Monday, 17 August 2020

Guest Blog by The Wildlife Trusts & Jordon's Cereals - Leave it Wild

Brits are urged to ‘leave it wild’ for International Biodiversity Day - Friday 22 May 2020.

Gardeners are told to put their feet up this bank holiday weekend to help wildlife.

· Over one third of Brits (37%) feel pressure to have the perfect garden during the lockdown.

· Which rises to nearly half (46%) of Gen Z gardeners. 

· Over half of Brits (53%) would like to learn about how to increase wildlife in their garden. 

We may feel closer to nature during lockdown but too much time spent finessing our gardens could be doing more harm than good. A new survey* commissioned by Jordans Cereals has found that half (49%) of us are gardening more during the lockdown and we are fencing, mowing, preening and trimming our way to ‘perfection’ with the nature in our gardens paying the price. 

Over a third (33%) of people admit to being garden perfectionists during the lockdown. 49% per cent are weeding more than ever, with 30% spending extra time mowing the lawn and 21% have trimmed hedges and bushes back – all of which are important homes for wildlife in our gardens.

To mark International Biodiversity Day and to highlight this important issue, Jordans Cereals and The Wildlife Trusts have launched a ‘Leave it Wild’ campaign, calling on people to embrace nature and protect wildlife by leaving a wild patch in their garden or growing pollinator-friendly flowers on their balcony/window ledge.

Jordans' farmers work in partnership with the Wildlife Trusts across the country to nurture wildlife and leave at least 10% of their land wild to boost biodiversity. Rather than reaching for the lawnmower or hedge trimmers, Brits are being encouraged to follow in the Jordans farmers’ footsteps this bank holiday weekend, leave it wild and engage in a spot of un-gardening as wildlife may have already made a home in the places people are clearing up.

Top five lockdown gardening jobs:

1. Weeding (49%) 

2. Mowing the lawn (30%)

3. Planting fruit and veg (27%

4. Clearing out the shed (25%)

5. Pruning hedges (21%)

The UK’s renewed obsession with manicured lawns and perfectly coiffed topiary comes at a time when biodiversity in the UK is at risk – with a staggering one in seven native species facing extinction and more than half (56%) in decline. As a result, the UK is now one of the most nature depleted countries in the world

But the nation is ready to help. Almost two thirds, 65% of Brits would support wildlife if they thought they could make a difference and over half (53%) of people surveyed would like to know more about how to increase wildlife in their garden.

Mia Hartwell, Sustainability manager at Jordans Cereals, said: “Over-gardening can actually do more harm than good, so Jordans and The Wildlife Trusts are encouraging people to #LeaveitWild and follow the lead of Jordans' farmers, who commit 10% or more of their land for wildlife. 

“Biodiversity supports all life on earth so we must do everything we can to protect it. Let’s take the pressure off ourselves to be perfect and celebrate natural beauty, not preened perfection!”

Dr Craig Bennett, CEO of The Wildlife Trusts, added: “The UK is one of the most nature-depleted places in the world and yet we know how important it is, as so many people during lockdown are seeking comfort in nature, connecting to wild places and wildlife close to home. That’s why we’re keen to support Jordans’ #LeaveItWild; by leaving a corner of your garden a bit messy, not mowing the lawn or growing wildflowers in window box you can really help to provide food, shelter and stopping places for butterflies, bird and bees where you live – and by acting together we can start to bring wildlife back.”

“It’s also the perfect fit with our own nature challenge, 30 Days Wild, which kicks off on the June 1st and encourages everyone to do something wild every day of the month. Creating space for wildlife, or simply letting it create itself, is the perfect random act of wildness!”

Top 6 #LeaveItWild tips 

1. Only cut the grass once a month with a ‘Mohican’ cut style trim to help bees, pollinators and butterflies. 

2. Forget five-star hotels, build your bugs a hostel from old loo rolls, sticks and dry leaves. 

3. Leave pollinator-friendly plants such as dandelions, nettles, daisies and buttercups to grow. 

4. Cut a hole in your fence for hedgehogs and other small animals to get through. 

5. Plant wildflowers or throw a bee bomb into your garden patch. 

6. Get rid of any artificial grass, which creates a desert for wildlife. 

People can get involved in the campaign by sharing their own #LeaveItWild patch to be in with a chance of winning a year’s supply of Jordans Cereals. 

Case study: Jordans Cereals farmer Stephen Honeywood 

Jordans cereal farmer Stephen Honeywood has dedicated 12% of his farm for wildlife and created wildlife-friendly habitats to attract rare species such as lapwings, brown hares, silver wash fritillary butterflies and barn owls.

