From roadsides to a crack in a wall, nature can be found anywhere and everywhere. With spring in full swing, we are seeing the natural world bloom around us. But just because we’re in lockdown doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate the spontaneity and resilience of nature.

A Focus On Nature (AFON) is a youth-led nature network that works to support, inspire and connect young people within the conservation sector. The committee is entirely run by young volunteers who put in time and effort to ensure that the young people in their network benefit from supporting the organisation. Their main goal is to connect young conservationists with each other because they know that we are stronger together. They have lots of opportunities for young people (aged 16-30) to get involved in.

This week (11-17 May) AFON are running a campaign called #UnlikelyNature across social media.  They’re asking their followers to share photos of nature in unusual places and to use the hashtag #UnlikelyNature. This campaign aims to be accessible as possible and is hoping to spread a bit of joy during these confusing times. We can all stay connected through a love for nature as the campaign statement reminds us: “Nature is everywhere, even in the most unusual places. In these strange times, we need to appreciate nature in whatever form it comes. So where do you find your daily dose of #VitaminN?”

Is there a flower growing between pavement slabs that gives you hope? Have you seen an unlikely visitor in your local area? Do you have a favourite tree that you walk by everyday? If you do, we want to hear about it.

This campaign is about inspiring hope. Everyone, even those with limited access to green spaces, can enjoy #UnlikelyNature in the most unusual places.

Please share your images of #UnlikelyNature to spread the word and encourage your followers to do the same (don’t forget to tag @AFONature too). Feel free to get creative! We will share each image and create a video of all the submissions at the end of the week.”

Get involved and share your pictures of #UnlikelyNature across Instagram and Twitter!

AFON is always keen to promote up-and-coming writers and photographers. They are constantly on the lookout for blog writers and photographers to feature on their website and across their social media channels. If you want to be featured just send them an email at

Throughout the year they also run competitions, hold events across the country and provide exclusive training opportunities. Every few years they also hold conferences that are jam-packed with youth speakers, training workshops and special guests. Make sure you’re following them on Twitter and Instagram for regular updates.

If you want career advice, then consider signing up to AFON’s mentoring scheme. Choose from over 40 dedicated mentors and get paired up with an expert in your field. They will be able to give you one-on-one advice and might even be able to help you take the next step in your career. It’s a great opportunity for anyone looking to expand their prospects in the conservation sector. Sign up here:

If you want to be more involved with AFON and are interested in creating a community of likeminded people, then you can sign up to become an AFON regional representative. As a branch of the committee, you would help them organise local events to connect young nature enthusiasts in your area. Sound like your cup of tea? Sign up here:

If you have any questions for AFON give them a message on social media or email them at

Ellen is a 24 year-old conservationist who specialises in environmental communications. She is part of the AFON committee and also their social media manager.