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We were delighted to be invited to join the Resurgence Summit on 24 September at the Knepp estate in West Sussex. Our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook, reports on the day.
The event was organised by Heal Rewilding, Youngwilders, and Knepp Wildland Foundation. Its aim was to enable young people to discuss public access and nature, and to create a manifesto of their demands for their generation. It was well attended, with 100 young people present.
In the morning the speakers were Jack Durant from Youngwilders, Hannah Needham of Heal, and Penny Green and Libby Drew from Knepp. Then we divided into groups and walked round parts of the estate, soaking in the natural environment, the free-growing hedges and ancient trees, the land rootled by pigs to stop scrub taking over, the wild-flower meadows, and the Tamworth pigs and white storks.
We returned to the barn for the afternoon session, where I was on a panel with Paula Brunt from the Disabled Ramblers, Chantelle Lindsay from the London Wildlife Trust, and Marlon Opigo from Feedback Ecotalent. The conversation was about public access, focusing on ethnic minority groups, freedom to roam, and access for disabled people. It was so encouraging to be among people who saw public access as a part of nature rather than in conflict with it.
We broke into groups again to work on our demands for the future. When we stuck them all together, the manifesto was five metres long. It needs some editing but will make a terrific blueprint for decision-makers.
It was a joy to be among such optimistic young people who really do want to change the world. All power to them.