HedgeHunters Book Launch

HedgeHunters has benefited to the tune of £5k thanks to a grant from leading educational charity The Ernest Cook Trust.

The Green Influencers Project Grant, which has been awarded as part of the Trust’s Green Influencers Scheme, is being used to produce a story book written and illustrated by the HedgeHunter group.

The HedgeHunters are a group of young people aged 10 – 22 initially started with exploring the importance of hedgerows. The group wanted to learn more and spoke to a number of researchers, farmers and experts exploring different aspects of this subject and from this created a ‘Zine’ to engage and educate others. They had the idea to write a series of stories that would educate people from a young age, and were successful in receiving a £5k grant from The Ernest Cook Trust along with match funding from The University of Hull. The first story was ‘The Mystery of the Giant Claw’. For more information please visit

The Mystery of the Giant Claw – eBook – Fantastic Books Publishing (fantasticbooksstore.com)

Under its Green Influencers Scheme, The Ernest Cook Trust is helping 36 Host Organisations to fund the employment of 44 Green Mentors. Each Green Mentor’s role is to enable young people to lead the way as ‘Green Influencers’ on environmental social action projects, and the aim is to recruit 5,000 across the country.

The Scheme is match-funded through the #iwill Fund. The #iwill Fund is made possible thanks to £66 million joint investment from The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to support young people to access high quality social action opportunities. The Ernest Cook Trust is acting as a match funder and awarding grants on behalf of the #iwill Fund.

The HedgeHunters’ Green Mentor is Lisa Harris, who has been recruiting Green Influencers, in the East Riding of Yorkshire through their host organisation East Riding Voluntary Action Services and mentoring them to create impactful environmental projects in their schools and communities.

The Green Influencers Project Grant is just one element of the ongoing funding opportunities available as part of the Green Influencers Scheme.

Some 122 Green Influencers Project Grants have been awarded each in in the region of £5,000 to groups across England. Each application for a project grant is considered by the scheme’s Youth Advisory Board, a group of driven and passionate 14 to 20-year-olds who recommend applications for funding to the Trust’s Board of Trustees.

Lisa and the HedgeHunters team are thrilled to receive this funding and hope to inspire other young people (and adults) to become more engaged in their local environment.

The Ernest Cook Trust’s Chief Executive, Dr Victoria Edwards OBE, said: “The Green Influencers Scheme is having a big impact across the country and the additional grants of around £5,000 for specific projects are helping to underpin the excellent work being done by our Green Mentors and the Green Influencers. These young people really are making a difference in their communities.”

The Ernest Cook Trust is one of the UK’s foremost funders and providers of outdoor learning. It runs outdoor learning opportunities for children, young people, their families and communities on its own land as well as with partner estates. Every year, it also gives out thousands of pounds in grants, to further outdoor learning.

For information about the Green Influencers Scheme visit The Ernest Cook Trust at https://ernestcooktrust.org.uk/ or email greeninfluencers@ernestcooktrust.org.uk.

For more information about HedgeHunters visit Hedgerows: HedgeHunters assemble to help Map the Gaps (hull.ac.uk)

Hedgehunters Zine August 2022 Issue (hull.ac.uk)


Notes to editors

Green Influencers Scheme

The mission of the Green Influencers Scheme is to assist young people to create deep, lasting and meaningful connections with the natural environment. Through this scheme young people will learn and build skills which will help them contribute to the local community through environmental action.

The scheme was developed by The Ernest Cook Trust in 2019 as a match-funded project with the #iwill Fund. Both the #iwill Fund and The Ernest Cook Trust are providing £1.5million resulting in a total of £3million to be spent over 3 years on youth environmental action.

The Ernest Cook Trust has provided grants to registered charities and non-profit organisations across England to employ Green Mentors to help young people between the ages of 10-14 years (Green Influencers) to create environmental projects in local schools, youth groups and communities.

