It's International Youth Day! To celebrate the fantastic young naturalists in the UK and further afield, we'll be sharing their Twitter profiles today in this thread. Give them a follow, and be inspired by their enthusiasm, passion, and knowledge.
BTO is committed to creating a community of young birders and naturalists. To this end, we set up our Youth Advisory Panel, with 10 young people helping us develop a youth engagement strategy. They wrote a blog for #YouthDay, read more here: http://www.bto.org/blog
Youth Advisory Panellist, @emwright_7 says: "Youth engagement is vital to safeguard the future of conservation and allows skills to be passed down through the generations. For me, the panel provides a platform through which we can start to catalyze a positive change."
Our first young naturalist is @_alexpschapman_ from Dorset. He's always had a huge love for nature, which developed into a passion for a sustainable and diverse future for wildlife. Birding remains a passion, although conservation and symbiosis in nature is now his main interest.
Assistant Warden at @bardseyobs, @georgedunbar_ has had a passion for wildlife and conservation for as long as he can remember and has always wanted to work his way into the conservation field. You can read about his life as an Assistant Warden at https://bbfo.blogspot.com/
BTO Youth Advisory Panellist @stonechat_42 says: "Everybody should have an equal opportunity to engage with the natural world. Experiencing nature at a young age has the potential to spark a life-long interest, inspiring the next generation of conservationists."
Over at @spurnbirdobs, @lukenashnature is working as a resident volunteer warden, but he's normally found in Norfolk. He's an 18yo birder, moth-er and photographer. love using nature as an escape from everyday life. Read more about Luke at https://lukenashnature.wordpress.com/
In the Scottish Highlands, 13yo @OscarPuls has been interested in wildlife and especially birds all his life. He enjoys taking part in @BBS_birds and @WeBS_UK and is developing a wildlife garden which has attracted water shrews, common frogs and toads, palmate newts and more!
. @BethClyne has a compelling passion for wildlife and nature, specifically marine animals and birdwatching. She loves photography and beach cleans to help towards a cleaner environment. Nature has the power to inspire and relax me all while being open to the element of surprise!
At 18, @CeriArcher is an aspiring conservationist hoping to educate on the vital need for conservation. Nature offers her sanctuary, and the resilience and beauty in every aspect from bees to beavers and red kites, fascinates her. She hopes to share the joy with others.
17yo @JohnstonWilum is studying countryside management and he loves nature. He likes nature because it gives him a sense of freedom and time to think. He also enjoys recording birds, butterflies and finding bugs. Read more about Wilum at https://wilumswildlifeblog.home.blog/
24yo @_JamieEverett is a council member of the Suffolk Bird Group and he believes immersing yourself in nature is fantastic for mental health. Jamie is a passionate birder and began as a volunteer guide and reserve assistant at RSPB Minsmere. He studies Ecology at @UniofSuffolk.
For @WillowWarbler05 it's the simple moments in nature: seeing her first Brimstone butterfly of the year or a kestrel hovering perfectly in the air, that make nature so special. Alice is a birder, bird ringer, moth trapper and passionate environmentalist.
. @BenJacklin97 is currently a trainee reserve officer at Rutland Water Nature Reserve. As well as bird watching he really enjoys moth trapping in gardens and nature reserves. He loves spending time in nature and hopes to pursue a career in nature conservation.
. @Kaulofthewilduk is a young conservationist, wildlife writer and passionate advocate for London’s biodiversity, bringing focus and awareness to the capital’s green and blue spaces through blogging, writing, public speaking and social media. See his work: http://kaulofthewild.com
BTO's Social Media Manager, @FayeVogely, works directly with the Youth Advisory Panel. She says: "Working with young people has inspired me to work harder and be better – they deserve it. Gen Z has shown their dedication to the environment, so now it's up to us to match that."
20yo @Lotty_ONeill is a Marine and Natural History Photography student as well as an artist and writer. From a young age she always tried to learn as much as possible about the wildlife around her. See her work and learn more at https://charlotteoneill.org/ .
19yo @maura_gbz is part of BTO's YAP, and she says: "Working on YAP has shown me how important and relevant the work of the BTO is to our generation. Getting more young people involved and inspired by birds will make sure that this work has a lasting impact."
