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Green Actions

Black2Nature

How Mya-Rose Craig, AKA Birdgirl, is helping inner city children connect with nature.

Mya-Rose Craig next to a teenager holding a wild bird.

Black2Nature was set up in 2016 by its now 17-year-old president, Mya-Rose Craig AKA Birdgirl, following her conference looking at how we can get more Visible Minority Ethnic (VME) people engaged with nature.

As a young British Bangladeshi birder she was acutely aware that there was nobody like her out in the countryside, so organised a nature camp for teenagers, Camp Avalon 2015, when she was 13 years old.

Since then, Mya-Rose has organised eight more weekend nature camps for VME children and teenagers from inner-city Bristol. We try to have children and young people from all ethnicities and backgrounds attending, to promote community cohesion.

Camp Chew is a one night camp for children age 8-11 years and takes place around Chew Valley Lake just south of Bristol. Many of those attending will have never seen a cow or a sheep, have never stroked a dog and are frightened of anything that moves. Camp Avalon is a two night camp for teenagers age 12-19 which takes place near Glastonbury.

Children seated at the campsite eating dinner dressed in their pyjamas and giving a thumbs up.

The camps provide a wide range of activities, as we know from experience that everyone engages with nature in their own way. Activities include camp cooking, toasting marshmallows, birding, mothing, bat walk, night birding, wildlife sketching and photography, bird ringing, pond dipping, bio blitzing, talks, discussions about the environment, and topics like the impacts of climate change.

Our camps are vegetarian and we promote a zero-waste mentality, incorporating issues such as plastics. The only exception is that we provide takeaway fish and chips for lunch to the children. Most have never had their own portion, normally having to share with siblings or cousins.

We hope that by making these basic connections with nature it will become relevant to them and they’ll feel inspired and supported.

 

Find out more about the camps on Mya's Blog and if you're interested in volunteering please email Mya-Rose on [email protected].

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