Black2Nature & me

Black2Nature & me

I am President of an organisation called Black2Nature, which I set up when I was 14 years old and is Visible Minority Ethnic (VME) led.  We campaign for equal access to nature for all, especially VME communities who are currently excluded from the countryside. We run nature camps,  arrange nature activities, organise race equality in nature conferences and campaign to make the nature conservation and environmental sectors ethnically diverse.

If you are able to donate money to us or you are able to volunteer for the nature camps or helping behind the scenes please contact equalityinnature@gmail.com.

I have organised eight nature camps for inner-city mainly VME children and teenagers, getting them engaged in nature by making it relevant to them and having plenty of VME role models. The most popular sessions are those where the young people can get close up to wildlife like bird ringing, mothing and even bio blitzes. The young people are all individuals and so, as such, like different sessions. The camp for teenagers is called Camp Avalon and is 2 nights and takes place on the Somerset Levels near Glastonbury. The camp for primary age children is called Camp Chew and is for 1 night and takes place in Compton Martin in the Chew Valley. Other activities are birding, nature sketching, nature photography, making nest boxes, looking for Nightjar, bats, mammal traps and camera traps.

Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig at Camp Avalon 2015
Photograph copyright young brder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig bird ringing & holding a Marsh Tit
Photograph copyright young brder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

We ensure the young people attending our camps come from a varied background including different VME backgrounds and religions, White British young people from areas of deprivation within the city as well as those from affluent backgrounds in the countryside where they have little contact with VME young people with strong customs faiths. It is really important for community cohesion for the young people to mix together and spend time with people they do not normally get time with, to break down barriers and reduce radicalisation on all sides.

Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig at Camp Chew 2017
Photograph copyright young brder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig at Camp Chew 2017
Photograph copyright young brder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

After my first nature camp in 2015, I wrote to the CEO’s of the four biggest nature conservation NGO’s starting a conversation about the lack of diversity in their organisations, whether Trustees, staff, volunteers or members. I had a positive response from them but I decided that due to school I needed to meet them all together and save time!  The Natural England’s Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment (MENE) Report March 2019 looked at how often children visited green spaces. 73% of none-VME children visited frequently, which drops to 57 % for VME. 75% of children from higher socio-economic groups (A & B) visited frequently whilst 65% for lower socioeconomic groups (C & D). Therefore, clearly, race and ethnicity have a larger impact than poverty, although this does have an impact.

Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig at Camp Avalon 2016 Photograph copyright young birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

I have interviewed VME elders about their lives growing up “back home”. All talked about their rural childhoods, swimming, being out in nature and helping with family smallholdings. However, their grandchildren’s generation mistakenly thinks their heritage is urban, however, we can still engage them by referring back to their country of ethnic origin. 83% of British people live in cities, with a disproportionate number of VME living in bleak inner cities. NGO’s must, therefore, start to communicate with people from all ethnicities and backgrounds. The starting point is for their HR, IT and Finance teams to become ethnically diverse, which leads to improved performance. Therefore, these discussions led me to organise a conference in June 2016, called Race Equality in Nature Conference kindly sponsored by Bristol Zoo which I opened and then with the Key Speakers being Bill Oddie, Kerry McCarthy, Stephen Moss, Dr Richard Benwell, Monira Ahmed Chowdhury, Rachel De Garang & Jini Reddy and lots of experts in race equality, diversity and inclusion. Those who were there commented that it was the first time that those working in conservation had met and discussed the issues with those from BME communities or experts in racism. We had workshops on what were the barriers to VME people getting out into nature, what could be done to overcome the hurdles and creating VME role models.

Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig with Bill Oddie at Race Equality in Nature Conference 2016
Photograph copyright young birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig
Young Scots at Race Equality in Nature Conference 2016Photograph copyright young birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

Since 2015, I have been leading the campaign to make the environmental sector diverse. Of environmental professions, only 0.6% are VME the second-worst sector for diversity after only agricultural ownership. I have had meetings with many of the leaders of conservation organisations, speaking at conferences and writing on the topic. This is an article that I wrote for the Chartered Institute of Ecology & Environmental Management. I was also the Minister for Diversity in Conservation in Chris Packham’s People’s Manifesto for Wildlife and was the first speaker at his People’s Walk for Wildlife.   I and Black2Nature organised another conference with Emmanuel Adukwu at UWE Bristol which took place on 2nd October 2019 called Race Equality in Nature: The Next Gen 13-30. As set out above and would like to invite you to take part. The speakers including Asher Craig (Bristol Deputy Mayor), Cleo Lake (Bristol councillor for the Green Party),  Zakiya McKenzie (Black & Green Ambassador), Lara Lemi (Bristol University STEM student and organiser of BMEinSTEM Conference, Chris Packham (Nature presenter), Stephen Corry (CEO Survival International) and Becky Speight (CEO RSPB). The conference aimed to work through the journey of a VME young person, highlighting the racism within the sector that needed to be addressed.

Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig at Youth Strikes 2019
Photograph copyright young birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

We expect half of those attending will be in senior roles in the nature conservation & environment sector, nature media and environmental education with the other half being BME educators, conservationists & environmentalists and experts in race, diversity & inclusion as well as BME communities.

Links

Camp Avalon

http://birdgirluk.blogspot.com/2015/06/camp-avalon-in-making.html

http://birdgirluk.blogspot.com/2015/06/camp-avalon-friday-19-june-2015.html

http://birdgirluk.blogspot.com/2015/06/camp-avalon-saturday-20-june-2015.html

http://birdgirluk.blogspot.com/2015/07/camp-avalon-sunday-21-june-2015.html

http://birdgirluk.blogspot.com/2015/06/camp-avalon-review-and-planning-for.html

http://birdgirluk.blogspot.com/2016/07/camp-avalon-2017.html 

Diversity

http://birdgirluk.blogspot.com/2016/06/how-ethnicity-and-wealth-are-impacting.html

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

Zero waste on the go – Guest blog from #WasteNothing Challenge

Zero waste on the go – Guest blog from #WasteNothing Challenge

In April this year, Bristol Waste Company launched the Bristol #WasteNothing Challenge.

Fifty households, of all shapes and sizes, from across Bristol have signed up to try and reduce their waste and recycling down to zero over the course of a year. Through their activities we have been finding out all sorts of interesting ways to avoid creating waste.

Having a few lightweight bits of kit in your bag ready for whenever you leave the house could make a huge difference to the amount of rubbish you create when you’re on-the-go. Here are some of our top tips for reducing waste away from home.

 

Be Tupp-aware

Are you going somewhere there might be food? Having a clean container, like an old ice cream tub, with you means that you can swoop in and save any tasty leftovers to eat later. Some shops and take-aways will also let you use your own containers.

 

The last straw 

Having a reusable straw in your bag means you can whip it out when ordering a drink to make sure they know you don’t want a plastic straw ending up in your glass.

 

Refill, not landfill 

Taking a refillable water bottle with you will save you from buying drinks in single-use packaging. Loads of places will let you refill your bottle for free, and you can download an app that shows you where here.

 

Pack your bag 

Take a backpack, take a reusable shopping bag and produce bags or simply re-use existing ones.

 

Be a snack detective 

If you are buying food and drinks on the go, try to either buy things without any packaging or check out what packaging it comes in to see if it can be recycled. Or alternatively, plan ahead.

Comments from Mya-Rose Craig AKA Birdgirl

At our camps, we try to ensure that we have virtually nothing to throw away. Atendees bring drinks bottles, all our plates and cups are reuseable and we have no straws or baby wipes.

Ensuring that the children and volunteers who attend our camps learn about nature conservation and environmental issues through our discussions.

Discussing how our camp being vegetarian benefits the planet, why litter is bad for the environment and wildlife and why we are aiming to make our camps zero waste. Often when they arrive, they think nothing of chucking litter on the floor which we have to discuss with them. Having recycling boxes close by help.

Total waste from Camp Chew March 2019

Copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl 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

Philosophy behind Black2Nature camps

Philosophy behind Black2Nature camps

Camp Chew March 2019
Black2Nature is committed to Enabling Visible Minority People (VME) and those from disadvantaged and deprived backgrounds to get outside into green spaces where ever they find them and so engage with nature, by Working with nature conservation & environmental organisations, Nature TV & media & nature education sector to adopt diversity as a core value, ensuring their staff, volunteers, trustees and membership become diverse; ensuring training on equality, diversity and inclusion and VME communities; carrying out monitoring throughout their organisations and committing to making change;

Enabling those from VME and areas of deprivation to access nature and as the outdoors is essential for physical activity and health, mental well-being, enjoyment of our beautiful planet and to ensure our cities become sustainable;

Sports at Camp Chew March 2019
Copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

Ensuring that the children and volunteers who attend our camps learn about nature conservation and environmental issues through our discussions;

Discussing how our camp being vegetarian benefits the planet, why litter is bad for the environment and wildlife and why we are aiming to make our camps zero waste.

