Yesterday I interviewed a remarkable and very impressive young conservationist/campaigner – Mya-Rose Craig aka Birdgirl.
The daughter of a twitching father and incredibly supportive mother, at just sixteen Mya-Rose has a global bird list in excess of 5000 (she’s the youngest person to ever see 5000, which means she’s been birding overseas a LOT: she has a trip to Brazil in the summer lined up as well which could add another 300 new species), but – and in fact what is more interesting to me – she is perhaps as well known as a courageous spokesperson on issues like racism and helping Visible Minority Ethnic (VME) people into nature (for which she receives some absolutely disgraceful abuse on social media)..
We spoke the day after a rather weary Mya-Rose and her mother Helena had camped out at the Extinction Rebellion protest in London, an event that I assumed might have changed her life. How so? For example I’d read in numerous interviews (with an even younger Birdgirl of course) that Mya-Rose’s ambition had always been to see more than 5400 bird species (half of all the species recognised at the moment), but was that still the case? And how do young people who are so aware of the environment, biodiversity loss, and rising sea levels cope with catastrophe hanging over their immediate future?
We spoke for about an hour. I haven’t started editing our conversation yet so it’ll be a little while until the interview is ready, but I’m pretty sure it’ll be worth listening in to find out the answers…