Sunday, 20 October 2019

Camp Avalon - Advance bookings for July 2020

Friday - Sunday July 2020

Shapwick Heath, Somerset Levels
Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

I have been running camps for teenagers on the Somerset Levels since 2016. I have had around 250 teenagers attend since then and each one has gone home having had an amazing time, got connected with nature and made new friends. We also make time to play sport and learn how o use the outdoors to relax.

We will talk about nature, how you can learn to enjoy it and use it to help your mental health, what's becoming extinct, what is happening environmentally, why you should care and how you can be an activist, fighting for your future.

Make an advance booking onto this amazing nature camp for young people aged 12-18 years. Into its 5th year, Camp Avalon has attracted a number of teenagers to the Somerset Levels near Glastonbury, to spend the weekend birding and getting involved with nature.  It is aimed at those who have no experience of nature and have never been to the countryside or camped as well as those already interested in being outdoors. 

In 2020 we hope to have lots of teenagers who are Visible Minority Ethnic (VME) and or live in the city's areas of deprivation as well as those who live in the countryside. We will have plenty of activities for all those attending.

Girls and boys are in separate tents with adults. DBS checked adults will be with the teenagers at all times. All food will be halal or vegetarian.

Camp Avalon Mothing Workshop
Copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Bird Ringing

Camp Avalon – Programme

The programme will be finalised shortly depending on final numbers. 


All activities dependent on weather

5.00 pm
Pick-up St Paul's Learning Centre (CPLC)

6.00 pm – 7.00 pm (CS)
Safety briefing, allocating tents and setting up camp

7.00 pm – 8.00 pm (CS)
Helping cooking and serving dinner

8.00 pm - 8.30 pm (CS)
Everybody to help with carrying dishes to the kitchen, washing up and drying and bringing dishes back

8.30 pm – 9.30 pm (CS)
Time to socialize and play football

9.30 pm - 10.30 pm
Toasting marshmallows over the fire

11 pm
Lights out and no more talking - just sleep


7.00 am (CS)
Everybody up and get ready

7.30 am – 8.00 am (CS) Breakfast at the campsite

8.00 am - 11.30 am (HW)
Birding at Ham Wall, searching for Great White Egret, Bittern and lots of other great birds.  Meet at HWCP

11.30 am – 12.00 pm (CS)
Refreshment break

12.00 pm - 12.30 pm
Feeding animals on the farm

12.30 pm – 1.30 pm (PFW)
Bio Blitzing in 2 teams

1.30 pm – 2.30 pm (CS)

2.30 pm - 4.00 pm (PFW)
Wildlife Photography workshop

4.00 pm – 4.30 pm (CS)
Refreshment break

4.30 pm - 5.00 pm (CS)
Tent inspection

5.00 pm – 6.00 pm (CS)
Downtime (only after all belongings packed back into backpacks and tents tidied)

6.00 pm – 7.30 pm (CS)
Helping cooking and serving dinner

7.30 pm - 8.30 pm (CS)
Everybody to help with carrying dishes to the kitchen, washing up and drying and bringing dishes back

8.30 pm – 10.30 pm (MD)
Looking for Nightjar and bats on the Mendips (dependent on weather)

11 pm
Lights out and no more talking - just sleep


7.00 am (CS)

Everybody up and get ready

7.30 am – 8.00 am (CS) Breakfast at the campsite

8.00 am - 10.30 am (PFW)
Bird ringing demonstration
Chris Craig and Mya-Rose Craig

10.30 am – 11.00 am (CS)
Refreshment break

11.00 am - 12.30 pm
Walk to Glastonbury Tor

12.30 pm – 1.00 pm (CS)

1.00 pm – 2.30 pm (CS)
Taking down tents and packing up the campsite

2.30 pm – 3.00 pm (CS)
Refreshment break

3.00 pm 

4.00 pm
Drop off St Paul's Learning Centre (SPLC)

Key to locations

SPLC - St Paul's Learning Centre, Grosvenor Road, St Paul's, Bristol, BS2 8XJ, telephone 0117 9145470.

CS – Paddington Farm, Maidencroft Lane, Glastonbury, Somerset BA6 8JN, Telephone: 01458 832752.

PFW - Paddington Farm Woods, near to Camp Site

HW - Ham Wall RSPB Reserve, park in the new Ham Wall Car Park if open or Shapwick Heath Car Park opposite, Ashcott Road, Glastonbury, Somerset BA6 9SX

MP – Stockhill Woods, Priddy, Mendips, Somerset BA5 3BE (drive through Wells and then follow A39 towards Bristol and Bath, turn left onto Priddy Road and at the crossroads (with the Hunters Rest on the corner) turn right, the woods are on your right and park in the pull-in before the car park).

