Monday, 30 November 2015

The Wildlife Trust - Guest blog for "Every Child Wild" Campaign




Camp Avalon 2016
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


At the beginning of November, The Wildlife Trust launched their 'Every Child Wild’ Campaign. 

This is a campaign designed to demonstrate their work with children.  Every year, the trusts interact with 350,000 children with school visits, Forest Schools, Beach Schools, Nature Tots, Wildlife Watch groups, junior membership and family events.  They think that this is probably a gross underestimate, and we suspect that the figure could be as high as half a million.



Camp Avalon
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Through the Every Child Wild campaign, The Wildlife Trusts wanted to show:  

1)      Why it is so important for children to connect with nature
2)      The work that TWT do to achieve this

3)      Why TWT need support from the general public to carry it out


November was to be a ‘soft launch’, with a much wider national campaign delivered by TWT in 2016, involving the policy change from Government or a comprehensive schools programme. 

As part of its national communications strategy, TWT ran a series of guest blogs answering the question “What do you think would be the most important, and effective, change that could be made to ensure that future generations love wildlife?”

My guest blog was teenagers and ethnic minority teenagers being engaged in nature:

"The most important change has got to be the targeting of secondary school age children; successfully engaging this age group with nature, conservation and the environment is the single most crucial step, in order to ensure future generations love wildlife."





Camp Avalon
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig



Camp Avalon
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Camp Avalon
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


About the Writer



Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig on Scilly
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig




Mya-Rose Craig is a 13 year old young birder, naturalist, conservationist, environmentalist, writer and speaker. She is based near Bristol and writes the successful Birdgirl Blog, with posts about birding and conservation from around the world. She loved seeing Mountain Gorillas in East Africa and is looking forward to watching Penguins in Antarctica in December 2015, which will be her 7th continent. 



Mya-Rose is a Bristol European Green Capital 2015 Ambassador along with Kevin McCloud, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Tony Juniper, Simon King, Miranda Krestovnikoff and Shaun the Sheep! See the full list of Bristol 2015 Ambassadors. She has also been listed with the singer songwriter George Ezra and actress Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones as one of Bristol's most influential young people. Please like her Birdgirl Facebook Page and follow her on Birdgirl Twitter













Sunday, 29 November 2015

Bristol Climate Change March 29/11/15 - addressing the rally


Greenpeace message


On Sunday 29 November 2015, 785,000 people around the world marched to tell their leaders that they wanted them to take action to stop climate change. 

This was my speech addressing the rally, which was amazing having people cheering me through my speech:


http://youtu.be/elKe2vsb3hg







Message at Bristol Climate March 2015
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig



In Bristol huge numbers turned out to march and listen to the rally on College Green, sending a clear message that Bristol European Green Capital 2015 cares.



George Ferguson, Bristol Mayor, marching
Photograph courtesy of Richard Baxter, Bristol Peoples Climate Marchers FB Page

Photograph courtesy of Josefa Sergei Dobraszczyzki Bristol Peoples Climate Marchers FB Page



Photograph courtesy of Owen Williams Bristol Peoples Climate Marchers FB Page

http://www.campaigncc.org/climatemarchlondon


I was extremely proud to be amongst those addressing the rally.



Speakers at Bristol Climate Rally 2015
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig


College Green was packed with thousands of people when I stood up to speak.  I had just been told that the rally was massively overrunning, so had to cut down what I was saying from 4 minutes to 1 minute.  I was petrified enough as it was, without having to give a completely different speech! 

My address to the rally seemed to go well, and I got a lovely thank you mention from George Ferguson, Bristol Mayor, who spoke next.






This is what I had planned to say in my 4 minutes:
How teenagers can help save our planet

"Hi, my name is Mya-Rose Craig, I’m 13 years old and I care passionately about our planet. I write a blog called birdgirl about wildlife, conservation and the environment and am a Bristol 2015 Ambassador. I am going to speak about how teenagers can help save our planet. I live south of Bristol and go birding to Chew Valley Lake, but there are lots of places in and around Bristol to get up close to nature.

I know that it’s tough being a teenager today; instead of having fun outside, young people spend their time inside on social media or playing games; it’s not cool to have any kind of “hobby” and liking nature is seen as “nerdy”;

I think it’s really important for teenagers to get connected with nature, so that they care about what is going on around them. You can’t care about saving the environment if you don’t know anything about what is happening to it. My generation are the future and if we want to have a planet, then it is my generation who can save it.

