7 Days Not Very Wild – Day 7 – 7 July 2015

7 Days Not Very Wild – Day 7 – 7 July 2015

7 Days not very Wild – Trying to do something wild each day

My idea is that sometimes even if we look for that great wild thing in nature, it can be hard to find because of all sorts of reasons mainly to do with humans destroying the world.

Having celebrated the nature we can find for 30 days, I wanted to highlight the nature I couldn’t find for 7 days, sort of as a warning that things aren’t just hunky-dory.

Day 7 – Rewilding the Mendips

The Mendip Hills are just a little way up the hill from us on the escarpment. We call them the Mendips. They are designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) including the area where we live in the Chew Valley.

I am due to start as Young Ranger in the autumn.

In the meantime, I can’t but question what is being preserved in some of the areas.

Mendips AONB
Photograph taken by Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

George Monbiot has talked a lot about rewilding. Turning areas back to how they were. Not 50 years ago in the case of the Mendips but what it was like 500 years ago when much of it was probably covered in woods, which are now mainly left on the escarpment like Compton Woods next to us.

Feral by Geoge Monbiot
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

George Monbiot shows in his book Feral how by restoring and rewilding our damaged ecosystems on land and at sea, we can bring wonder back into our lives. He sets out a new positive environmental vision in which nature is allowed to find its own way.
His manifesto on rewilding is set out in:
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/may/27/my-manifesto-rewilding-world
What he concludes is:

“Through rewilding – the mass restoration of ecosystems – I see an opportunity to reverse the destruction of the natural world. Researching my book Feral, I came across rewilding programmes in several parts of Europe, including some (such as Trees for Life in Scotland and the Wales Wild Land Foundation) in the UK, which are beginning to show how swiftly nature responds when we stop trying to control it. Rewilding, in my view, should involve reintroducing missing animals and plants, taking down the fences, blocking the drainage ditches, and culling a few particularly invasive exotic species but otherwise standing back. It’s about abandoning the biblical doctrine of dominion which has governed our relationship with the natural world.
The only thing preventing a faster rewilding in the EU is public money. Farming is sustained on infertile land (by and large, the uplands) through taxpayers’ munificence. Without our help, almost all hill farming would cease immediately. I’m not calling for that, but I do think it’s time the farm subsidy system stopped forcing farmers to destroy wildlife. At the moment, to claim their single farm payments, farmers must prevent “the encroachment of unwanted vegetation on agricultural land”. They don’t have to produce anything: they merely have to keep the land in “agricultural condition”, which means bare.
I propose two changes to the subsidy regime. The first is to cap the amount of land for which farmers can claim money at 100 hectares (250 acres). It’s outrageous that the biggest farmers harvest millions every year from much poorer taxpayers, by dint of possessing so much land. A cap would give small farmers an advantage over large ones. The second is to remove the agricultural condition rule.
The effect of these changes would be to ensure that hill farmers with a powerful attachment to the land and its culture, language and traditions would still farm (and continue to reduce their income by keeping loss-making sheep and cattle). Absentee ranchers who are in it only for the subsidies would find that they were better off taking the money and allowing the land to rewild.”

I think this applies perfectly to the Mendips. The AONB ensures that the area is kept as it is now, barren. We need to stop grazing sheep and let a large proportion of the area rewild, with woods and moorland.
These are just a few photographs showing how little nature is on much of the Mendips.

Mendips AONB
Photograph taken by Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Mendips AONB
Photograph taken by Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Mendips AONB
Photograph taken by Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

About The Author

Hi, I’m Dr. Mya-Rose Craig. I am a 19-year-old prominent British-Bangladeshi ornithologist, environmentalist, diversity activist as well as an author, speaker and broadcaster. At age 11 I started the popular blog Birdgirl, and at age 17 I became the youngest person to see half of the birds in the world.

Buy My Book

Lyrical, poignant and insightful.’ - Margaret Atwood

This is my story; a journey defined by my love for these extraordinary creatures. Because large or small, brown, patterned or jewelled, there is something about birds that makes us, even for just moments at a time, lift our eyes away from our lives and up to the skies.

Lyrical, poignant and insightful.’ - Margaret Atwood

This is my story; a journey defined by my love for these extraordinary creatures. Because large or small, brown, patterned or jewelled, there is something about birds that makes us, even for just moments at a time, lift our eyes away from our lives and up to the skies.