Total waste from Camp Chew March 2019
Copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig
Thank you

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 20 pairs of 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.

 

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

 

Kit List Camp Avalon for those being dropped off

Kit List Camp Avalon for those being dropped off

CAMP AVALON KIT LIST
For teenagers being dropped off

 
Please note: This list is for guidance 
Please label everything with the child’s name
General
Small holdall or bag to carry belongings
(no large suitcases, large bags or plastic bags)

Completed and signed parent consent forms

Camping Gear
2 Season sleeping bag or duvet
1 Folding camp or garden chair
1 Torch/phone with a torch
Mealtimes
Plastic drinks bottle (to carry a drink during activities)
Extra blanket for sitting on (if you have one)
1 small packet of snacks or sweets (must be vegetarian and nut-free eg jelly tots)
Clothing (in addition to what they arrive in)
The number of clothes must be sufficient for 3 day/2 nights with a spare set of clothes in case of rain or cold
1 Warm comfortable clothes for bedtime (it might be cold)
3 T-shirt
2 Warm tracksuit-top/fleece/hoodie
2 Outdoor trousers or tracksuit bottoms (jeans are not ideal but acceptable)
3 Pairs underwear & socks (thick socks if you are wearing wellies or boots)
1 Walking boots, wellies or old trainers
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 and paste & comb)
Bin liner (for wet/dirty clothes)
Suncream and hay fever medication
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 but is not needed
1 pair binoculars (if you have or can borrow them)
1 digital camera (if you have one or can borrow one)
Do not take to camp:
Anything electronic, except a mobile phone, such as electronic games, MP3 players, I-pods, etc. They are too easily lost or damaged
Shell suits/nylon clothes – extreme fire injury risk
Aerosols, matches, lighters, or any other flammable liquid or gas – these are dangerous
Anything valuable
Any food items
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 campavlonuk@gmail.com 

Camp Avalon 2017
Photograph copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl 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

 

Camp Avalon Kit List

Camp Avalon Kit List

CAMP AVALON KIT LIST
Please label everything with the child’s name

Please note
Please do not send your teenagers with any food (it will be taken away), duvets, sleeping bags, pillow or cushions. We will provide sufficient food and snacks, have to be careful of allergies and do not want a group of teenagers on a sugar rush.

General
Small small school backpack to carry belongings
(no large suitcases, large bags or plastic bags)

Clothing (in addition to what they arrive in)
The number of clothes must be sufficient for 3 days /2 nights with a spare set of clothes
1 Warm comfortable clothes for bedtime
2 T-shirt
1 Warm tracksuit-top / fleece / hoodie
1 Outdoor trousers or tracksuit bottoms (jeans are not ideal but ok)
2 pairs underwear and socks (thick socks if you are wearing wellies)
1 pair old trainers (as it might  be muddy)
1 waterproof coat
1 Cap (so no hair styling needed)

Other items

1 drinks bottle (to carry a drink during activities)
1 thin blanket (if you have one)
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 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
Knives or pen knives
Anything valuable

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


Camp Avalon 2017
Photography copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl 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

Camp Avalon 19-21 July 2019 Details

Camp Avalon 19-21 July 2019 Details

 

BLACK2NATURE

Friday 19 July 2019 to Sunday 21 July 2019

Camp Avalon 2017

Copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

Shapwick Heath, Somerset Levels

Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

 

Book onto this amazing nature camp for young people aged 12-18 years. Into its 4th 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.  These are the links to Birdgirl’s blog posts about the 2015 weekend.

This year 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 both groups.

VME or inner-city teenagers may be accompanied by an adult if they wish but do not need one to attend.

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.