I think the starting point for change is our fantastic science and geography teachers to talk and discuss issues relating to the environment, like the Indonesian fires, caused by palm oil companies.

There are things you can do, like join Bristol Nature Network, who organise lots of conservation events. Also The Wildlife Trust is interested in connecting teenagers with nature with their campaigns “Every Child Wild”.

It is also important that young people get involved in environmental issues. I have found that the more I have learnt about the terrible things that are going on, damaging our world, the more I care and the more I want to change things.

There are lots of Bristol organisations teenagers can get involved with. Beyond GMO campaign against GMO crops; Bristol Friends of the Earth campaign against the pesticides killing our bees and run the Bristol Flexitarianism campaign – join them and become vegetarian 1-2 days a week, to reduce the impact of cattle ranches on deforestation and CO2 emissions; Bristol Greenpeace has also been campaigning against fracking locally; UK Youth Climate Coalition is a climate change movement that empowers young people to take climate change action. Through its international wing, they work with youth globally, specifically to get delegations to UN climate talks, such as to COP21 in Paris starting on 30 November 2015.

Young people need to help stop environmental damage and try to save our planet in whatever way they can. Every person counts and together my generation can save the world."




Message at Bristol Climate March 2015
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig




Message at Bristol Climate March 2015
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig

Greenpeace Polar Bear message at Bristol Climate March 2015
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig

This is the Facebook Page for the Bristol event

On Monday 30 November 2015, the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP21 Paris) made up of 196 countries started to meet to discuss climate change



Photograph courtesy of UN COP 21 FB Page


Photograph courtesy of UN COP 21 FB Page


Photograph from COP19 and courtesy of UN COP 21 FB Page

One of my teachers from school, Richard Baxter, is really involved in Bristol Greenpeace and it was lovely to see him. He was my big sisters tutor for five years and so he knows my family really well.

After the march, I met Adanma Maduagwe a Nigerian journalist doing a masters in journalist at UWE.  As well as being interviewed about my birding and conservation, It was really interesting to talk to her about journalist as this is something I am interested in for the future.  I think that by the time I'm an adult, people will have a few different careers at the same time.


Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig being interviewed by Adanma Maduagwe
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig being interviewed by Adanma Maduagwe
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig being interviewed by Adanma Maduagwe
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig being interviewed by Adanma Maduagwe
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig

Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig with Adanma Maduagwe
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig

About the Writer


 
Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig on Scilly
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig



Mya-Rose Craig is a 13 year old young birder, naturalist, conservationist, environmentalist, writer and speaker. She is based near Bristol and writes the successful Birdgirl Blog, with posts about birding and conservation from around the world. She loved seeing Mountain Gorillas in East Africa and is looking forward to watching Penguins in Antarctica in December 2015, which will be her 7th continent. 

Mya-Rose is a Bristol European Green Capital 2015 Ambassador along with Kevin McCloud, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Tony Juniper, Simon King, Miranda Krestovnikoff and Shaun the Sheep! See the full list of Bristol 2015 Ambassadors. She has also been listed with the singer songwriter George Ezra and actress Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones as one of Bristol's most influential young people. Please like her Birdgirl Facebook Page and follow her on Birdgirl Twitter













Thursday, 26 November 2015

Swarovski Blog Post about World Shorebird Day


An many of you will know from reading my blog, I have a pair of Swarovski Optik CL Companian 10 x 32 binoculars.  They are perfect for me because they are so light, but still giving me the performance I need especially for world birding.

This summer, I used a harness strap whilst in East Africa, which worked really well distributing the weight and stopping me from getting binocular neck.

This is an article that was published on the Swarovski Optik blog, about World Shorebird Day and why I support it.

http://www.swarovskioptik.com/nature/blog/Birdgirl_November


Please can you post a comment if you like the article.