Find Out More

To find out more about working with me or to buy my book, please use the links below.

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7 Days Not Very Wild – Day 5 – 5 July 2015

7 Days Not Very Wild – Day 5 – 5 July 2015

7 Days not very Wild – Trying to do something wild each day
My idea is that sometimes even if we look for that great wild thing in nature, it can be hard to find because of all sorts of reasons mainly to do with humans destroying the world.

Having celebrated the nature we can find for 30 days, I wanted to highlight the nature I couldn’t find for 7 days, sort of as a warning that things aren’t just hunky-dory.

Day 5 – A lost baby bird

Sunday lunchtime a friend of my mum Sherry got in touch. Her son Tye and his girlfriend had been looking after a House Martin chick that had fallen out of its nest at her house in another village in the Chew Valley.

They had some nests by their roof but nowhere they could reach. The chick had been on the patio. Nature would have allowed for this kind of thing to happen with the parent seeing the chick, picking it up and returning it to the nest. However, this is not just not possible. With the number of domestic cats around, the chick would not have stood a chance even for half an hour.

Chicks this young are unlikely to survive. Even if we can keep it alive until it fledges, what then? They are still fed by their parents after they fledge.

So that is my issue impacting wildlife for day 5 which causes big problems for all kinds of wildlife, including domestic cats. Not happy with breeding and increasing our own numbers to the extent that the earth can not support us, we keep huge numbers of predators as pets as well.

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig feeding a rescued House Martin chick
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig making a nest for a rescued House Martin chick
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig

Rescued House Martin chick
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig feeding a rescued House Martin chick
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig

About The Author

Hi, I’m Dr. Mya-Rose Craig. I am a 19-year-old prominent British-Bangladeshi ornithologist, environmentalist, diversity activist as well as an author, speaker and broadcaster. At age 11 I started the popular blog Birdgirl, and at age 17 I became the youngest person to see half of the birds in the world.

Buy My Book

Lyrical, poignant and insightful.’ - Margaret Atwood

This is my story; a journey defined by my love for these extraordinary creatures. Because large or small, brown, patterned or jewelled, there is something about birds that makes us, even for just moments at a time, lift our eyes away from our lives and up to the skies.

Lyrical, poignant and insightful.’ - Margaret Atwood

This is my story; a journey defined by my love for these extraordinary creatures. Because large or small, brown, patterned or jewelled, there is something about birds that makes us, even for just moments at a time, lift our eyes away from our lives and up to the skies.

Find Out More

To find out more about working with me or to buy my book, please use the links below.

Work With MeBuy Book

7 Days Not Very Wild – Day 4 – 4 July 2015

7 Days Not Very Wild – Day 4 – 4 July 2015

7 Days not very Wild – Trying to do something wild each day
My idea is that sometimes even if we look for that great wild thing in nature, it can be hard to find because of all sorts of reasons mainly to do with humans destroying the world.

Having celebrated the nature we can find for 30 days, I wanted to highlight the nature I couldn’t find for 7 days, sort of as a warning that things aren’t just hunky-dory.

Day 4 – A wildflower meadow cut

The wildflower meadow field behind our house was cut down in its prime. If we paid the farmer, would he leave it long and say know to the cattle that graze on it the rest of the summer?

I think this is a definite case for rewilding, letting it turn back to how it was naturally.

The field behind our house with the grass cut, Compton Martin, Bristol
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

The field behind our house with the grass cut, Compton Martin, Bristol
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

About The Author

Hi, I’m Dr. Mya-Rose Craig. I am a 19-year-old prominent British-Bangladeshi ornithologist, environmentalist, diversity activist as well as an author, speaker and broadcaster. At age 11 I started the popular blog Birdgirl, and at age 17 I became the youngest person to see half of the birds in the world.

Buy My Book

Lyrical, poignant and insightful.’ - Margaret Atwood

This is my story; a journey defined by my love for these extraordinary creatures. Because large or small, brown, patterned or jewelled, there is something about birds that makes us, even for just moments at a time, lift our eyes away from our lives and up to the skies.

Lyrical, poignant and insightful.’ - Margaret Atwood

This is my story; a journey defined by my love for these extraordinary creatures. Because large or small, brown, patterned or jewelled, there is something about birds that makes us, even for just moments at a time, lift our eyes away from our lives and up to the skies.

Find Out More

To find out more about working with me or to buy my book, please use the links below.