 

Camp Avalon – Friday Night

http://bit.ly/1PpG6tC

Camp Avalon Mothing Workshop

Copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Camp Avalon Mothing Workshop
Copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Camp Avalon Mothing Workshop

Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

 

Camp Avalon – Saturday

http://bit.ly/21m0TVD

Camp Avalon Sketching

Workshop Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Camp Avalon Sketching Workshop

Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Camp Avalon Photography workshop

Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Camp Avalon photography workshop

Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Camp Avalon Bird Ringing Workshop

Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Camp Avalon Bird Ringing Workshop

Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Camp Avalon Bird Ringing Workshop

Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Camp Avalon Sunday
Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Camp Avalon Birding Walk

Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Camp Avalon Birding Walk

Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

 

Friday 19 July 2019 to Sunday 21 July 2019

Camp Avalon – Programme

 

The programme will be finalised shortly depending on final numbers.

Friday 19th July 2019

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

 

Saturday 20th July 2019

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.

Led by Chris Craig and Shaun Austin
Filming with ITV West News

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

Led by Shaun Austin and Helena Craig

1.30 pm – 2.30 pm (CS)

Lunch

2.30 pm – 4.00 pm (PFW)

Wildlife Photography workshop

Led by Shane Austin

 

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)

Led by Chris Craig

11 pm

Lights out and no more talking – just sleep

 

Sunday 21st July 2019

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, Pete Burston and Mya-Rose Craig
Magazine Photoshoot

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)

Lunch

1.00 pm – 2.30 pm (CS)

Taking down tents and packing up the campsite
Ayesha Ahmed-Mendoza and Helena Craig

 

2.30 pm – 3.00 pm (CS)

Refreshment break

 

3.00 pm

Finish

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 Road, Glastonbury, Somerset BA6 9SX

Bittern, Shapwick Heath, Somerset Levels, March 2015

Photograph was taken by and copyright Mya-Rose Craig

 

Cost

£20.00 per person including food and camping costs

Grants

Free places are available to those young people (and parents/family if they wish to come) from an area of deprivation or who are VME. Camp Avalon recognises that there are almost no young birders from black or minority ethnic 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.

Black2Nature

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 £2500 for 20 pairs of 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.

 

Transport

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 book on Eventbrite or e-mail helenabcraig@hotmail.co.uk 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

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

 

Camp Avalon 12-14 July 2019 Details

Camp Avalon 12-14 July 2019 Details

 

BLACK2NATURE

Friday 19 July 2019 to Sunday 21 July 2019

Camp Avalon 2017

Copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

Shapwick Heath, Somerset Levels

Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

 

Book onto this amazing nature camp for young people aged 12-18 years. Into its 4th 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.  These are the links to Birdgirl’s blog posts about the 2015 weekend.

This year 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 both groups.

VME or inner-city teenagers may be accompanied by an adult if they wish but do not need one to attend.

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.

 

Camp Avalon – Friday Night

http://bit.ly/1PpG6tC

Camp Avalon Mothing Workshop

Copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Camp Avalon Mothing Workshop
Copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Camp Avalon Mothing Workshop

Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

 

Camp Avalon – Saturday

http://bit.ly/21m0TVD

Camp Avalon Sketching

Workshop Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Camp Avalon Sketching Workshop

Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Camp Avalon Photography workshop

Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Camp Avalon photography workshop

Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Camp Avalon Bird Ringing Workshop

Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Camp Avalon Bird Ringing Workshop

Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Camp Avalon Bird Ringing Workshop

Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Camp Avalon Sunday
Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Camp Avalon Birding Walk

Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Friday 12 July 2019 to Sunday 14 July 2019

Camp Avalon – Programme

The programme will be finalised shortly depending on final numbers.

Friday 12th July 2019

All activities dependent on weather

5.00 pm

Pick-up St Paul’s Learning Centre

6.00 pm – 7.15 pm (CS)

Time to socialize and play football

7.15 pm – 8.15 pm (CS)

Dinner cooked on fires at campsite

8.15 pm – 9.45 pm(PF)

Talk and evening bat walk
Led by Lawrence Armstrong

 

Saturday 13th July 2019

7.30 am – 8.00 am (CS) Breakfast at campsite

 

8.00 am – 10.00 am (PF)

Looking at moths (dependent on weather)
James Packer, who writes the blog The Somerset Birder and is a Somerset birder and bird photographer

 

10.00 am – 10.30 am (CS)

Refreshment break


11.00 am – 1.00 pm (HW)

Birding at Ham Wall, searching for Great White Egret, Bittern and lots of other great birds.  Meet at HWCP.

