Friday, 28 April 2017

Keynsham Kindness Day 24 April 2017

After giving a talk in Avon Wildlife Group Keynsham Group in January, I was contacted a by quite a few people from Keynsham who wanted me to get involved in their event. One of these was attending a Keynsham Kindness Day event on 24/4/17. I was going to be launching the #kindness_connects wristband campaign. I was also going to be leading a Keynsham Now group discussion about teenage bullying.





I really loved being involvedI with Keynsham Kindness Day and launching their wristband project. After all the nastiness online and beyond, this was a lovely idea #kindness_connects.


When we arrived,  a lady I recognised from an environmental training session I had been to in Keynsham a few months gave me some chocolates as a "random act of kindness". How lovely was that?



I also met Paris Brosnan, who is from Keynsham and has just written her first children's book called Billy Bee (http://bit.ly/2rdNm3q).  Look out for my review of the book very soon, it was delightful and I can't wait to read it to my nephew Lucas.



It was also good to talk about bullying and on-line trolls with other young people from Keynsham Now.




Young Birder May-Rose Birdgirl Craig and Dr Sarah Cox launching the #kindness_connects campaign
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig



Young Birder May-Rose Birdgirl Craig launching the #kindness_connects campaign
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig

#kindness_connects campaign



About the Author

Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig in Antarctica
Photograph copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig


Mya-Rose Craig is a 14-year-old young British Bangladeshi birder, naturalist, conservationist, environmentalist, activist, 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 Penguins in Antarctica over Christmas 2015, her 7th continent.

Mya-Rose was a Bristol European Green Capital Ambassador along with Kevin McCloud, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Tony Juniper, Simon King, Miranda Krestovnikoff and Shaun the Sheep! See the full list of Bristol 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
She is an Ambassador for World Shorebirds Day, See It Her Way and a Charter Champion for The Charter for Woods, Trees and People. She organised a conference, Race Equality in Nature, in June 2016 aiming to increase the ethnic diversity in nature and plans to run her third Camp Avalon camp in 2017. She has also set up Black2Nature with the aim of working with organisations to increase the access to nature of Black Asian Minority Ethnic people. Please connect with her on LinkedIn (Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig) so that she can invite you to join the Race Equality in Nature LinkedIn Group and be part of the change. She has been awarded the Bath and West Show Environmental Youth Award 2017 for Bristol for her Black2Nature work EYA 2017Please also like her Birdgirl Facebook Page and follow her on Birdgirl Twitter.











Tuesday, 25 April 2017

South West Metropolitan Mayor Elections 4 May 2017 - the relevance to the environment

On 4th May 2017, people in Bristol, South Gloustershire, Bath & North East Somerset Council areas will be voting for a new West of England Metro Mayor. Whether you agree with the creation of another layer of bureaucracy or not, the elections are important.



The new Metro Mayor will have overall responsibility for housing, transport and skills for the whole area, giving a sewn up approach to policy across the region. These issues impact massively on environmental issues. 

On 18th March 2017, on my way into Bristol to pick up my Grandmother (Nanu) and leave for our holiday to France we picked up Misty Hutton from Avon Wildlife Trust so she could film a video of my and also my Mum. We went to Victoria Park in Totterdown, where I talked about the upcoming elections and my thoughts about which issues were important and why.

I talked about how transport policy would impact on pollution and without better public transport traffic and pollution would not improve in Bristol. In relation to housing, we have to avoid building on all brown field sites, as these are the green spaces that are accessible to people living in areas of deprivation within the cities. Skills are important because Bristol is a hub for nature and environmental organisations including media and yet there is no training available enabling people who live in the area to get those jobs. So mostly jobs were being filled by those from outside. We need training for young people living here to enter these sectors.

I also urged people to vote. After the environmental hustings, which I listened to on Ujima Radio, I recommended Darren Hall (Green Party) 1st choice and John Savage 2nd choice based on what they said. The environmental issues are very important. The Tory candidate (Tim Bowles) won, who to me seemed to have very little real interest in the environment and was more focussed on business and homes. 

I also thought that he was arrogate and rude to the other candidates, which to me is not a positive attribute. He showed no cohesive plan that would make any difference to major issues such as pollution resulting from traffic. This is something that used to be a city issue, but the residue from traffic pollution on the main roads through the Chew Valley is a big issue in the countryside now. He seemed to have no real interest in the environment which is demonstrated by his manifesto. This is what he says about himself in the Evening Post:


Tim Bowles, Conservative - Age: 57

Occupation: Business development manager in the exhibitions and events industry and councillor

Message to voters: “I will continue to improve our economy to ensure we offer long-term and sustainable futures for everyone."

