Race Equality in Nature: The Next Generation 13-30 Conference 2 Oct 2019 at UWE

Race Equality in Nature: The Next Generation 13-30 Conference 2 Oct 2019 at UWE

Camp Avalon 2019

The environmental & wildlife TV sector is the second least ethnically diverse sector in the UK, at 0.6% Visible Minority Ethnic (VME), only after gardening, employing a huge number of people around the country including many in Bristol.

I and Black2Nature have been campaigning for almost 5 years to make the sector ethnically diverse so that it engages VME people with nature and the environment. In that time, have organised 9 nature camps for inner-city VME teenagers. The aim is to come up with solutions that sector leaders can implement. This is to follow on from the conference I organised in 2016, before setting up Black to Nature.

This conference is held in conjunction with the Biological Sciences department at UWE. Please get in touch if you can help with Sponsorship.

Cost £50.00 (with free tickets available for those who can not afford to pay including young people, community organisations, small environmental organisations and UWE staff).
To book: https://bit.ly/2m1ojSI

What we will cover

We will work through the journey of a VME teenager age 13, how to engage them with nature and the environment, helping them choose appropriate GCSE’s and A-Levels, supporting them and their parents through the university application process (after persuading them and educating their parents about careers in conservation), supporting them on courses and workplaces that are almost entirely White British, ensuring none drop out due to isolation, racism and discrimination, closing the attainment gap, mentoring through paid internships, making the most of good work experience opportunities and guiding them through the early years of their careers to age 30.

Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor of Bristol
Beccy Speight, CEO RSPB
Chris Packham CBE, Naturalist, TV Presenter & Activist
Cleo Lake, Bristol Green Party Councillor
Dr Emmanuel Adukwu, Senior Lecturer Biomedical Sciences, UWE Bristol
Eric Heath, Head of Land Management Avon Wildlife Trust & Wild Paths
Gene Joyner, CEO Better Food Company
Dr Lyn Newton, Head of Applied Sciences, UWE Bristol
Lara Lalemi, Student Bristol University & organiser of BME in STEM 2019 Conference
Dr Mark Steer, Lecturer Department Applied Sciences, UWE
Mohammed Dhalech, Associate Director Centre for Public Policy Research & Rural Mosaic
Mohammed Saddiq, MD GENeco & Chair Bristol Green Capital Partnership
Dr Mark Steer, Lecturer Applied Sciences, UWE
Mya-Rose Craig, President Black2Nature and environmental and race activist
Peter Venn, Programme Leader MA Wildlife Film, UWE
Dr Stephanie Sargeant, Senior Lecturer, Environmental Science
Stephen Corry, CEO Survival International
Tim Scoones, Consultant in Media, Ex Executive Producer at BBC Natural History Unit
Traci Lewis, Director, Catalyse Change
Tracy Patfield, Operations & Outreach Manager, Icon Films
Zakiya McKenzie, Nature Writer & Green & Black Ambassador

Why is this relevant you?

The lack of engagement with nature has a dramatic impact on:
Physical and mental health – so a crucial issue for anyone working in VME health; and
Educational attainment for our children and young people – so critical for anyone working in education.

Programme – 8.45 am – 4.30 pm

8.45 – 9.15   Registration & refreshments
9.15 – 9.20   Dr Lyn Newton – Welcome from UWE & housekeeping (provisional)
9.20 – 9.30   Mya-Rose Craig – Welcome & making nature relevant

9.30 – 10.15 Panel – Is the environmental sector racist?
Cleo Lake – Chair
Gene Joyner
Mohammed Dhalech
Stephen Corry
10.15 – 11.00 Panel – Engaging VME communities in the  environmental sector
Mohammed Saddiq – Chair
Asher Craig
Beccy Speight
Eric Heath

11.00 – 11.30 Refreshments
11.30 – 12.15 Panel – VME young people & Environmental education
Dr Emmanuel Adukwu – Chair
Lara Lalemi
Dr Mark Steer
Traci Lewis
12.15 – 12.35 Chris Packham CBE – The need for ethnic diversity