Volunteering at @Natures_Voice sparked @MagnusC16 's passion for nature. One of his favourite species is the Bullfinch. He thinks that in our day to day lives we sometimes forget the importance of nature, and he hopes that post-COVID-19 people will keep their interest for nature.
Emily at http://oh-deer.co.uk says: “By day I work in freshwater conservation; by night, I love photographing or writing about the natural world. Nature is my sanctuary: I’ve never had a day which wasn't improved by a walk in the woods or a run by the river.”
As a keen bird watcher and lepidopterist, @MisterJamesP8 enjoys finding and photographing interesting species and he's passionate about all aspects of wildlife. He hopes to be able to inspire others to engage with wildlife and to appreciate the diverse natural world around us.
20yo @HerrBackfisch is studying Wildlife, Ecology and Conservation Science. He's had the opportunity to travel and he completed his Field Guide Certificate for Southern African countries. He looks forward to starting work in conservation soon.
BTO Regional Rep, @ladylutra, is an Animal Behaviour graduate based in Aberystwyth. After inheriting two @BBS_birds squares she became pretty obsessed with monitoring birds and in 2019 she became the Regional Rep for Cardiganshire.
From Colwyn Bay, @ZSpaull says: "I’ve been birding pretty much all of my life and hope to work in this industry in the future as I enjoy it so much. My favourite type of birding is sea watching and although requires a bit of patience it’s worth it when you see a good bird!"
. @MisterThomasP enjoyed watching and photographing all aspects of wildlife since he was very young. He's particularly interested in mammals and always enjoys using his bat detector and camera trap to find mammals at every opportunity.
. @Alexbirder1 is a 16yo birder from NW London, passionate about wildlife and conservation, birding a local patch and volunteering at a local nature reserve to help wildlife. Living in London, he has become interested in urban birding. Read his blog: https://greenshankbirding.blogspot.com/
Zoology graduate @juliet_maxted has a passion for wildlife. She wants to use what she's learned to make the natural world fun, exciting and accessible for everyone! Find out how at https://sparksofnature.wordpress.com/
The thing @Joeparham19 enjoys most about nature is developing an understanding of the scale of it. For example, take bird migration, and how in a day or two a tiny bird weighing 20g can fly thousands of miles over the ocean and be ready to set up a territory; it’s amazing.
19yo @ellisethanfox says: "It's hard to put into words, it's just a feeling of not knowing what’s around the next corner brings a sense of excitement." He's extremely interested in the migration of Birds. Living close to places like Spurn and Flamborough makes it easy to witness!
Based in Fife, 18yo @angusj77 is interested in all areas of the natural world and hoping to make a job out of it! He's fascinated by the mind-blowing migrations of birds and the crazy diversity and beauty amongst the moths in his own back garden. No blog yet but watch this space!
17yo @isaacwestbirder has been birding all his life. Whether it's patch birding or seawatching, nocmig or gulls, he loves it. He's also a C permit bird ringer and has recently become absorbed by moth trapping. Find out more: https://isaacsbirding.wordpress.com/
On the Orkney Islands, 16yo @ruffbirding can’t remember not being interested in wildlife. He's lucky enough to live in a location where he can enjoy lots of breeding species and be able to search for migrants (whether it’s moths or birds).
15yo @sianmercer is passionate about birds, dragonflies, damselflies and butterflies as well as a range of environments issues including plastics. She finds nature an escape from the rest of the world and hopes to work in conservation to help protect our wonderful wildlife.
16yo @lukemarriner249 is a birder with an interest in butterflies and moths. He's a trainee ringer and does @BBS_birds and @WeBS_UK. He loves nature watching because you never know what you'll see next, especially on his local patch. He'd like to work in nature conservation.
Ellie ( @ezany2000) is 17 years old and has been fascinated with nature pretty much since she could walk. She always used to accompany her dad on SBG trips, now becoming the co-leader. She's been a bird ringer since she was 8 and has developed a passion for moths and butterflies.
16yo @FinleyHutchins2 says: "We have an obligation to preserve nature so that generations to come may enjoy its beauty, wonder and many psychological benefits. The natural world helps so much to reduce stress, and has done so for me countless times." https://thebackyardjungle.blogspot.com/
. @Conor_J2105 is about to finish his PhD in Environmental Psychology and is part of BTO's Youth Advisory Panel. About his work with young people he says: "Youth are the key to a stronger future for conservation and climate change action."