“I will use my business experience to help provide the skilled workforce our businesses need and use my professional expertise to promote our region within the UK and worldwide."

“I will adopt a better approach to development so homes are built in the right places, protecting our green spaces and prioritising urban regeneration."

“I’m determined to make real improvements to transport by improving our region’s rail system, providing new stations and increasing existing services."

“Our region covers a large area, we must ensure our rural economies are given the support they need and provide the broadband and other infrastructure they require to continue to succeed."

“We need a strong local voice to champion our region. I will be a Mayor who can work with today’s Government, our local MPs and Councils and who will get things done.” 


He did not mention the environment once, did not talk about pollution or any other huge environmental concerns for those living in this greater Metro Mayor area. I think his focus is on money, homes etc. Where he talks about protecting green spaces, there is no backbone to the comment, it is meaningless without it. When he was talking at the hustings I felt that he had nothing much to say about the environment and his was pretty poor. That is my view and I am sad that he won the election, as it means that important issues relating to the environment will not be tackled whilst he is in office in relation to transport, housing and skills.


These are the links to the videos for Avon Wildlife Trust that I made and am at 26 seconds in the 1st and at the start of the 2nd: http://bit.ly/2qgclVs and http://bit.ly/2qGvfG8.


About the Author

Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig in Antarctica
Photograph copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig


Mya-Rose Craig is a 14-year-old young British Bangladeshi birder, naturalist, conservationist, environmentalist, activist, 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 Penguins in Antarctica over Christmas 2015, her 7th continent.

Mya-Rose was a Bristol European Green Capital Ambassador along with Kevin McCloud, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Tony Juniper, Simon King, Miranda Krestovnikoff and Shaun the Sheep! See the full list of Bristol 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
She is an Ambassador for World Shorebirds Day, See It Her Way and a Charter Champion for The Charter for Woods, Trees and People. She organised a conference, Race Equality in Nature, in June 2016 aiming to increase the ethnic diversity in nature and plans to run her third Camp Avalon camp in 2017. She has also set up Black2Nature with the aim of working with organisations to increase the access to nature of Black Asian Minority Ethnic people. Please connect with her on LinkedIn (Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig) so that she can invite you to join the Race Equality in Nature LinkedIn Group and be part of the change. She has been awarded the Bath and West Show Environmental Youth Award 2017 for Bristol for her Black2Nature work EYA 2017Please also like her Birdgirl Facebook Page and follow her on Birdgirl Twitter.









Sunday, 16 April 2017

Interview with University of West of England first year journalism student Tamara Toothill

In March I did an interview for a University of West of England (UWE) first year journalism student, Tamara Toothill, for her end of year project. I always like to give time to students as I hope that when I need help someone will give a little of their time.

Tamara was lovely and this was the article she wrote about me, which she submitted last week.





About the Author

Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig in Antarctica
Photograph copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig


Mya-Rose Craig is a 14-year-old young British Bangladeshi birder, naturalist, conservationist, environmentalist, activist, 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 Penguins in Antarctica over Christmas 2015, her 7th continent.

Mya-Rose was a Bristol European Green Capital Ambassador along with Kevin McCloud, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Tony Juniper, Simon King, Miranda Krestovnikoff and Shaun the Sheep! See the full list of Bristol 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
She is an Ambassador for World Shorebirds Day, See It Her Way and a Charter Champion for The Charter for Woods, Trees and People. She organised a conference, Race Equality in Nature, in June 2016 aiming to increase the ethnic diversity in nature and plans to run her third Camp Avalon camp in 2017. She has also set up Black2Nature with the aim of working with organisations to increase the access to nature of Black Asian Minority Ethnic people. Please connect with her on LinkedIn (Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig) so that she can invite you to join the Race Equality in Nature LinkedIn Group and be part of the change. She has been awarded the Bath and West Show Environmental Youth Award 2017 for Bristol for her Black2Nature work EYA 2017Please also like her Birdgirl Facebook Page and follow her on Birdgirl Twitter.





Saturday, 8 April 2017

Speaking at a Tedx Conference on 25 March 2017

Sometimes things come along that you have to say yes to straight away.