“We’ve been farming here for over 100 years and are focused on protecting the environment for future generations. By creating diverse habitats and planting special crops, we have ensured that we can provide valuable food for birds in winter and early spring. Ten years ago, we rarely saw a barn owl and now we now have over 70 species of birds! You can have a big impact by gardening with wildlife in mind, so I urge people at home to join the #LeaveItWild campaign.”


* The survey of 2,000 British adults was conducted by 3Gem between 8 – 10 May 2020 and balanced demographically by age, region and gender.

For more information, product samples and high-res images, please contact: 

Jenny Briggs 07542 566437

Maria Bowler 07714358978

About Jordans Cereals

Jordans Cereals is part of The Jordans, Dorset & Ryvita Company, whose parent company is Associated British Foods. Founded in 1972, Jordans Cereals make over 25 million packets of breakfast cereal a year and employ over 300 people in their hometown of Biggleswade in Bedfordshire.

When it comes to provenance and sustainability, Jordans Cereals is committed to supporting British farming and continuously exploring new and safe ways to source ingredients, whilst taking the right measures to protect wildlife and biodiversity. 

Jordans has been committed to protecting British wildlife for over 30 years. Since 2016, Jordans has worked with The Wildlife Trust, and their British farmers help look after their land for wildlife, helping threatened species survive and providing their year-round habitats for creatures to thrive. 

Jordans Cereals works with 34 arable farms across the UK, pioneering a new model for sustainable farming, ensuring that at least 10% of farmers’ land is enhanced for biodiversity, in collaboration with The Wildlife Trusts, LEAF and The Prince’s Countryside Fund – this is known as the Jordans Farm Partnership.

About the Author

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

17-year-old young British Bangladeshi Dr Mya-Rose Craig AKA Birdgirl from the Chew Valley near Bristol is a prominent birder, naturalist, conservationist, environmentalist, race activist, writer, speaker and broadcaster, writing the Birdgirl Blog since January 2014 when she was 11 years old, which is extremely popular with both adults and children and now has over 4 million views. She has travelled all her life, visiting all seven continents when she was 13 years old, giving her a global perspective on conservation and the needs of indigenous peoples.  She writes posts about birding, nature, stopping climate breakdown, conservation and stopping species loss,  other environmental issues and racism from around the world. 

Expertise in birds and nature

She has been birding all her life with her parents and sister as well as birding abroad. She is passionate about birds, obtained her BTO Bird ringing licence at the youngest possible age of 16, takes part in the BTO Nest Record Scheme and became the youngest person to see half the worlds’ birds when she was 17 in Brazil in August 2019. 

Climate Activist

Mya-Rose has been highlighting the urgent need to tackle climate change since she was 8 years old, raising the issue with pupils, teachers in school and local people. She continued with her campaigning from January 2014, blogging about climate change and quickly building a huge following and reaching 1 million views. In 2015, she was recognised for her climate campaigning work by being made a Bristol 2015 European Green Capital Ambassador along with Miranda Krestovnikoff, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Tony Juniper, Kevin McCloud and Simon King and spoke at the Bristol Climate Change Rally Nov 2015 in front of 3,000 people. She continued writing, speaking and campaigning about the need for governments and big businesses to take urgent action to stop a climate catastrophe, particularly within the context of Bangladesh being at the top of the list of countries that will be most affected, the need for Global Climate Justice and a fair transition. In 2019, she camped and protested at Extinction Rebellion uprisings in London and Bristol, appeared in the video that launched the successful Stop Bristol Airport Expansion Campaign, set up XR Chew Valley, is a Bristol Youth Strike organiser, speaking three times at the Bristol Youth Strikes in March, May and July 2019 and sits on the Bristol Mayor’s One City Environmental Sustainability Board. In February 2020, she shared a stage with Greta Thunberg in Bristol, speaking in front of a crowd of 40,000 youth strikers. Mya-Rose also campaigns and gives talks arguing for global climate justice and a fair and just transition.

Conservation work

As well as educating people about the benefits of nature Mya-Rose has also campaigned to protect species from extinction and fight against environmental damage since she was 8 years old, then in January 2014  starting to blog about conservation issues such as palm oil, GMO, pesticides and other issues, for instance, campaigning for the immediate clean up of a devastating oil spill in the  Unesco World Heritage site, the Sundarbans mangroves in Bangladesh, writing in the American Birding Association Blog and raising $35,000 for the cleanup in 3 days. She has travelled all her life, visiting all seven continents when she was 13 years old, giving her a global perspective on conservation and the needs of indigenous peoples. 