Studying Environmental Conservation, @TobyWarbler can't get enough of nature. Being in Bangor is perfect as he can walk down to the harbour and be surrounded by 1000s of waders. The beauty of nature is that no matter how much you know, you'll always find yourself learning.
. @ev1e_miller is a 20yo birder and ringer. She's always had an enthusiasm for nature, and this has developed into her studying Geography, with an increasing passion for sustainability and climate change. She hopes to cultivate this into a future career.
Soon-to-be ecology student @CharlesFGunn is a bird watcher, but over the years he's taken on more taxa. He grew up in a large city area, so going into nature was a stark contrast and just helped him to relax. Nature is also a constant thrill, learning and seeing new things.
Reserve warden @OwenBeaumont1 has just graduated from a wildlife conservation degree. He loves being outdoors and spends most of his time searching for birds, butterflies, dragonflies and moths. Being able to track the seasons through species changes and migration is a highlight.
From BTO's Youth Advisory Panel, Emma says: "In a world where technology is taking over and mental health issues are rising, the importance of connecting with nature becomes ever clearer. YAP has given me a community of friends who share my passion and a platform to share that."
18yo @JamesNaturalist is an environmental campaigner and filmmaker. He is quite politically involved, spending a lot of his spare time trying to put pressure on our government to address the climate and ecological crises. Find out more: http://www.kneedeepinnature.co.uk/
Environmental activist @HollyWildChild is from Fort William in Scotland and is a young ambassador for @ScotlandTBP, @HealRewilding's Rewilding Voice and a member of @_sycs_. She says: "Nature is crucial; it's terrifying to think of a future without red squirrels or hedgehogs."
18yo @NoahWal01 has been hooked on birding since he was 8 and started bird ringing and nest recording for the BTO when he was 13. Since then the hobby has become an obsession and he set up the @WOXFarmBirds project, aiming to conserve farmland birds in Oxfordshire.
. @JamesBeaumont2 is a birder and amateur naturalist. Nature has helped him unwind from the harshness of the human world and keeps him going through tough times, particularly this spring and summer. Read more about James at https://badluckbirder.wordpress.com/
The reason birding is @SBO_Jason's passion is purely down to migration. Being able to witness a bird, or butterfly, moth, dragonfly, complete a step of its migration is just fantastic. There is nothing better than seeing thousands of birds travelling down the Spurn peninsula!
17yo @BirderEssex says: "My passion for nature is particularly focused on birds. I love birding on my patch (RSPB Rainham Marshes) as well as taking occasional further trips to places such as Norfolk."
Growing up on Bardsey, @bardseyben is most at home in the outdoors, watching and studying wildlife. He's particularly passionate about birds and insects, large scale habitat restoration and studying seabirds on far-flung islands. Read more about Ben at http://www.benporterwildlife.co.uk
Activist @FinlayPringle normally spends his time enjoying the oceans and campaigning for the marine environment. Due to lockdown he's had to stay closer to home, but he hopes it has allowed people to appreciate the benefits of being in nature. Read more: https://ullapoolsharkambassador.com/
22yo @CalumUrquhart1 is currently be working as an entomologist. His interest in wildlife starting with watching garden birds aged 6. Over the years this has expanded to an interest in the identification and ecology of many different groups, from bryophytes to myriapods!
23yo @Theodec97 is a naturalist from Warwickshire. Escaping into the outside world and his love of the outdoors is what attracted him to nature. From catching moths to vismig and nocmig, finding and photographing rare/scarce birds on his patch is his most sought after target.
. @Birdnerdjenny is a trainee bird ringer and amateur wildlife photographer. She loves nature because it’s an escape from the hectic world (and other humans). Also because it’s just cool and interesting! She recently started a nature blog:
. @BeccasButterfli has a Butterfly Farm in her garden! Since 2017 she has released over 410 butterflies. She says: "Being with butterflies make me feel happy & I get a proud feeling when I release them into the wild." She is also the author of a her own Butterfly book series!