Work With MeBuy Book

7 Days Not Very Wild – Day 3 – 3 July 2015

7 Days Not Very Wild – Day 3 – 3 July 2015

7 Days not very Wild – Trying to do something wild each day
My idea is that sometimes even if we look for that great wild thing in nature, it can be hard to find because of all sorts of reasons mainly to do with humans destroying the world.

Having celebrated the nature we can find for 30 days, I wanted to highlight the nature I couldn’t find for 7 days, sort of as a warning that things aren’t just hunky-dory.

Day 3 – A dead Common Toad

A dead Common Toad, Compton Martin, Bristol
Photograph taken by Young birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

During my 30 Days Wild, I wrote about a dead toad I had found in the road outside my house. Although it is wildlife, the issues go much deeper than that.

It is really important that we all do what we can to help frogs and toads survive. It is estimated that only 5 in every 1000 frog eggs survive to adulthood. It is a terrible statistic.

As amphibians live in the water and land, they are a good indicator of the health of both habitats. Their decline has raised concerns about habitats around the world.

All we have to do is make some changes to our gardens to encourage them back. We need to add ponds and compost heaps to create a dragon garden.

Ponds need to be in a sunny position away from overhanging trees, include a shallow area, a section at least 60 cm deep, no paving slabs around it, use water from a water butt to fill and use only native plants which are floating, submerges and marginals.

Introduce a wild rockery, a log pile and vegetation of differing heights and weights for the amphibians to come to you. Check long grass before you cut it.

Join the Amphibian and Reptiles Groups of the UK (ARG UK) www.arguk.org, take part in recording and maybe even a Toad on the Roads scheme, like the one at Chew Valley Lake every spring.

About The Author

Hi, I’m Dr. Mya-Rose Craig. I am a 19-year-old prominent British-Bangladeshi ornithologist, environmentalist, diversity activist as well as an author, speaker and broadcaster. At age 11 I started the popular blog Birdgirl, and at age 17 I became the youngest person to see half of the birds in the world.

Buy My Book

Lyrical, poignant and insightful.’ - Margaret Atwood

This is my story; a journey defined by my love for these extraordinary creatures. Because large or small, brown, patterned or jewelled, there is something about birds that makes us, even for just moments at a time, lift our eyes away from our lives and up to the skies.

Lyrical, poignant and insightful.’ - Margaret Atwood

This is my story; a journey defined by my love for these extraordinary creatures. Because large or small, brown, patterned or jewelled, there is something about birds that makes us, even for just moments at a time, lift our eyes away from our lives and up to the skies.

Find Out More

To find out more about working with me or to buy my book, please use the links below.

Work With MeBuy Book

7 Days Not Very Wild – Day 2 – 2 July 2015

7 Days Not Very Wild – Day 2 – 2 July 2015

7 Days not very Wild –

Trying to do something wild each day – but not easy when nature has been trashed
My idea is that sometimes even if we look for that great wild thing in nature, it can be hard to find because of all sorts of reasons mainly to do with humans destroying the world.

Having celebrated the nature we can find for 30 days, I wanted to highlight for 7 days the nature I couldn’t find, sort of as a warning that things aren’t just hunky-dory.

Day 2 – A graveyard free of any nature

On the way home from school, I stopped at Compton Martin Church to have a look at some wildlife. When I went into the graveyard, at first glance it looked lovely and well Kemp. Then I looked for some wildlife. I was really quite shocked at what I found.

Grave Yard, Compton Martin Church, Compton Martin, Bristol
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Mya-Rose Craig

Grave Yard, Compton Martin Church, Compton Martin, Bristol
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Mya-Rose Craig

Grave Yard, Compton Martin Church, Compton Martin, Bristol
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Mya-Rose Craig

Grave Yard, Compton Martin Church, Compton Martin, Bristol
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Mya-Rose Craig

The entire graveyard had been cut, trimmed and strimmed to within an inch of its life. Nowhere was spared except the roses around the entrance to the church.

Compton Martin Church, Compton Martin, Bristol
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Mya-Rose Craig

I had expected the graveyard to look tidy in a place like Compton Martin, but not turned into a plastic-looking place, devoid of all life and wildlife. How could anything survive here?

Wasp in Grave Yard, Compton Martin Church, Compton Martin, Bristol
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Mya-Rose Craig

The grass all over the graveyard had been cut VERY short. Not just around the newer stones but also around the ancient ones and in areas of just grass.