In 2014 Mya-Rose was listed with singer-songwriter George Ezra and Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams as one of Bristol's most influential young people. She was nominated in the Birdwatch Magazine Birder's Choice Awards 2015 in the Blogger of the Year category and she was the runner up after Mark Avery and was nominated in the Bristol Young Heroes Awards 2016. In 2017 she won the Royal Bath and West Show Environmental Youth Award, she was the Minister of Diversity in Nature and Conservation in Chris Packham's A Peoples Manifesto for Wildlife. In 2019, she was listed in Bristol's BME Top 100 Powerlist, The Guardian’s 10 everyday heroes fighting to save the planetwas nominated in the Birdwatch Magazine Birder's Choice Awards 2019  Conservation Hero of the Year with Sir David Attenborough, Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot. coming joint second after Greta Thunberg, was included in the Bristol Powerlist 2020, a list of the City’s 50 most powerful and influential people and The Guardian’s Top 15 World's Biodiversity Activists

Honorary Doctorate

In February 2020 Mya-Rose became the youngest person to be awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science D.Sc. h.c from Bristol University, one of the top universities in the UK and is receiving it for her five years of campaigning for diversity in the environmental sector. The sixth-former, yet to finish her A-Levels, is being recognised for her activism and the much-needed pioneering change through Black2Nature including nature camps and her Race Equality in Nature Conferences.

Connecting with children

Mya-Rose has huge experience engaging children and teenagers of all ages, ethnicity and socio-economic backgrounds with nature and environmental issues, having engaged approximately 50,000 so far.  As President of her organisation Black2Nature she has led the fight for equal access to the natural environment for Visible Minority Ethnic people, organising nine nature camps, Camp Avalon, for VME children and teenagers and two high profile conferences, Race Equality in Nature and is organising more for 2020She 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 and has continued putting pressure on nature, conservation, environmental, environmental education and wildlife film-making sectors to change. In 2020, she has two teenage camps being arranged in conjunction with the RSPB and hopes that these will expand over the next 3 years.

Race Activist

Her first conference was in 2016, which aimed 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. Speakers included Bill Oddie, Kerry McCarthy MP, Stephen Moss and Dr Richard Benwell. 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, Green Party Councillor Cleo Lake, RSPB CEO Beccy Speight and Survival International CEO Stephen Corry.

She has also set up Black2Nature in 2016 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. 

Articles, interviews and books

She has written articles for and appeared in many newspapers including BBC News OnlineThe Times, The GuardianThe Sunday ObserverThe Sunday TelegraphThe IndependentDaily MailThe MetroNew StatesmanBig IssueNew InternationalistResurgence & Ecologist MagazineFriends of the Earth Magazine and Triodos Bank Magazine. She has been published in The Willowherb ReviewNew Networks for NatureChartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management and Red Sixty Seven. She is writing a children’s book and an autobiography about growing up with a passion for birds and her journey to seeing half the world’s birds.


She has given over 50 talks including her first hour and a half entertaining look at growing up birding, Born to Bird, in 2014, speaking at Tedx in 2016, being on a Panel with George Monbiot & Caroline Lucas MP in 2017, appearing at the Hay Festival 2018 Main Stage, speaking to 500 pupils at Millfield School, speaking at Chris Packham’s 2018 Peoples Walk for Wildlife in front of 10,000 people in Hyde Park and at English Nature’s 2019 Staff Conference to 1,500 conservationists.

Television and Radio

She has appeared on TV and Radio including BBC SpringwatchBBC CountryfileBBC The One Show, Inside Out, BBC Radio Four Tweet of the DayITV West Film Feature plus a second and thirdBBC Radio Four Saturday Live as well News such as Channel Four News, ITV News, Channel 5 News, The Today Programme appearing in BBC Four Twitchers: A Very British Obsession age 7 and featured in the 2017 BFI/BBC Four Silent Roars, presenting a German-French Arte/ARD documentary Missing - Where have all the birds gone? investigating the decline of grassland and farmland bird species, a 2020 short film by Josh Duryshort videos for EarthWatch Institute Wild Days Programme and BBC2 Front Row Late.


Mya-Rose also campaigns to stop biodiversity loss and species extinction and the rights of indigenous peoples. She is involved with Youth for our Planet UK, is a Voluntary Sector Leader Representative on Bristol City Council Strategic Boards, on the Catalyse Change Advisory Board and has attended many meetings at Downing Street and Parliament. She is a Patron for The Bristol Global Goals Centre, Global Ambassador for Burns Price FoundationEarthwatch EuropeSurvival InternationalWorld Shorebird Day and Leica Optics as well as being a Charter Champion for The Charter for Trees, Woods and People.

Mya-Rose above all has a passion and love of birds and wildlife driving her in everything. Her favourite birds are Harpy Eagle seen in Brazil and Southern Cassowary in Queensland, Australia. Other animal favourites are Orangutang in Borneo, Mountain Gorillas in Uganda, Emperor Penguin in Antarctica and Komodo Dragon in Indonesia.

Social Media

Please like her Birdgirl Facebook Page, follow her on Birdgirl TwitterBirdgirl Instagram and Birdgirl LinkedIn. If you would like to contact Mya-Rose about her work, please e-mail