Saturday, 13 June 2015

30 Days Wild - Day 13 and meeting Bill Oddie

Saturday 13 June 2015


30 Days Wild - Doing something wild everyday 

Day 13 - 13 June 2015 - Examining Brian up close


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig with a snail  at Bristol Festival of Nature
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Today I spent the day at the Festival of Nature in Bristol, Britain's largest free nature festival.  I am so lucky to live here.

This photograph is taken with a BBC Natural History Unit long lens, and shows me getting close up to a snail as is used in lots of wildlife programmes.  Picture Sir David Attenborough looking at an ant.



Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig with a snail  at Bristol Festival of Nature
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


I had an amazing day, visiting lots of stands and talking to people like Bristol Nature Network who had some info about my Camp Avalon and were giving it to anyone who looked vaguely under 18 years old.  They have only been going for a year and have 600 members already. That is unbelievable.

I also had good chats with Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Bumblebee Conservation Trust and Somerset Badger Group.

I feel motivated to lots more environmentally based blog posts now and maybe even earn the right to call myself an activist.

We also went to see Bill Oddie speak and as expected he was very funny. He talked about lots of topics that I feel passionately about like Palm Oil Plantations in Borneo that have replaced virtually all of the rain forest out there, ringing as a child (I love it too), the crime of the government wanting to make hunting with dogs legal again and puffins.


Bill Oddie talking at Bristol Festival of Nature
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Bill Oddie talking at Bristol Festival of Nature
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig



Bill Oddie talking at Bristol Festival of Nature
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig


Bill Oddie talking at Bristol Festival of Nature
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig


After the talk , I rushed back to the BBC tent to get into the queue to get my new book signed by Bill Oddie.  Andy from CBBC's Wild Adventures was giving autographs and the queue for tiny ones to have their photograph with him spiralled out of the tent and around the corner.  I think he is brilliant, as he is introducing all those little kids to nature and wildlife.  Despite my admiration for him, needless to say that I didn't queue up to get a photograph!  

Finally, Andy moved to another table and space was made for the main speaker of the weekend, Bill Oddie.  I have wanted to meet him all my life and until now things have never quite worked out.  He is legend and without him bringing birding to our screens with my good friend Stephen Moss, we would never have got Wild in My Garden and then Springwatch and I don't think it can ever be as entertaining without him.

I don't like to repeat gossip, but some people who had met Bill Oddie had said that he was quiet, didn't say much and was not very friendly.  I found him to be interested in me (he commented on my Birdgirl t-shirt and asked me which hummingbird it was - Swordbilled), as chatty as you can expect from real live person (in case they didn't realise the person on stage/TV is a persona and in my experience most comedians are not funny in normal conversations (my parents are friends with a few).

I also really rate Bill Oddie because he has been through so much in dealing with his mental health and I think that he inspirational talking about it so publicly.  People really misunderstand mental health and are prejudiced against people with these illnesses.  I have been affected by some of the issues he has talked about and it has really helped me to read about his experiences (particularly as a child) and how they affected him.  I hope I have the opportunity to meet him again and maybe one day even work with him.


Bill Oddie with Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig at Bristol Festival of Nature
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Bill Oddie with Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig at Bristol Festival of Nature
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


I also met a few people from the BBC that I had met before. It was really lovely to see some familiar faces and just chatting to them, they reinforced that I should just be myself and not let how other people see me impact on what I want to do or say.  I am going to try and keep that advice close to my heart.


About the writer


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig on Scilly

Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig



Mya-Rose Craig is a 13 year old young birder, conservationist, environmentalist, activist, writer and speaker. She is based near Bristol, UK and blogs about birding and conservation from around the world. Wader conservation is important to her and she is Ambassador to the global wader initiative World Shorebird Day. She is looking forward to Mountain Gorilla trekking this summer in East Africa and to watching penguins in Antarctica in December, which will be her 7th continent. She has recently 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. Please like her Birdgirl Facebook Page and follow her on Birdgirl Twitter.


















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