Led by James Packer

 

1.30 pm – 2.30 pm(CS)

Lunch

2.30 pm – 4.30 pm (PFW)

Bio Blitzing James Packer and Helena Craig

4.30 pm – 5.00 pm (CS)

Refreshment break

 

5.00 pm – 8.30 pm (CS)

Downtime and dinner cooked on fire at campsite

 

9.00 pm – 10.30 pm (MD)

Looking for Nightjar on the Mendips (dependent on weather)

Led by Chris Craig, Avon and Somerset, British and world birder

Sunday 14th July 2019

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


8.00 am – 11.00 am (PFW)

Bird ringing demonstration
Chris Craig (with Mya-Rose Craig assisting)

 

11.00 am – 11.30 am (CS)

Refreshment break

12.00 pm – 1.00 pm (CS)

Lunch

1.00 pm – 2.30 pm (CS)

Bird Photography
Helena Craig and Chri Craig

2.30 pm – 3.00 pm (CS)

Refreshment break

 

3.00 pm

Finish

4.00 pm

Drop off St Paul’s Learning Centre

 

Key to locations

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 Road, Glastonbury, Somerset BA6 9SX

 

Bittern, Shapwick Heath, Somerset Levels, March 2015

Photograph was taken by and copyright Mya-Rose Craig

 

Cost

£20.00 per person including food and camping costs

Grants

Free places are available to those young people (and parents/family if they wish to come) from an area of deprivation or who are VME. Camp Avalon recognises that there are almost no young birders from black or minority ethnic 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.

Black2Nature

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 £2500 for 20 pairs of 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.

 

Transport

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 book on Eventbrite or e-mail helenabcraig@hotmail.co.uk 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

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

 

Camp Avalon 19-21 July 2019 Flyer

Camp Avalon 19-21 July 2019 Flyer

Black2Nature

Camp Avalon 2019

Fri 19 – Sun 21 July 2019

Camp Avalon 2017
Photograph copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

A nature weekend for teenagers aged 12 to 18 to enjoy
Having fun outside in nature
Trying new things like camping
Making new friends

 

How to Book

Text or phone Helena on 07798818772 or e-mail campavalonuk@gmail.com

£20 per child with free places offered

Free transport from Bristol

Food all halal or veggie

Location – Paddington Farm, Glastonbury
Young People supervised at all times by DBS checked adults

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

Camp Avalon 12-14 July 2019 Flyer

Camp Avalon 12-14 July 2019 Flyer

Black2Nature

Camp Avalon 2019

Fri 12 – Sun 14 July 2019

Camp Avalon 2017
Photograph copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

A nature weekend for teenagers aged 12 to 18 to enjoy
Having fun outside in nature
Trying new things like camping
Making new friends

 

How to Book

Text or phone Helena on 07798818772 or e-mail campavalonuk@gmail.com

£20 per child with free places offered

Free transport from Bristol

Food all halal or veggie

Location – Paddington Farm, Glastonbury
Young People supervised at all times by DBS checked adults

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

Race Equality in Nature & Conservation and Black2Nature

Race Equality in Nature & Conservation and Black2Nature

Chris Packham’s Peoples Walk for Nature is this Saturday 22nd September 2018, meeting in Hyde Park, London at 10 am with speakers starting at midday and the march between 1 pm and 2 pm.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbQDEb6QX6g&feature=youtu.be

Today, Chris Packham has published “The Peoples’ Manifesto for Wildlife” with 18 Ministers or experts in a number of areas ahead of the march http://www.chrispackham.co.uk/a-peoples-manifesto-for-wildlife

Ministers are:

I am unbelieveably proud to have been asked to write the Ministery of Diversity in Nature and Conservation.


This is a Podcast from Lush intervewing many of the Ministers http://player.lush.com/channels/soapbox/radio/soapbox-voices-peoples-manifesto-wildlife
If you don’t know anything about me, this is what I have been up to since I started campaigning and raising awareness about the lack of VME (visible minority ethnic) out in nature and green spaces since January 2015 when I was 12 years old. I have given an explanation of my use of VME below.

