Bristol

BirdGirlUK creates nature camps for BAME children

Children camping in a field Image copyright Helena Craig
Image caption The project Black2Nature aims to increase BAME communities access to nature

A 17-year-old girl has created weekend camps for BAME primary school children to give them better access to nature.

Mya-Rose Craig, known as BirdGirlUK on Twitter, helps take children, some who have never been camping, to the Chew Valley.

Bangladeshi, Somali and Sudanese children experienced their first "Chew Camp" in Compton Martin last month.

Mya-Rose, from Bristol, said: "People aren't going to fight to save something that they don't know or care about."

British Bangladeshi Mya-Rose set up Black2Nature - a not for profit project which runs at weekends - with her mother Helena Craig.

Image copyright Helena Craig
Image caption Mya-Rose Craig has thousands of followers on Twitter, under the profile BirdGirlUK

Black2Nature aims to increase BAME communities access to nature and Mya-Rose said their involvement was "essential for saving our planet in the future".

The 15 children from the Southmead, Barton Hill and Eastville areas of Bristol camped out, found out how birds are tagged for identification and visited The Community Farm in Chew Magna to learn how food is grown.

'First-time experience'

Shahnaz Chowdhury, from Eastville, whose nine-year-old daughter Zahra went to the camp, said: "It was a first-time experience for the children and me."

Mya-Rose started camps for teenagers in 2015 but wanted to engage younger children in nature too.

She said: "Many of them have never seen a cow, sheep or horse before and they are very excited. The families can't always find the resources to take them to these places."

Ecologist Pete Burston, who works at Chew Valley Ringing Station, called it "an amazing experience" for children with "no experience of nature".

Another camp is planned for the 19 to 21 July.

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