I have done almost 40 talks about nature, birding, conservation and Black2Nature or different combinations.

When I was asked to be a speaker at a Ted Conference, it was different. These are talks that are up to 18 minutes long and are totally, wow inspirational.


The Tedx UWE conference I was speaking at on 25 March 2017 at The Arnolfini in Bristol was "The Power of Perseverance" with 7 other inspirational speakers. This is the link to the Eventbrite page for the conference. This was what they said about me


"SPEAKER ANNOUNCEMENT!



Mya-Rose Craig AKA Birdgirl is a 14 year old young Naturalist, Ornithologist and Young Birder, as well as Environmentalist, Conservationist, Activist and Writer. 


Birdgirl saw her 4,000th bird in Kenya 2015 and set a target of seeing her 5,400th bird (1/2 of the world's birds) by age 18.

She has been listed with the songwriter George Ezra and actress Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones as one of Bristol's most influential young people. 

Regardless of her age, she has been able to successfully follow her passions and dreams. How? Through patience and perseverance. 

Don't miss her on Saturday 25th March 2017 at Arnolfini contemporary art museum."


Young Birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig
Copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig



Young Birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig
Copyright 
Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig


My talk was called "Passion, Priorities, Perseverance".

I talked about my passion for birds and birding, how I had to find that passion myself and how it can not be imposed by others. I also talked about how that passion has led me to set goals for myself, at a young age, such as wanting to see a Harpy Eagle, wanting to see every hummingbird in the world, wanting to see 5,400 birds (half the world's birds) before I am 18 years old and wanting to visit all the continents of the world by the time I was 15 years old.

I talked about how in everything I do, I have to prioritise my goal if I am to make them happen. For example, I know the best places for me to go birding in the world for the next 3 summers before I turn 18 years old. Then I have to keep persevering to get to my end goal.

I will post my talk here very soon, as soon as the organisers have posted it on YouTube. When I do, have a watch and I hope you find it inspiring.

BTW, those were the first flowers I have ever been given, though I have been given a flowering plant before after a talk, but that is not quite the same.


Young Birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig
Copyright 
Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig


Young Birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig
Copyright 
Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

Young Birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig
Copyright 
Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

Young Birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig
Copyright 
Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

Young Birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig
Copyright 
Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

Young Birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig
Copyright 
Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

Young Birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig
Copyright 
Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

About the Author

Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig in Antarctica
Photograph copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig


Mya-Rose Craig is a 14-year-old young British Bangladeshi birder, naturalist, conservationist, environmentalist, activist, 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 Penguins in Antarctica over Christmas 2015, her 7th continent.

Mya-Rose was a Bristol European Green Capital Ambassador along with Kevin McCloud, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Tony Juniper, Simon King, Miranda Krestovnikoff and Shaun the Sheep! See the full list of Bristol 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. She is an Ambassador for World Shorebirds Day, See It Her Way and a Charter Champion for The Charter for Woods, Trees and People. She organised a conference, Race Equality in Nature, in June 2016 aiming to increase the ethnic diversity in nature. She has also set up Black2Nature with the aim of working with organisations to increase the access to nature of BAME people. Please connect with her on LinkedIn (Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig) so that she can invite you to join the Race Equality in Nature LinkedIn Group and be part of the change. Please like her Birdgirl Facebook Page and follow her on Birdgirl Twitter.













Sunday, 2 April 2017

Birding around my village in the Chew Valley and admiring trees

A few weeks ago I went on a village walk around where I live. It was arranged by the Parish Council, which my Dad, Chris Craig, is an elected member. It was the same day as the Tedx Talk that I did and was great because it took my mind off the talk. I always find that walks in nature are a good way of de-stressing.



Today I went on the same walk around our village with both my Mum and Dad. It was a different route to the ones we normally take and so lovely to do. When I did the walk before, it was with Dad leading the walk and was for families with young children but Mum didn't come as she had vertigo. What I had noticed about this was that there were quite a few really old trees along the way. These are some of the ones that we are lucky enough to still have in our village, which is in the Chew Valley, south of Bristol.  Dad had stopped and told us all how to work out how old trees are, which all the little kids really loved. He has been doing Forest School at the local primary school for almost 5 years, so all the children know and love him. Whenever they see him, they run over, shouting "Mr Craig, Mr Craig!" and then tell him about the birds or nature they have seen recently. It is so great to see. Although I hate to say it, he is a pretty cool Dad, although never have dreads or a ponytail again.