12.35 – 13.30 Lunch and networking

13.30 – 14.15 Facilitated workshops, best practice & toolkits – choose 1
1 – Practical steps for environmental organisations
2 – Practical steps for environmental educators

14.15 – 14.45 Feedback from workshops by facilitators

14.45 – 15.45 Panel – Making Wildlife TV & ethnically diverse
Dr Stephanie Sargeant- Chair
Peter Venn
Tim Scoones
Tracy Patfield
Zakiya McKenzie
15.45 – 15.50 UWE Dean’s address (provisional)
15.50 – 16.00 Mya-Rose Craig, Closing notes
16.00 – 16.30 Refreshments & networking

Thank you to UWE for providing a venue and sponsoring the event, Avon Wildlife Trust, Bristol Multi-Faith Forum, Greenpeace, Icon Films, Plimsoll Productions, The Wildlife Trusts and Wild Paths for sponsoring the event.
Who should attend

It is intended that attendees will include (but not limited to) those from nature conservation charities and universities offering biological science, ecology, wildlife, nature conservation or similar courses, BAME naturalists, representatives of young naturalists and conservationists, policymakers, groups working with BAME and Faith communities, nature media, BBC and other nature TV production companies, inner-city secondary schools especially Heads of Science and Geography, Councils and Park Services working in BAME areas, Duke of Edinburgh Awards, Girl Guides and Scouts, City Farms, optics companies and wildlife publishers as well as other interested organisations.

Social Media

We will be posting through the day. It would be fantastic if you could also share the day using the hashtag #raceequalityinnature. Please, can you follow and tag Mya-Rose Craig; Twitter @BirdgirlUK, FB myarosebirdgirlcraig, Instagram @birdgirluk and LinkedIn Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig.

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Volunteering at Camp Chew 20-23 June 2019

Volunteering at Camp Chew 20-23 June 2019

Bio blitz
Copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig


Youth Worker at nature camp for teenagers from disadvantaged, VME or rural backgrounds.

We desperately need volunteers from 20-23 June 2019 at Compton Martin & Chew Valley near Bristol.

Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

Photocopyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

Camp Avalon 2017

Photography copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig


Volunteer tasks

By 17 June 2019 – split between volunteers

  • to prepare an Eventbrite report with contacts for children/volunteers.
  • to finalise the camp programme and e-mail parents/volunteers.
  • to finalise a breakdown of tasks with who is responsible for what.
  • to prepare and print parent consent forms.

Camp Avalon 2017

Photo copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

On 20 June 2019 Campsite 10 am and 6 pm

  • to help move camping equipment from storage to the campsite;
  • to help put up 6 large tents;
  • to help set up all equipment needed for the campsite; and
  • to help do food shopping.


21 June 2019 1.00 pm to 3.30 pm 

  • to finish setting up at the campsite.


21 June 2019 3.30 pm to 5.00 pm

  • to travel back to Bristol with our driver.
  • to pick up the minibus before picking up children.
  • to ensure parents sign consent forms.
  • to remind parents that they need to both come to pick up their children for a camp feedback session and so the children can have their free gift.

Camp Avalon 2017

Photo copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig


21 June 2019 5.00 pm to 22 June 4.00 pm

  • to be nature volunteers engaging teens in nature activities; or
  • to work as a youth worker engaging with VME children age 7-11 year olds at our nature camp;
  • to talk to children about nature;
  • to talk to children about how going outside helps with mental health;
  • to talk to children about the need to protect the environment
  • to talk to children about what they can do to help the environment and wildlife
  • to support nature volunteers who are providing expertise;
  • to supervise football games
  • to help with camp cooking, supervising toasting marshmallows, washing up and tidying up, serving meals;
  • to ensure children have the equipment needed for sessions;
  • to ensure children pack up all their belonging.

Working on our camps will leave you feeling incredibly positive about the future.