Full list of recipients:

  1. Action for Conservation (London)
  2. Action for Conservation (Manchester)
  3. Action for Conservation (Manchester)
  4. Action for Conservation (Bristol)
  5. Ambition, Aspire, Achieve (Newham, London)
  6. Centre for Sustainable Energy (Bristol)
  7. Child Dynamix (Hull)
  8. Derbyshire Wildlife Trust
  9. East Riding Voluntary Action Services (East Riding of Yorkshire)
  10. ecoACTIVE (Hackney, London)
  11. Endeavour Training Limited (Sheffield)
  12. Field Studies Council (Shropshire)
  13. Friends of St Nicholas Fields (York)
  14. Global Action Plan (London)
  15. Global Generation (Islington/Southwark, London)
  16. Green Light Trust (Bury St Edmunds)
  17. Green Synergy (Lincoln)
  18. Groundwork Cheshire Lancashire and Merseyside
  19. Groundwork Greater Manchester
  20. Groundwork North East and Cumbria
  21. Groundwork Northampton
  22. Groundwork South
  23. Handsworth Association of Schools (Birmingham)
  24. Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust
  25. Northumberland Wildlife Trust
  26. OrganicLea CIC (Walthamstow, London)
  27. Prospects Foundation (Accrington, Lancashire)
  28. Shropshire Wildlife Trust
  29. Somerset Wildlife Trust
  30. SOS-UK (Southampton)
  31. SOS-UK (Norwich)
  32. Staffordshire Wildlife Trust
  33. The Children’s Foundation (Newcastle)
  34. The Oaklea Trust (Kendal, Cumbria)
  35. Voluntary Action North East Lincolnshire
  36. Wilderness Foundation (Chelmsford)
  37. Woodcraft Folk (Leeds)
  38. Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust
  39. Young Gloucestershire
  40. Youth Work Unit Yorkshire and the Humber

The Ernest Cook Trust

The Ernest Cook Trust offers children and young people, their families and communities, the chance to learn from the land through hands-on outdoor learning activities.

The Ernest Cook Trust is a charity limited by guarantee with the sole charitable objective of education.

The Trust places education at its very heart by offering children and young people a chance to connect with nature and to take action on the environment in a meaningful and positive way.

The Trust awards around £2m per year in grants based on relevance and impact against organisational objectives. Grants are given to schools or charitable organisations for activities in the UK with a particular focus on areas where there are fewer opportunities to experience the outdoors.

#iwill Fund

  • The #iwill Fund is made possible thanks to £66 million joint investment from The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to support young people to access high quality social action opportunities.
  • The #iwill Fund brings together a group of organisations who all contribute funding to embed meaningful social action into the lives of young people.
  • The #iwill Fund supports the aims of the #iwill campaign – to make involvement in social action a part of life for young people, by recognising the benefit for both young people and their communities.
  • By bringing together funders from across different sectors and by making sure that young people have a say in where the funding goes – the #iwill Fund is taking a collaborative approach.

The #iwill movement

  • The #iwill movement is a collaboration of over 1000 organisations and 300 young #iwill Ambassadors from across the UK. They are united by a shared belief that all children and young people should be supported and empowered to make a positive difference on the issues that affect their lives, their communities, and broader society.
  • #iwill was launched in November 2013 after an independent review into how different sectors could help more young people to make a positive difference.
  • The #iwill movement is supported by an independent coordination hub, hosted by Volunteering Matters & UK Youth.
  • Take the lead by signing up to the Power of Youth Charter at iwill.org.uk or follow us @iwill_movement on twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

About The National Lottery Community Fund

We are the largest funder of community activity in the UK – we support people and communities to prosper and thrive.

We’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and to work closely with Government to distribute vital grants and funding from key Government programmes and initiatives.

Our funding has a positive impact and makes a difference to people’s lives. We support projects focused on things that matter, including economic prosperity, employment, young people, mental health, loneliness and helping the UK reach net zero by 2050.

Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.

National Lottery players raise over £30 million each week for good causes throughout the UK. Since The National Lottery began in 1994, £43 billion has been raised for good causes. National Lottery funding has been used to support over 635,000 projects – 255 projects per postcode area.



Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

  • General enquiries
    • Email: enquiries@dcms.gov.uk
    • 020 7211 6000
  • Press Office
    • Media enquiries (journalists only) 020 7211 2210
    • Out of hours telephone pager 07699 751 153.