Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Birdgirl's 30 Days Wild - for diverse communities

These are a few of my photographs from my 30 Days Wild last year.

30 Days Wild 2015 - Enjoying the plants in my garden but could be a park

30 Days Wild 2015 - Enjoying local woods but could be in a park

30 Days Wild 2015 - Enjoying the pond-life in my garden but could be a park

30 Days Wild 2015 - Smelling the flowers in my garden but could be in a park

30 Days Wild 2015 - Noticing a bumblebee in my garden but could be in a park

30 Days Wild 2015 - Enjoying a nature reserve but could be a place in the city

Today is the first day of 30 Days Wild 2016, an initiative of The Wildlife Trusts who state "This June, can you do something wild everyday for a month?"

What they are saying is that nature is everywhere, so by looking for it through your normal day, you should start to notice it and enjoy it.

This month is 30 Days Wild 2016, an initiative of The Wildlife Trusts who say "This June, can you do something wild each day for a month?" 

They say that they don't want you to give anything up for June, just give yourself time in the wild with your family, to reconnect with nature. 26,000 people have already signed up, but it would be great if you signed up to taking part at

This Friday, 3rd June 2016, is also the date of my conference, Race Equality in Nature. This is about getting Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) people out into nature  

The idea for the conference came after I organised a nature camp last year, Camp Avalon, when five BAME teenagers came along.  The all found it hard to engage with nature in the ways that others did and we had to find a way that made a connection.  Chris Griffin who was leading a birding walk talked to the boys about Peregrine Falcons and how when they dropped to catch their prey, they travelled faster than a Formula 1 car, then comparing both speeds.  The boys were mesmerised - by nature.

I could see that everyone could feel connected to nature, however unlikely by their appearance and background.

So why are there so few BAME people out in nature?  Our reserves, whether they are in the countryside or in the city, have few BAME people visiting.  A recent Government Report shows that BAME children are far less likely to be taken to a even park or playground. There seem to be a huge number of factors effecting BAME people and their ability to go outdoors in the UK (even compared to home countries where maybe people are working outdoors). We hope that the conference will highlight some of these and what can be done to help.

So, for my 30 Days Wild, I have decided to connect with nature each day in a different way, that could feel relevant to BAME communities and practical if you live in an inner city area. Things that they can identify with and so might find it easier to try.  I have been asking for suggestions from a range of communities, so that I can hopefully be inclusive.  It would be brilliant to hear from you with your ideas.

Some of my ideas are: 
  • Visiting an open space in a large family group, play rounders and make lots of noise
  • Sit in a park or garden for 10 minutes practicing mindfulness/meditation/using prayer beads
  • For Muslims taking part in Ramadan throughout June, break your fast in a group in a garden or open greenspace (check where's open in the evening), followed by doing your prayers outside
  • Reading your religious book outside (use a bench as a prop if you need one)

Student Islamic Society on a trip out

A child with autism

Ideas on The Wildlife Trust website include "feel nature through the soles of your feet".  That sounds pretty universal and so I thought I'd start with that, though of course most BAME people in the inner city might have to go to a park to feel grass in their toes.

Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig - 30 days wild day 1

Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig - 30 days wild day 1

About the Writer

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

Mya-Rose Craig is a 14 year old young British Bangladesh 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. Please like her Birdgirl Facebook Page and follow her on Birdgirl Twitter

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