Mum was recovering from being unwell for a month so was a bit unfit and huffing and puffing, which was quite funny for Dad and me to watch, so she's on a fitness programme for Indonesia this summer! 

Trees are really important to our landscape, culture and heritage. I don't understand why local authorities do not prioritise protecting trees. We have ancient woodland and orchards in our village that Bath and North East Somerset Council are not interested in protecting even though we live in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). If you feel that trees should be protected, please sign the Tree Charter, which I am a Champion for.

The best birds of the walk were 4 Linnet which is scarce here, as well as these amazing trees. A nap is always good.


Young Birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig admiring trees in the Chew Valley
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig

Young Birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig admiring trees in the Chew Valley
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig

Young Birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig admiring trees in the Chew Valley
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig

Young Birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig admiring trees in the Chew Valley
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig

Young Birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig enjoying a stream in the Chew Valley
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig

Young Birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig admiring a tree and derelict building in the Chew Valley
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig

Young Birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig admiring a tree and derelict building in the Chew Valley
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig


Young Birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig admiring the peace in the Chew Valley
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig

Young Birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig admiring the peace in the Chew Valley
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig





About the Author

Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig in Antarctica
Photograph copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig


Mya-Rose Craig is a 14-year-old young British Bangladeshi birder, naturalist, conservationist, environmentalist, activist, 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 Penguins in Antarctica over Christmas 2015, her 7th continent.

Mya-Rose was a Bristol European Green Capital Ambassador along with Kevin McCloud, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Tony Juniper, Simon King, Miranda Krestovnikoff and Shaun the Sheep! See the full list of Bristol 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. She is an Ambassador for World Shorebirds Day, See It Her Way and a Charter Champion for The Charter for Woods, Trees and People. She organised a conference, Race Equality in Nature, in June 2016 aiming to increase the ethnic diversity in nature. She has also set up Black2Nature with the aim of working with organisations to increase the access to nature of BAME people. Please connect with her on LinkedIn (Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig) so that she can invite you to join the Race Equality in Nature LinkedIn Group and be part of the change. Please like her Birdgirl Facebook Page and follow her on Birdgirl Twitter.














Saturday, 1 April 2017

Ringing another Marsh Tit in my Garden on 30 March 2017

On Thursday evening, I did some ringing in the garden. My Dad, Chris Craig, and I had seen a Marsh Tit flying in and out of the garden, coming to our feeders and hoped that we might be able to have a look at it. I really love ringing in my garden as I feel quite possessive over "my" birds. I enjoy ringing with my Dad on a one-to-one basis away from the noise of the ringing station and he is a really good teacher. My trainer is Mike Bailey, who has been involved with the Chew Valley Ringing Station for years and is really patient, knowledgeable and a brilliant trainer. Although I always feel more confident at home, which I hate to admit is a bit of a teenage girl thing.


Ringing a Marsh Tit in my Garden was amazing, as it is a really scarce bird. It was also fantastic to ring a Willow Warbler at Chew Valley Ringing Station this morning which is the first one ringed there this spring.


Marsh Tit ringed by Young Birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig

Marsh Tit ringed by Young Birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig


Marsh Tit ringed by Young Birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig
Photograph copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig


Willow Warbler ringed by Young Birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig


Willow Warbler ringed by Young Birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig




About the Author

Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig in Antarctica
Photograph copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig


Mya-Rose Craig is a 14-year-old young British Bangladeshi birder, naturalist, conservationist, environmentalist, activist, 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 Penguins in Antarctica over Christmas 2015, her 7th continent.

Mya-Rose was a Bristol European Green Capital Ambassador along with Kevin McCloud, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Tony Juniper, Simon King, Miranda Krestovnikoff and Shaun the Sheep! See the full list of Bristol 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. She is an Ambassador for World Shorebirds Day, See It Her Way and a Charter Champion for The Charter for Woods, Trees and People. She organised a conference, Race Equality in Nature, in June 2016 aiming to increase the ethnic diversity in nature. She has also set up Black2Nature with the aim of working with organisations to increase the access to nature of BAME people. Please connect with her on LinkedIn (Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig) so that she can invite you to join the Race Equality in Nature LinkedIn Group and be part of the change. Please like her Birdgirl Facebook Page and follow her on Birdgirl Twitter.