National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

30 June 2021

As Plastic Free July gets underway, a new challenge to encourage YFC members to enhance the environment in their local rural areas is being launched by The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) in conjunction with the Environment Agency.

The challenge, named YFC Operation Green, is supported by NatWest as part of its wider support of National Young Farmers’ Week 2021. The aim of the challenge is to encourage Young Farmers’ Clubs (YFCs) to deliver local environmental projects that ensure YFCs and their rural communities are here for generations to come. YFCs are being asked to take this action during NFYFC’s 90th anniversary membership year, which starts in September 2021.

Litter and fly tipping remain a huge problem in the countryside – especially following the increased number of visitors to green spaces during the pandemic. Excess waste has a detrimental impact on wildlife and YFCs can help to do something about it and support their local communities.

Working with the Environment Agency, NFYFC is asking YFCs and County Federations to organise a project in their local community that positively contributes to improving the natural environment. They are also encouraged to work with local schools or other community groups to get a project underway.

This can include litter picks, cleaning up local areas, improving areas such as the village hall or planting trees and improving natural habitats.

YFCs can start their project at any time, but they are being encouraged to make plans over the summer and take action from September onwards in the build-up to National Young Farmers’ Week (25-29 October 2021), supported by NatWest.

YFCs are also being asked to gather advice and resources to action, record and promote their green operation. The Environment Agency is also supporting certain counties with free litter picking kits to make the job a little easier! Other YFCs outside of the funded areas can contact their local authorities for support.

NFYFC’s President Nigel Owens MBE said:

“The countryside has been a great escape for so many during the pandemic but sadly it has also resulted in a deluge of rubbish being left behind, which is harmful for wildlife and creating a mess for local people. YFCs are in a great position to work with their rural communities to launch YFC Operation Green projects that really make a difference to their local environment.”

Claire Horrocks Environment Agency Project Officer said:

“Through the Preventing Plastic Pollution Project, the Environment Agency is working with 17 other organisations in England and France to both understand and reduce the impacts of plastic pollution in the marine environment.

“Those working in agriculture can play such an important role in protecting our environment and help inspire the next generation to reduce waste and reuse more of our precious resources.

“We hope YFC Operation Green will be a fun and inspiring way to help YFC members to think about the plastic they use and the responsibility we all have to reduce unnecessary plastic use and manage our waste properly.’’

Ian Burrow, Head of Agriculture and Renewable Energy at NatWest, said: 

“As COP26 principal banking partner, we are committed to play a leading role in tackling climate change, which is why we’re proud to support this new challenge that will see young farmers help to protect and preserve their local environment.

“Our wider support for National Young Farmers’ Week 2021, which takes place 25 to 29 October later this year, also demonstrates our commitment to the next generation of farmers, including how they can take a leading role in their rural communities.”

To view the new online YFC Operation Green toolkit, visit here.  



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