17yo conservationist @BellaLack is an ambassador for the Born Free Foundation, STAE, RSPCA and Jane Goodall Institute. She uses the power of technology, like social media, to educate and inspire a wide group of people to protect the natural world. More at https://www.callfromthewild.com/
. @FinchleyBirder is part of BTO's YAP and says: "If we don't engage the youth, we miss a huge opportunity to help inspire a future generation to take care of our planet and to enjoy the great outdoors. This is one of the reasons why YAP has been an amazing experience."
Over at the @OpenUniversity, 22yo @mrlewismitchell is doing a part-time degree in Environmental Science. He's hoping to get into a career in ecology or environmental consultancy. He's also a keen birdwatcher, moth'er and all-round naturalist.
. @Hattieskylark is a @WWF Youth Ambassador passionate about empowering young people to embrace nature and use their voice to share their love for it. She says: "Nature is entwined into every single part of everyone’s life, we just have to let it in."
At @univofstandrews, @matttkj is studying medicine. He spends a lot of his spare time hiking and birdwatching around Fife. He's at his most content when he's out and about in nature, and this hobby is the perfect contrast to his busy academic life.
Head of Engagement at BTO, Deb Lee, says: "Engaging young people is vital to BTO; it enables the accumulated wealth of knowledge within our community to flow from one generation to the next."
. @joshual951 works as an ecologist, conservationist and plant obsessive. He loves wildlife because "British wildlife is, quite simply, beautiful". His interest in interconnections between plants and other organisms has carried over to his current jobs!
In The Gambia, @DemzJatta is helping to promote a sustainable future in which both wildlife and future generations can thrive through his connection with Kartong Bird Observatory (KBO), where he's learned to ring and take part in surveys. Read more at http://www.kartongbirdobservatory.org/
A regular at BTO events, @Ben_Moyes16 says: "The amount I learnt from fellow young people and organisations like BTO have set me for life, and it is really exciting to see the expansion of young people growing deeper into conservation to set our future in a more promising place."
17yo @RubusCaesius3 spends much of his time cycling through landscapes near him, exploring the habitats and recording diverse and exciting species, from bryophytes to beetles. He loves seeing how species fit into their surroundings and working out how they can colonise new areas.
16yo birdwatcher @mckellar_calum has been interested in wildlife for his whole life, but became more interested in birds around 10. He also records butterflies and traps moths in his garden when he's not out birdwatching
. @lizzieguntrip is a nature writer, activist and the co-creator of #WildlifeFromMyWindow with @BBCSpringwatch. She's passionate about natural history inclusivity and access for all. As a long-term chronic illness sufferer, nature is her sanctuary and escape.
For @SalixTom, nature has always been a source of fascination. The colours, patterns, forms and interactions seem endless. Every new species or relationship you come across is like finding a new piece to this huge puzzle.
. @ojodomo_simon is from Nigeria and a current MSc student at A.P. Laventis Ornithological Research Institute, studying Conservation Biology. He's passionate about the conservation of nature and the involvement of young people in driving conservation of biodiversity.
. @AnnaEDewar is a PhD student in @OxZooDept: "I'm interested in the evolution of social behaviour, from nesting birds to interactions between bacteria. I love nature because it turns any walk into an opportunity to look out for new and exciting features of the natural world."
BTO's Head of People, @knott_sian, says: "Learning from and sharing the views of young people with a passion and enthusiasm for nature is vital to our work and the environment, what young people have to say matters and they should feel enabled to speak up."
As part of BTO's YAP, @SorrelLyall says: "Nature has been forgotten as an integral part of modern life. We need to inspire young people to respect and protect our natural world, not only for the future of our planet but for the benefits to personal wellbeing and mental health."
At @uniofeastanglia, @MaxHellicar1 is studying Ecology. He's volunteered at bird observatories and reserves and is a trainee bird ringer. He enjoys tricky identifications, ageing & sexing birds and seeing new species and plumages. He hopes to work with birds and data science.
. @crpm2003 is a 16yo birder and naturalist who lives on the edge of Salisbury Plain. This has become his patch which he explores in search of everything from Marsh Fritillaries to Stone-curlews. He says he finds nature very relaxing as a way to get away from the stresses of life.
