It has been nothing short of a pleasure to work on New Nature magazine over the past six months: to read and publish the work of our marvellous young contributors and labour alongside the various, incredibly diligent, individuals that currently reside on our editorial team. Each of whom, through thick and thin, have given their time voluntarily to create what many feel is both an enjoyable and appealing publication. This six-month summary providing the perfect opportunity to bid a begrudging farewell to Alysia Schuetzle – our designer – who has done a meticulous job at piecing the magazine together each month; but also to welcome Harriet Gardiner to the team as her replacement. Good luck, Harriet!
It has not been an easy six months, truth be told: the associated workload far surpassing our earlier expectations – leaving many of us scrambling to fit magazine commitments in alongside university, paying work and additional voluntary commitments. Equally, the sporadic flack we have received due to our age limit has been frustrating at times, and outright off-putting at others; though this has not yet proven sufficient to deter us. Nor, I suspect, will it – we do, after all, believe wholeheartedly that a magazine written solely by young people is much needed in current times. These hiccups aside, however, the publishing process has been delightful: the kind words of readers and organisations boosting morale and providing ample motivation to continue long into the future. Indeed, it is starting to feel like we are achieving some of the things we set out to do from the start.
What exactly have we achieved so far? Well, the obvious one would be that we have brought the thoughts and views of over 100 young naturalists into the public eye – with each issue downloaded and read over 1000 times and our online traffic – namely, on our blog – growing daily. This, in turn, has lead to a number of our contributors being picked up by publications elsewhere, thus boosting their portfolio and allowing them to develop further in their chosen fields. This was our main motivation for starting the magazine – to promote and embolden young people – and it is wonderful to see those featured getting noticed elsewhere for their hard work and determination. They really do deserve it, and while many outlets may shy away from publishing inexperienced, younger writers, we will continue to do so for as along as we can.
Our other achievements are more difficult to assess, though with a growing readership and increasing social media presence, I, personally, believe that we are doing our bit to promote important environmental topics and instigate discussion among our readers. Something we hope to build upon by launching our first official campaign in the coming weeks. More on this to be revealed shortly, however, though rest assured, it involves a call to action on behalf of our readers and is something that we feel may make a positive, physical difference for wildlife across Britain. Think small-scale rewilding…
Campaign aside, what can you expect from New Nature in the future? Well, we hope that with the aid of some as yet unsourced financial sponsors, that will be able to promote the work of our contributors further than ever before – something that can only be achieved by increasing our readership. We also hope to build upon our recent success to transform New Nature from a simple online publication into more of a community – a hub where young writers can interact, form friendships, share opportunities and, generally, have a blast. A Facebook group for this has recently been established (see here) and we hope to utilise this more in the future. Finally (and again, this depends on our ability to secure relationships with outside bodies), we hope to offer something more than simply publication for our writers. We hope to provision young people prizes, opportunities and, perhaps at some point in the future, funding, as an incentive to keep up their fabulous work. As you can see, we are not short of ideas…
As with any publication, our ability to bring our ambitions to fruition depends greatly on improving our stats, building our following and increasing our general readership. This is unavoidable, and we hope that by continuing our work, these things will happen naturally. With the way things are going at present, and with more passionate individuals joining our team, it is definitely worth watching this space – who knows where we will be in another six months.
Once again, I would like to thank everyone who has given their time to write for the magazine. This includes the big names in conservation, writing and media who have generously given their time to be interviewed and offer advice to the next generation. Equally, I would like to thank each of the organisations that regularly share New Nature with their following – we really couldn’t do it without you. Most of all, however, I would like to thank each and every individual that reads, downloads and shares the magazine each month. I, for one, am incredibly grateful for your support. I will leave you with a quick quote from presenter and naturalist, Nick Baker:
“I read your first magazine and I love it, I think what you guys are doing is bloody brilliant and I back it wholeheartedly”