Media – to take photographs and video footage, interviewing the children about their experiences at the camp, how they have benefited and about how it made them feel from a wellbeing/mental health point of view.

Camp Chew 2017

Photo copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

22 June – 4 pm to 6.30 pm

  • to travel back in the minibus with the children;
  • to help set up a table and Gazebo outside St Pauls’ Resource Centre with literature from Time to Talk, a mental health charity;
  • to talk to parents with their children about the camp, how the children enjoyed getting outside, how it was good for their mental health and academic achievement, what the parents can do to carry on with that in terms of continuing to take their children outside and enjoy nature.
  • to then talk to the parents about mental health in order to raise awareness of the issue;
  • to let the children have their free water bottle after these discussions have taken place;
  • to if possible, video the parents about what they feel the benefits for their children have been.


23 July 10 am to 5 pm

  •  To take down tents, pack up campsite and put into storage.

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Camp Chew June 2019 Details

Camp Chew June 2019 Details


Friday 21 June 2019 to Saturday 22 June 2019
Camp Chew 2017

Copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

Book onto this amazing nature camp for children aged 7-11 years. The camp is organised by Black2Nature who have been organising nature camps for inner-city Visible Minority Ethnic (VME) children and young people since 2015. The primary age children come to Camp Chew which takes place in Compton Martin in the Chew Valley just south of Bristol to spend the weekend birding and getting involved with nature.

Camp Chew March 2019

Copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

It is aimed at children who have no experience of nature and in many cases have never been to the countryside or camped. One of our aims is to promote community cohesion and so we encourage children from all backgrounds and areas to attend, as well as those already with a keen interest in nature who we hope will share their passion.

Camp Chew March 2019
Copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

In March 2019 most of our children were VME and/or lived in Bristol’s areas of deprivation. We have plenty to help to ensure that the children are kept safe. We have a 17 seater minibus picking up from around Bristol.

Camp Chew March 2019
Copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

Children may come with a friend but we can not guarantee that they can share a tent with more than one friends as the camp is committed to promoting community cohesion.

We take safety very seriously and so girls and boys sleep in separate tents with adults sleeping at the entrance, making it impossible for strangers to enter undetected. DBS checked adults will be supervising the children at all times. All food prepared at the camp is vegetarian. We may offer halal fish and chips and a vegetarian option for lunch on Saturday if this is available. Otherwise, we will be having a picnic lunch.

Camp Chew – Friday 21/06/2019

Sports at Camp Chew March 2019

Copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

5.00 pm Pick up St Paul’s Learning Centre

5.45 pm Drop off CMAF for Chew Valley children

6.00 pm Minibus arriving at CMAF


Setting up camp
Camp cooking
Socialising/rugby & parachute sessions
Dinner by campfire

Camp Chew – Saturday 22/06/2019

Camp Chew 2017
Copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig
Camp Chew March 2019

Copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

3.45 pm Pick up CMAF & finish

4.30 pm Drop off St Paul’s Learning Centre
– when parents and siblings are asked to meet and share memories of the camp


Bird ringing
Nature walk
Birdwatching from hides
Growing food at The Community Farm
Sports activities such as football/cricket

Friday 21 June 2019 to Saturday 22 June 2019

Please see separate kit list & ask your children to bring only 1 small packet of veggie sweets/snacks, drop nothing & recycle everything

Camp Chew – Programme

Friday 29th March 2019

All activities dependent on weather

6.00 pm – 7.00 pm (CMAF)
Set up camp, camp cooking, sports & time to socialize

7.00 pm – 8.00 pm (CMAF)
Dinner by the campfire & toasting marshmallows

Saturday 30th March 2019

7.45 am – 8.30 am (CMAF) Camp breakfast

8.45 am – 11.15 am (CVRS)
Bird ringing demonstration and looking at moths

11.15 am – 11.30 am (CVRS)

11.45 am – 1.15 pm (CVLPS)
Farming workshop & lunch

1.30 pm – 3.15 pm (CVL)
Birdwatching in bird hides & nature walk

3.15 pm – 3.30 pm (CVLHB)