16yo @_JoshHill_ is a nature enthusiast from #teamshropshire. He loves wildlife as it allows him to immerse himself into a landscape, and witness trends and changes through the seasons whilst learning more about individual species, from Corn to Reed Buntings.
. @BenBirdingNrfk is a 16yo birder from Norfolk. "Imagine sitting on a clifftop just before sunrise, watching Shearwater and Auk race over the white horses, Gulls being buffeted by the wind battling to maintain their momentum... That's why I love nature."
Student @FreddieMck121 is currently completing his MSc at the University of Leeds studying the once critically endangered Seychelles warbler. When not at uni he can be found exploring and working in the remote areas of Northumberland. Read more at https://freddiemckendrickphoto.wordpress.com/
15yo @GreeneIndy is a naturalist from Nottinghamshire. He's a huge fan of all wildlife but with a soft spot for birds. He volunteers for the @Natures_Voice, @_BTO and @WildlifeTrusts to highlight and reverse the catastrophic speed of nature's decline.
James ( @My_Wild_Life) is an aspiring entomologist and all-round naturalist who is keen to make more obscure taxonomic groups better recorded and accessible for beginners, such as insects and springtails. He loves nature because there is always something new to find!
15yo @BoakesConor is interested in all aspects of wildlife, especially birds, plants and lepidoptera. He keeps expanding his knowledge of plants and loves how no matter where you are, you can find something new! He aims to see 65 British species of butterfly by the time he's 20.
16yo climate justice activist and marine mammal nerd @Orangutan_Lady loves the way ecosystems exist based on balance and collaboration, where everything relies on everything else and feels we can learn a lot from that. We're part of nature and have a responsibility to protect it.
BTO's Director of Engagement, @_ieuan, says: "Every time I work with young people I feel inspired and motivated. Involving young people in our work @_BTO is vital for our future but it also helps us raise our game as individuals and as an organisation."
Next up is @Appletonwild, a 17yo wildlife photographer, blogger and author of Get Your Boots On. He's passionate about British wildlife, especially showing people how easy it is to find amazing wildlife without travelling from your own home! Read more: https://appletonwildlifediary.wordpress.com/
Amelia, or @WildlifeMimi, is 10 years old and volunteers at @NorfolkWT. She loves wildlife because it's interesting and beautiful, there is always something new to see and she wants to help it thrive. She recently started taking photos of nature, especially flowers.
. @birderlouis is a keen ringer, birder, and nest recorder, particularly interested in bird migration and seabirds, inspired by incredible(y painful) experiences with Manx Shearwaters on Bardsey Island. He hopes one day to carry out research in these fields.
. @JenGill3 is the Chair of BTO's Board of Trustees: "Youth engagement is one of the most exciting areas of our development. The Panel bring wonderful enthusiasm, skill and innovation that will help us achieve our vision of a world inspired by birds and informed by science."
Bobbie ( @Bobsbeehunt) is a student and wildlife blogger with an interest in bees. She recently conducted research into honey's antimicrobial properties, but another reason she loves nature is for its therapeutic effect and numerous benefits for mental health.
17yo birder, wildlife photographer, and all-round nature lover @MyaBambrick1 hopes to one day become an ornithologist. "Birds have always been of particular interest to me due to their beautiful plumage, interesting behaviour, and varying songs."
. @EllaLRanson is studying a degree in Widlife Conservation and hopes to spend her future conserving British species and habitat. Nature is her safe haven, it’s hard not to smile when observing birds or exploring reserves! Her wildlife photography can be found
on her Twitter.
on her Twitter.
. @mikes_nature is a Glasgow-based practical young conservationist and climate campaigner. He uses technology to encourage more young people to get involved with the natural world. There’s always something new to discover.
Find out more: https://mikesnature.com/
Find out more: https://mikesnature.com/
Serena says: "I have been lucky to be surrounded by nature for much of my life. By the age of 9 I was a vegetarian and animal enthusiast. Although I lived in a city at the time, I felt, and still do, most myself when surrounded by the leafy green of the English countryside."
Last, but not least, our CEO @_AndyClements says: "The passion and perspective of young people cause us all to sit up and listen. They are the future for our birds and our planet, and we must act on what they are saying."
We hope you're as inspired by the young people you met today as we are. Make sure to follow them and support them, and share anyone we missed in the comments. Happy #YouthDay!