A few thoughts...

Having been birding now for 5 years, with almost every weekend including some sort of time immersed in nature, I thought I would write a few of my thoughts.

The first one is about birding or just generally having an interest in the natural world. Usually when I go out to a nature reserve for example, I am not the only birder. But I can guarantee you I will be the only young birder who is a girl there. Occasionally I may see another boy, who has an obvious interest in birds but other than that it is either men or older people, now why is that?

Is it the fact that most teenagers are stuck indoors in front of a screen? Or is it that they genuinely don't know how interesting and thrilling the natural world can be? Or could it be that they don't have access to the countryside because they live in a city? Well for me it is a combination of issues. One of them is the stereotype of birding or having an interest in nature, I don't tend to tell new friends about my hobby because they might think its 'weird' because it is a genuinely unusual hobby to have.

Furthermore the majority of young people who are actually into the natural world or birding are boys. Now I understand some girls, such as many of my friends, have absolutely no interest in picking up a pair of binoculars and heading outdoors, but there must be more young girls like me who do. Thanks to social media I do now know a few, but we are still a minority which needs to change.




Over the last couple of years I have seen more and more young people who are passionate about the natural world join social media sites such as twitter, which is absolutely great. Personally I have met many inspiring people through it and the way you can share ideas, photos, blogs and connect with other young, like-minded people is brilliant. But I think, along with a few other young people, that wildlife charities such as the RSPB and The Wildlife Trusts, should take advantage of this. Why don't they have young ambassadors which in turn could help inspire the next generation, using social media and the internet, to care for the environment and our wildlife? Social media has the power to reach millions, so why don't we use it to inspire many? 

Big thanks to fellow young naturalist Dara for the idea about young ambassadors! Make sure to check out his brilliant blog here: http://www.youngfermanaghnaturalist.wordpress.com/ and his Twitter is @naturalistdara





Comments

  1. Why so few female birders? Good question; I don’t know the answer. But I do know that in the USA, the majority of birders are women. Why? I’ve no idea.

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  2. Hi! I too am a teenager passionate about wildlife, 15, so I'm about your age I think? You raise some good points here. It's such a shame more teenagers aren't interested in wildlife, because I think we are all born fascinated with the natural world - but unfortunately most people grow out of it. If only an interest in nature was nurtured and encouraged from that young age, the world would probably not only be a better place, but we would have a lot more children and teenagers interested in the natural world.

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    Replies
    1. Yes I’m 15 too, glad to hear that you are so interested in Wildlife like me! Definitely agree we need to encourage more people from a young age as well.

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