Sunday, 29 December 2019

The Observer Article about the need for diversity in nature writing By Stephen Moss

Last month, broadcaster and author Stephen Moss interviewed me about the lack of diversity in nature writing. I also referred him to Zakiya Mackenzie a brilliant VME nature writer.

This the piece that went into The Observer/The Guardian as an online article.

It is really important that VME people are given the opportunity to write authentically and honestly, allowing them to have a true voice.

About the Author

Young environmentalist and birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig 
Copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

Mya-Rose Craig is a 17-year-old young British Bangladeshi birder, naturalist, conservationist, environmentalist, race activist, writer and speaker. She is based near Bristol and writes posts about birding, nature conservation,  environmental issues and racism from around the world. 

Mya-Rose has been organising nature camps for teenagers since 2015, Camp Avalon, and nature camps for children, Camp Chew, since 2017. She has organised nine camps since then and is organising more for 2020. She also wrote to five of the biggest NGO's in 2015, after her first camp, asking them what steps they were taking to make their organisations ethnically diverse. 

Her first camp led to her organise a conference in 2016, Race Equality in Nature, aiming to increase the ethnic diversity in nature by looking at the barriers to Visual Minority Ethnic (VME) people going out into nature, what can be done to overcome these barriers and how we can create VME role models. She had speakers Bill Oddie and Kerry McCarthy MP. She also organised a second conference, Race Equality in Nature: The Next Generation 13-30 in October 2019 with Speakers Chris Packham, Bristol Deputy Mayor, Councillor Asher Craig, and RSPB CEO Beccy Speight.

She has also set up Black2Nature with the aim of working with organisations to increase the access to nature of VME people and is President. 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 was a Bristol European Green Capital Ambassador along with Kevin McCloud, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Tony Juniper, Simon King and Miranda Krestovnikoff. 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 has been involved in the UK organisation of the Youth Strikes encouraging young people from around the world to not go to school once a month and protest instead demanding immediate action to prevent climate breakdown.   She is involved with Extinction Rebellion, setting up a local group. This is an interview in New Statesman. She has written articles for Resurgence & Ecologist Magazine, New Internationalist, The Big Issue and was listed as a local hero in The Guardian.

She has given over 50 talks, speaking at conferences such as being on a panel with George Monbiot and Caroline Lucas on Sustainability and the Future of Cities. She is a Minister in Chris Packham's Manifesto for Nature in 2018 and spoke in front of 10,000 people at the Walk for Nature. She has also appeared on TV and radio and is particularly proud of being in Silent Roars, a short film which was part of Listen to Britain 2017 She has also appeared on Channel 4 News, local BBC News and BBC2's Hugh's Wild West.

She has been awarded the Bath and West Show Environmental Youth Award 2017 for Bristol for her Black2Nature work EYA 2017. She was also listed as one of Bristol's BME top 100 powerlist and was nominated in the Birders' Choice Awards 2019 as Conservation Hero of the Year with Sir David Attenborough, Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot.

She loved seeing Mountain Gorillas in East Africa and Penguins in Antarctica over Christmas 2015, her 7th continent. She became the youngest person to see half the birds of the world, 5369 birds in Brazil in August  2019 age 17. Please also like her Birdgirl Facebook Page and follow her on Birdgirl Twitter. If you would like to contact Mya-Rose about her work, please e-mail

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Thank you for posting a comment. Please can you make sure that it is positive and is about me or my blog and not about promoting you or your business. Thanks. Mya-Rose Craig