3.45 pm (CMAF)
Pick up and finish

Key to locations

CMAF – Compton Martin Amenity Field, The Street, Compton Martin, Bristol, BS40 6JN

CVRS – Chew Valley Ringing Station, Bishop Sutton, Bristol, BS40 6HN (from Herriots Bridge turnright opposite mirror)

CVLHB – Chew Valley Lake, Herriots Bridge, A368, Bishop Sutton, Bristol, BS40 8XS

CVL – Chew Valley Lake using Morton Hide accessed from the B1134, coming from CMAF turn right between the Blue Bowl and Herons Green.

Camp Chew March 2019

Copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig


£10.00 per person (or £15 for two siblings)


Free places are available to those children who would otherwise not be able to come for example who are from areas of deprivation, are VME or are disadvantaged. Camp Avalon recognises that there are almost no young birders from VME backgrounds and so hope that these grants will encourage disadvantaged children to be able to attend. All equipment needed will also be loaned for the weekend.


Thank you to Compton Martin Village Hall 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 also to Yeo Valley for the donation of ice-cream and butter.

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 £2500 for binoculars.

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, Bristol BS2 8JX.

How to Book

Please book on Eventbrite or e-mail
campavalonuk@gmail.com 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.

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Camp Chew June 2019 Flyer

Camp Chew June 2019 Flyer


Camp Chew 2019 – Fri 21 – Sat 22 Jun 2019
Camp Chew 2017
Copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig
A nature weekend for children aged 7 to 11, who will love
  • Having fun outside in nature
  • Using the outdoors to get fit & healthy
  • Trying new things like camping
  • Making new friends


How to Book
  • Book on Eventbrite
  • Text or phone Helena on 07798818772
  • E-mail helenabcraig@hotmail.co.uk


£10 per child (or £15 for siblings) with free places offered
Free transport from Bristol
Food all vegetarian (or halal fish and chips available for lunch)
Location – Compton Martin Amenity Field BS40 6JN
Children supervised at all times by DBS checked adults

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Kit List Camp Chew 2019

Kit List Camp Chew 2019



Please note: This list is for guidance

Please label everything with the child’s name


Small backpack to carry belongings
(no large suitcases, large bags or plastic bags)
Completed and signed parent consent forms
Torch/phone with a torch (or this can be borrowed)



1 drinks bottle (to carry a drink during activities)

1 Extra blanket for sitting on (if you have one)


Clothing (in addition to what they arrive in)

The number of clothes must be sufficient for 2 days /1 night with a spare set of clothes

1 Warm comfortable clothes for bedtime

2 T-shirt

1 Warm tracksuit-top / fleece / hoodie

2 Outdoor trousers or tracksuit bottoms (jeans are not ideal but ok)

2 pairs of underwear and socks (thick socks if you are wearing wellies)

1 Wellie or old trainers (as they might get muddy – or let us know the size)

1 Warm waterproof coat
1 Cap (so no hair styling needed)

1 Woolly hat (if the weather is cool)


Other items

1 small towel or flannel

Washing kit (minimum of toothbrush & comb)

Plastic bag (for wet/dirty clothes)
Suncream and hay fever medication as pollen counts higher in the countryside

Medication – must be named, in a clear plastic bag and handed in or if needed kept in a safe place

1 mobile phone may be brought


Do not take to camp:
Any food items due to allergies including sweets/snacks
Anything electronic such as electronic games, MP3 players, I-pods, etc. They are too easily damaged or lost
Shell suits/nylon clothes – extreme fire injury risk
Aerosols, matches, lighters, or any other flammable liquid or gas – these are dangerous
Anything valuable

Camp Chew 2017
Copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig


If you are not sure of anything on, or not on, this list, or do not have items then please ask Helena Craig, who can be contacted on 07798 818772 or helenabcraig@hotmail.co.uk


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If you would like to know more about what I do or what services I offer, you can find out more below.

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