World Shorebird Day in South Korea


World Shorebird Day in South Korea


World Shorebird Day in Bangladesh


About the Writer



Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig on Scilly
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig



Mya-Rose Craig is a 13 year old young birder, naturalist, conservationist, environmentalist, writer and speaker. She is based near Bristol and writes the successful Birdgirl Blog, with posts about birding and conservation from around the world. She loved seeing Mountain Gorillas in East Africa and is looking forward to watching Penguins in Antarctica in December 2015, which will be her 7th continent. 



Mya-Rose is a Bristol European Green Capital 2015 Ambassador along with Kevin McCloud, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Tony Juniper, Simon King, Miranda Krestovnikoff and Shaun the Sheep! See the full list of Bristol 2015 Ambassadors. She has also been listed with the singer songwriter George Ezra and actress Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones as one of Bristol's most influential young people. Please like her Birdgirl Facebook Page and follow her on Birdgirl Twitter













Saturday, 21 November 2015

Interview on Shepherd's Way Radio


My local Community Radio Station has a show on every Wednesday evening called Shepherd’s Way, hosted by the amazing Steve Shepherd.  They talk about anything to do with nature, conservation and the environment had have had lots of famous people being interviewed.

Steve Shepherd has been brilliant to me and I have been on the programme three times now.

Listen to my most recent interview about Africa, Antarctica and the climate change rally:

http://bcfmradio.com/shepherdsway



11/11/2015 at 17-32 minutes




Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig and Steve Shepherd
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig




About the Writer



Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig on Scilly
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig



Mya-Rose Craig is a 13 year old young birder, naturalist, conservationist, environmentalist, writer and speaker. She is based near Bristol and writes the successful Birdgirl Blog, with posts about birding and conservation from around the world. She loved seeing Mountain Gorillas in East Africa and is looking forward to watching Penguins in Antarctica in December 2015, which will be her 7th continent. 



Mya-Rose is a Bristol European Green Capital 2015 Ambassador along with Kevin McCloud, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Tony Juniper, Simon King, Miranda Krestovnikoff and Shaun the Sheep! See the full list of Bristol 2015 Ambassadors. She has also been listed with the singer songwriter George Ezra and actress Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones as one of Bristol's most influential young people. Please like her Birdgirl Facebook Page and follow her on Birdgirl Twitter








Friday, 13 November 2015

The Wildlife Trust - Every Child Wild Podcast


Sorell Lyall, Nathan Burch, Alex White, Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig, Billy Stockwell
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


In September, I, along with other young people interested in nature of varying secondary school age were invited by Lucy McRoberts of The Wildlife Trusts (TWT) to take part in a discussion on key questions related to getting kids into nature. It was excellent that TWT were giving us young people a voice in something relating to us.

Some of the questions we were invited to discuss were:

1) What do you think TWT should be doing to connect the next generation with wildlife?
2) What do you think Government should be doing to connect the next generation with wildlife?
3) What are the barriers to young people connecting with wildlife?

The discussion was to be recorded and published as a podcast by Charlie Moores of Talking Naturally speaking. What we said would help shape the future direction of TWT policies on young people and also inspire other young people.

In October, myself, Nathan Bach (age 10), Alex White (age 12), Sorrell Lyall age 16, Billy Stockwell (age 16) met in Brandon NR in Warwickshire. The session was chaired by Charlie Moores with Emma Websdale and Adam Cormack from TWT available for help. The link is bit.ly/1kzXxeD



Charlie Moores, Billy Stockwell, Sorell Lyall, Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig, Emma Websdale, Adam Cormack
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig 



Charlie Moores, Billy Stockwell, Sorell Lyall, Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig 


The discussion was really empowering and lasted 4 hours. It was a brilliant thing for TWT to have done and Charlie Moores was fantastic directing the meeting.


Originally, we were to be two groups, over 14 and under 14 but because there were 5 of us we ended up being in one group. It was great to give my opinion but the session was the first time I had spoken in a group like this, and with such a mixed age group. It was a really big learning curve for all of us.

If TWT were to repeat the session next year, would give the following feedback: 

· Break the group into two by age. As we had a large age range, this had an impact on each of our confidence within the group;


· It would be good to keep the warm up short, as lots of interesting points were discussed before recording started. 


· It would be good to give different people the opportunity to contribute in future years, but I don’t think that those taking part this year should be barred, as they might have been involved in a relevant project and so have something specific to contribute (e.g. Camp Avalon). 