  • I have arranged:
  • Four Camp Avalons for inner city VME teenagers and children;
  • A film-making workshop for VME teenagers with Icon Films in inner city Bristol;
  • The Race Equality in Nature Conference in June 2016 with Bill Oddie, Kerry McCarthy (shadow Environment Secretary at the time), Stephen Moss and Dr Richard Benwell. His most striking comment was when he talked about every citizens’ right to access nature in the same way as their right to access health or education;
  • Spoken at national conferences, including Science and Geography teachers about how to include nature in  lessons and be relevant to VME teenagers
  • Panel appearances including with Caroline Lucas and George Monbiot discussing “Sustainability and the Future of Cities” and at Hay Festival’s “Do You Have to be White and Well-off to be Green?”;
  • Met with leaders of organisations in the nature conservation and environment sector to discuss the issue;
  • Set up Black2Nature as a campagining oganisation to work with conservation and environmental organisations, to increase on the 0.6% of environmental staff who are VME;
  • Raised the issue of the lack of diversity in nature on TV (eg BBC West’s Inside Out and BBC2’s Hugh’s Wild West) and in the nature media.
Camp Chew 2017
Camp Chew 2017
Race Equality in Nature Conference June 2016

Race Equality in Nature Conference June 2016
Camp Avalon 2017
Festival of the Future City
Mya-Rose Craig and George Monbiot, Festival of the Future City
Mya-Rose Craig, Caroline Lucas & George Monbiot, Festival of the Future City

Even if you can’t make it to the march, please post on Chris’ website on his Wonder-wall
http://www.chrispackham.co.uk/wonder-wall

These are links to my previous blog posts on diversity in nature. My linked group, Race Equality in Nature, has a conference summary added.

Race Equality in Nature Conference 6 March 2016

http://birdgirluk.blogspot.com/2016/03/race-equality-in-nature-conference_8.html

How ethnicity and wealth are impacting on children going into nature 1 June 2016

http://birdgirluk.blogspot.com/2016/06/how-ethnicity-and-wealth-are-impacting.html

Birdgirl’s 30 Days Wild – for diverse communities – ideas – 1 June 2016

http://birdgirluk.blogspot.com/2016/06/birdgirls-30-days-wild-for-diverse.html

Birdgirl’s 30 Days Wild, Day 1 – for diverse communities 1 June 2016

http://birdgirluk.blogspot.com/2016/06/30-days-wild-day-1-for-diverse.html

Birdgirl’s 30 Days Wild, Day 6 – for diverse communities 6 June 2016

http://birdgirluk.blogspot.com/2016/06/birdgirls-30-days-wild-day-6-for.html

Birdgirl’s 30 Days Wild, Day 9 – for diverse communities 9n June 2016

http://birdgirluk.blogspot.com/2016/06/birdgirls-30-days-wild-day-9-for.html

Interview with BBC Wildlife Magazine 28 September 2016

http://birdgirluk.blogspot.com/2016/09/the-bbc-wildlife-magazine-october-2016.html

Race Equality in Nature Conference – Black2Nature 1 November 2016

http://birdgirluk.blogspot.com/2016/10/race-equality-in-nature-conference.html

Speaking at the association of Science (ASE) Educators Conference 7 January 2017 – With resource links

http://birdgirluk.blogspot.com/2017/01/speaking-at-association-of-science-ase.html

Minority Ethnic Peoples’ rural heritage (links no longer work) 23 January 2017

http://birdgirluk.blogspot.com/2017/01/minority-ethnic-peoples-rural-heritage.html

Article in Cultures of Nature and Wellbeing 7 February 2017

http://birdgirluk.blogspot.com/2017/02/article-in-cultures-of-nature-and.html

Speaking at Bath Spa University Landscape and Change Festival 25 February 2017

http://birdgirluk.blogspot.com/2017/02/speaking-at-bath-spa-university.html

Comment – VME or not

First – I am no expert. These are just my thoughts and views. I would love to read more research on this topic.
Second – I would describe myself as Dual Heritage British Bangladeshi.
I have chosen to use the term “Visible Minority Ethnic” (VME) in my ministry. This simply means minority ethnic people who describe themselves as non-white; People who might be discriminated against in the street or who might feel worried about venturing to the countryside because of fear of hate crime (due to their visibility as a minority ethnic person). It was suggested to me as an option by a race expert, Monira Ahmed Chowdhury.
There are lots of terms being used as of 2018 to describe collectively people living in the UK, who for want of a better description, are non-white. These are some of them and what troubles me about them: Non-white or not white
This should never be used (although I have just done that for clarity). It is negative and refers to people by their skin colour alone, which is derogatory.