The box hedge along both sides of the path was cut to only a foot or two high and it was cut so short it did not give off any sign of life within it. Only a few strands of flowers had been spared. Beautiful and attractive to bees, it was a shame there weren’t any more.

Grave Yard, Compton Martin Church, Compton Martin, Bristol
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Mya-Rose Craig

Grave Yard, Compton Martin Church, Compton Martin, Bristol
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Mya-Rose Craig

Grave Yard, Compton Martin Church, Compton Martin, Bristol
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Mya-Rose Craig

I feel like a graveyard should be tidy but that grass should be left a little longer in older parts of the graveyard and then left even longer where there are no gravestones. It should be a place of mourning combined with a place of tranquil beauty, that relatives can admire when they visit. Why can’t the graveyard have areas of longer grass with flowers sewn, a wildflower meadow? There was not a scrap of wildlife in this graveyard apart from a single wasp that I managed to find and the odd bird flying over.

I would say to those in my village who are responsible for the churchyard (Compton Martin PCC), can you think how you can try and make it fit the nature around it whilst being an appropriate place for mourning.

Wasp in Grave Yard, Compton Martin Church, Compton Martin, Bristol
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Mya-Rose Craig

About The Author

Hi, I’m Dr. Mya-Rose Craig. I am a 19-year-old prominent British-Bangladeshi ornithologist, environmentalist, diversity activist as well as an author, speaker and broadcaster. At age 11 I started the popular blog Birdgirl, and at age 17 I became the youngest person to see half of the birds in the world.

Buy My Book

Lyrical, poignant and insightful.’ - Margaret Atwood

This is my story; a journey defined by my love for these extraordinary creatures. Because large or small, brown, patterned or jewelled, there is something about birds that makes us, even for just moments at a time, lift our eyes away from our lives and up to the skies.

Lyrical, poignant and insightful.’ - Margaret Atwood

This is my story; a journey defined by my love for these extraordinary creatures. Because large or small, brown, patterned or jewelled, there is something about birds that makes us, even for just moments at a time, lift our eyes away from our lives and up to the skies.

Find Out More

To find out more about working with me or to buy my book, please use the links below.

Work With MeBuy Book

7 Days Not Very Wild – Day 1 – 1 July 2015

7 Days Not Very Wild – Day 1 – 1 July 2015

7 Days not very Wild –

Trying to do something wild each day – but not easy when nature has been trashed
My idea is that sometimes even if we look for that great wild thing in nature, it can be hard to find because of all sorts of reasons mainly to do with humans destroying the world.

Having celebrated the nature we can find for 30 days, I wanted to highlight for 7 days the nature I couldn’t find, sort of as a warning that things aren’t just hunky-dory.

Day 1 – A dead Carrion Crow

Today I saw a dead Carrion Crow at the bottom of the field on the way home. I wondered how it had died. Had someone killed it? It looked perfect apart from damaged feathers on one side. Needless to say, I got a big stick and poked it to see what happened. The inside seemed to have been eaten by the maggots all over it. Then I looked up and noticed the electricity wire above it. Had it flown into the wires and died?

Dead Carrion Crown, Compton Martin, Bristol
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Crag

Dead Carrion Crown, Compton Martin, Bristol
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Crag

Dead Carrion Crown, Compton Martin, Bristol
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Crag

About The Author

Hi, I’m Dr. Mya-Rose Craig. I am a 19-year-old prominent British-Bangladeshi ornithologist, environmentalist, diversity activist as well as an author, speaker and broadcaster. At age 11 I started the popular blog Birdgirl, and at age 17 I became the youngest person to see half of the birds in the world.

Buy My Book

Lyrical, poignant and insightful.’ - Margaret Atwood

This is my story; a journey defined by my love for these extraordinary creatures. Because large or small, brown, patterned or jewelled, there is something about birds that makes us, even for just moments at a time, lift our eyes away from our lives and up to the skies.

Lyrical, poignant and insightful.’ - Margaret Atwood

This is my story; a journey defined by my love for these extraordinary creatures. Because large or small, brown, patterned or jewelled, there is something about birds that makes us, even for just moments at a time, lift our eyes away from our lives and up to the skies.

Find Out More

To find out more about working with me or to buy my book, please use the links below.

Work With MeBuy Book