· Whilst Charlie was great, it would be good to alternate and maybe try someone who has experience of dealing with teenagers, like David Walsh who used to be a teacher and now acts as a mentor to teenage birders. 


· Part of group dynamics is learning how to create a space to have your say without talking over people and also making sure that you are giving other people a chance to speak. These are things adults find hard, let alone us to manage as young people in our first group discussion. I think that next time we should have a flag we can hold up, when we have something to say, so that we don’t have to interrupt anyone to speak.


· Now that the discussion has taken place once, next time I would make it more peer led, with less adult views in the podcast. 


· I think that each young person should raise a few areas that they want to discuss before the event, so that these are included. Although I mentioned diversity as an issue, the conversation went elsewhere and I didn’t get a chance to talk about it. It turned out that Charlie did not know about my arranging Camp Avalon until afterwards and so could not ask me about it. 


These are small suggestions, which hopefully will be taken positively by everyone. Thank you again to Lucy McRoberts for organizing this event, which left me feeling really empowered.


Sorrell Lyall, Nathan Burch, Alex White, Birdgirl Mya-Rose, Billy Stockwell
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig 


Adam Cormack, Sorell Lyall, Billy Stockwell, Charlie Moores,
Nathan Burch, Alex White, Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig, Emma Websdale
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


About the Writer


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig on Scilly
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig 


Mya-Rose Craig is a 13 year old young birder, naturalist, conservationist, environmentalist, writer and speaker. She is based near Bristol and writes the successful Birdgirl Blog, with posts about birding and conservation from around the world. She loved seeing Mountain Gorillas in East Africa and is looking forward to watching Penguins in Antarctica in December 2015, which will be her 7th continent. 

Mya-Rose is a Bristol European Green Capital 2015 Ambassador along with Kevin McCloud, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Tony Juniper, Simon King, Miranda Krestovnikoff and Shaun the Sheep! See the full list of Bristol 2015 Ambassadors. She has also been listed with the singer songwriter George Ezra and actress Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones as one of Bristol's most influential young people. Please like her Birdgirl Facebook Page and follow her on Birdgirl Twitter





















































Wednesday, 11 November 2015

American Birding Association - My Guest Blog


On 10 November 2015, The American Birding Association published a guest blog by me about my summer trip to Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya

http://blog.aba.org/2015/11/open-mic-on-being-the-youngest-to-4000-species.html

I wrote about seeing Shoebill, Green-breasted Pitta and Red-throated Tit, my 4000th bird in the world.


Shoebill, Mabamba Wetland, Uganda
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Mya-Rose Craig



Green-breasted Pitta, Uganda
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Mya-Rose Craig


Zebra, Nairobi NP, Kenya
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Mya-Rose Craig



Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig taking a photo of a Red-throated Tit, Kenya
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Red-throated Tit, Swaro Plains, Kenya
Photograph taken by and copyright 
Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig 


Black Rhino, Kenya
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig 

As well as this, I wrote about seeing Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, the highlight of my trip.



Mountain Gorilla, Uganda
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig 

Mountain Gorilla and Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig, Uganda
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig
A few days later, American birding legend, Debi Love Shearwater, got in contact with me and invited me to join her Facebook page, World Girl Birders, after someone had put a link to my blog post on the page.  I couldn't join as I don't have my own Facebook account, but it was fantastic to hear from her.

Also on the Audubon Magazine website, there is an article about me, which I am very proud of:

https://www.audubon.org/news/the-little-twitcher-who-could



About the Writer



Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig on Scilly
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig



Mya-Rose Craig is a 13 year old young birder, naturalist, conservationist, environmentalist, writer and speaker. She is based near Bristol and writes the successful Birdgirl Blog, with posts about birding and conservation from around the world. She loved seeing Mountain Gorillas in East Africa and is looking forward to watching Penguins in Antarctica in December 2015, which will be her 7th continent. 



Mya-Rose is a Bristol European Green Capital 2015 Ambassador along with Kevin McCloud, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Tony Juniper, Simon King, Miranda Krestovnikoff and Shaun the Sheep! See the full list of Bristol 2015 Ambassadors. She has also been listed with the singer songwriter George Ezra and actress Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones as one of Bristol's most influential young people. Please like her Birdgirl Facebook Page and follow her on Birdgirl Twitter