Black British
My mum shows her age because she started using this term in the 1980s, to include all non-white people, as one political force. I don’t like referring to skin colour and think we have moved on from this. I really don’t like this term at all.

BAME – Black Asian Minority Ethnic
BME – Black Minority Ethnic
This is used nationally by most organisations to describe people who are of non-white descent. It specifically includes people whose ethnicity is African or Caribbean, South or East Asia in the first and people whose ethnicity is anything other than English, Scottish and Welsh. Both single out specific ethnic groups, this can be divisive and exclusionary. They include white people who are from places such as Irish or Western or Eastern European.  This is not ideal for analysing racism against people of non-white descent. For example, 3% of the environmental professionals are BAME but only 0.6% are non-white.

Race
“Race and ethnicity are often used interchangeably but it is useful to be clear about the difference. Race is a socially constructed term without biological merit that has historically been used to categorise different groups of people based on perceived physical differences.”Universities Scotland refers to a 1983 House of Lords decision that suggests an ethnic group would have the following features:

  • a long shared history of which the group is conscious as distinguishing it from other groups and the memory of which it keeps alive
  • a cultural tradition of its own including family and social manners, often but not necessarily associated with religious observance
  • a common, however distant, geographical origin
  • a common language and literature

It is important to remember that everyone has an ethnicity and ‘white British’ is an ethnic group. Bhavnani et al (2005, p. 213) point out that it is common in British culture for ‘ethnic’ to be wrongly used as synonymous with non-white or not-western, for example with ‘ethnic clothes’ or ‘ethnic restaurants’.”

I do not like the word “race” (as in a mixed-race) as there is only one human race and it is wrong to try and say otherwise.

ME – Minority Ethnic
This is a group of people who differ in ethnicity, colour, national or cultural origin from the majority population in the country. It does not include religions that span wide distribution, such as Islam (apparently). Some argue that people of non-white descent are the global majority and describing ourselves as a minority is doing us down. ‘Ethnic Minority’ tends to be reversed to refer to ‘minority ethnic groups’ to highlight the fact that everyone has an ethnicity and the issues being referred to relate to minority groups in a UK context and the discrimination and barriers that they face.

EM – Ethnic Minority
This used to be used commonly but has fallen out of favour. Sociology Professor Tareq Modood prefers it. ‘Ethnic minority’ places the emphasis on ethnicity as the main issue. There can be a tendency in our media and language to see ‘ethnic’ as synonymous with not-white and so the term could be perceived as implying the issue is with people being not-white, or non-white people being the issue.

POC – People of Colour
This has been used in the USA for some time. Before this, coloured was used by African Americans to describe themselves. However, this is a word with very negative connotations in the UK, as it was used as a racist slur up until the 1970’s. Isn’t it confusing to tell people not to use a word because it’s racist and then to ask them to use it again?  It was also used as a derogatory term to categorise dual heritage people under apartheid, South Africa. I also don’t like the reference to skin colour. Sorry, I just can’t get behind it.

Global Majority
I understand that non-white people are in the vast majority globally. I could get behind this term if it was taken up worldwide. However, there is something a little strange about it. Doesn’t it imply that the issue of racism is only between white and non-white? What about Rohinga slaughtered in Burma? What about the killings in Rwanda? I don’t think it is that straightforward. Every country had majority ethnicities and minority ethnicities, that need to be differentiated when talking about racism and discrimination. So I think at the moment I am still going with Minority Ethnic.

Dual Heritage
This is the term I prefer when talking about people with mixed heritage or ethnicity.
Black and Brown
I don’t like this because it is a reference to skin colour but nobody is actually Black. I find it quite offensive. If you look at a make-up brand that covers all skin tones, such as Mac, not one of their foundations is actually white or black. They are all tones of brown. Not everyone falls in with this colour reference, what about Turkish people or Chinese people, do they really fit into “brown”?

References
https://citizen.co.za/news/south-africa/1983352/chief-khoisan-wants-the-word-coloured-abolished/
https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/phrase-people-person-of-colour-bme-black-woman-women-different-experiences-race-racism-a7868586.html
https://www.ecu.ac.uk/guidance-resources/using-data-and-evidence/use-language-race-ethnicity/
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-43831279
https://mediadiversified.org/2014/01/23/ethnic-minority-no-global-majority/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_(racial_classification)
http://shadesofnoir.org.uk/b-a-m-e-is-l-a-m-e/

 

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.