HWCP – Ham Wall RSPB Reserve Car Park, Ashcott RoadGlastonbury, Somerset BA6 9SX 

Bittern, Shapwick Heath, Somerset Levels, March 2015
Photograph was taken by and copyright Mya-Rose Craig


£20.00 per person including food and camping costs


Free places are available to those young people from an area of deprivation or who are VME. Camp Avalon recognises that there are almost no young birders from VME backgrounds and so hope that these grants will encourage disadvantaged young people to be able to attend. All equipment needed will also be loaned for the weekend.

Thank you to the volunteers who have offered their time in order to pass on their knowledge to young birders. 

Grass Snake, Shapwick Heath, Somerset Levels, April 2015
Copyright Mya-Rose Craig


Thank you to Paddington Farm and the many people who have supported Black2Nature and these camps and to Chew Valley Ringing Station and the birders who have offered their time in order to pass on their knowledge to young birders. 

Thank you to Opticron for the donation of five pairs of compact binoculars and discounted optical equipment to this project and to Bristol Ornithological Society for the donation of binoculars and tripods.

Thank you also to Go Outdoors for discounted camping equipment and Blenheim Scouts for discounted use of their minibus.

Thank you also to Burns Price Foundation, Quartet Community Funding, Community Access Support Services and Alpkit for helping to fund our projects. 


Free transport is available to and from Bristol, with pickup from St Paul's Learning Centre, Grosvenor Road, St Paul's. 

How to Book

Please place an advance booking by e-mail to or text 07798818772 with your name, address, phone number and date of birth and your child's name and date of birth with any dietary requirements. Please also get in touch if you would like to get involved by volunteering.

About the Author

Young environmentalist and birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig 
Copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

Mya-Rose Craig is a 17-year-old young British Bangladeshi birder, naturalist, conservationist, environmentalist, race activist, writer and speaker. She is based near Bristol and writes posts about birding, nature conservation,  environmental issues and racism from around the world. 

Mya-Rose has been organising nature camps for teenagers since 2015, Camp Avalon, and nature camps for children, Camp Chew, since 2017. She has organised nine camps since then and is organising more for 2020. She also wrote to five of the biggest NGO's in 2015, after her first camp, asking them what steps they were taking to make their organisations ethnically diverse. 

Her first camp led to her organise a conference in 2016, Race Equality in Nature, aiming to increase the ethnic diversity in nature by looking at the barriers to Visual Minority Ethnic (VME) people going out into nature, what can be done to overcome these barriers and how we can create VME role models. She had speakers Bill Oddie and Kerry McCarthy MP. She also organised a second conference, Race Equality in Nature: The Next Generation 13-30 in October 2019 with Speakers Chris Packham, Bristol Deputy Mayor, Councillor Asher Craig, and RSPB CEO Beccy Speight.

She has also set up Black2Nature with the aim of working with organisations to increase the access to nature of VME people and is President. Please connect with her on LinkedIn (Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig) so that she can invite you to join the Race Equality in Nature LinkedIn Group and be part of the change. 

She was a Bristol European Green Capital Ambassador along with Kevin McCloud, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Tony Juniper, Simon King and Miranda Krestovnikoff. She has also been listed with the singer-songwriter George Ezra and actress Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones as one of Bristol's most influential young people

She has been involved in the UK organisation of the Youth Strikes encouraging young people from around the world to not go to school once a month and protest instead demanding immediate action to prevent climate breakdown.   She is involved with Extinction Rebellion, setting up a local group. This is an interview in New Statesman. She has written articles for Resurgence & Ecologist Magazine, New Internationalist, The Big Issue and was listed as a local hero in The Guardian.

She has given over 50 talks, speaking at conferences such as being on a panel with George Monbiot and Caroline Lucas on Sustainability and the Future of Cities. She is a Minister in Chris Packham's Manifesto for Nature in 2018 and spoke in front of 10,000 people at the Walk for Nature. She has also appeared on TV and radio and is particularly proud of being in Silent Roars, a short film which was part of Listen to Britain 2017 She has also appeared on Channel 4 News, local BBC News and BBC2's Hugh's Wild West.

She has been awarded the Bath and West Show Environmental Youth Award 2017 for Bristol for her Black2Nature work EYA 2017. She was also listed as one of Bristol's BME top 100 powerlist and was nominated in the Birders' Choice Awards 2019 as Conservation Hero of the Year with Sir David Attenborough, Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot.

She loved seeing Mountain Gorillas in East Africa and Penguins in Antarctica over Christmas 2015, her 7th continent. She became the youngest person to see half the birds of the world, 5369 birds in Brazil in August  2019 age 17. Please also like her Birdgirl Facebook Page and follow her on Birdgirl Twitter. If you would like to contact Mya-Rose about her work, please e-mail

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