf, or gratefully accept as a gift to our social enterprise.
  • We are pre-seed and are looking for financial backing. If you have found the pot at the end of the rainbow and would like to support a CIC in its startup phase, please contact crystal@openwildingproject.com.
  • Join our mailing list and read our environmental science articles at https://www.theclimatecorner.com/, our parent organisation.

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