Access to nature rich spaces for all is a “pressing concern”: RSPB England announce new Advisory Committee

Becca Smith

Monday 28 September 2020



  • RSPB England “harnesses the power of diversity and representation” as the new RSPB England Advisory Committee is announced
  • 10 new members, including 18 year old ornithologist and ‘Black2Nature’ founder Mya-Rose ‘Birdgirl’ Craig, will help to guide the future of RSPB England’s work as the “fight for nature intensifies”

The RSPB has today announced their new England Advisory Committee, pledging to “harness the power of diversity and representation” with ten new members set to guide the future plans for the RSPB across the country.

The committee’s creation comes as a recent RSPB report, titled Recovering Together (1), showed that just 34% of people in households without any outdoor space (be that a garden, courtyard, or balcony) are within a 10-minute walk of publicly accessible natural greenspace.

Since the global pandemic began, the conservation charity has noticed a significant rise in people connecting with the nature around them. As their report shows, increasing access to nature rich spaces for all is a “pressing concern”.

An opportune moment, the RSPB, which works across a range of communities and habitats, has now announced their new England Advisory Committee. Ensuring that the ten new members are from a vast array of backgrounds, experiences and skills, the charity hopes that the committee can help join the RSPB in protecting nature and increasing people’s access to it.

The new members include Mya-Rose Craig, the 18 year old ornithologist and diversity campaigner who has spoken with the likes of Greta Thunberg and Chris Packham and earlier this year became the youngest ever recipient of an honorary doctorate in science from the University of Bristol. Joining her are Jake Fiennes, wildlife friendly farming ‘trailblazer’, and adventurous Zoologist, Author and Science Communicator Sophie Pavelle (Or ‘SophiePavs’ as she’s known on social media) who has an Instagram following of 11.7k alone.

The RSPB England Advisory Committee’s purpose will be to support, guide, and champion the work of the conservation charity, including its work in managing over 100 English reserves for wildlife.

Speaking of the new England Advisory Committee, Emma Marsh, Director for England said: “In forming our new Advisory Committee, we’ve taken an important step forward where diversity and representation is concerned - ensuring that the representation of nature in England reflects all the communities and individuals that call our country home.

We are excited and hopeful that with such a brilliant and diverse mix of voices, passion and knowledge, our new Committee can really help to make a lasting impact on the way we work at RSPB England and help to drive new nature connections with nature rich spaces.”

The RSPB, in its newly launched Revive our World campaign, is demanding that more must be done to protect the country’s greenspaces and wildlife and to create communities richer in nature, after a recent report showed that the UK had suffered a ‘lost decade’ (2) in nature recovery.

Speaking of the campaign, Emma continued: “Nature needs everyone to help join the fight to revive our world at a time where our governments are failing us and the fight for nature intensifies.”

Go to to join the call for action.



For further information and to arrange an interview, please contact:

Becca Smith, RSPB England Communications Officer –, 07738029327  

Editor’s notes:

  1. A survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of the RSPB, Recovering Together sought the views of adults in England on the role of nature in our communities during the Coronavirus crisis and its potential to help in our recovery. The Recovering Together Report can be found here:
  2. A link to the RSPB’s Lost Decade report, which analyses the UK’s failed efforts to meet the Aichi Biodiversity Targets can be found here:
  3. The new England Advisory Committee members are:
  • Mya-Rose Craig, the 18 year old ornithologist and diversity campaigner who has spoken with the likes of Greta Thunberg and Chris Packham and this year became the youngest ever recipient of an honorary doctorate in science from the University of Bristol.
  • Jake Fiennes, conservation and farming ‘trailblazer’, who has worked in land and estate management for over 30 years, and is currently General Manager for Conservation at Holkham and Director of the Holkham National Nature Reserve.
  • Sophie Pavelle, adventurous Zoologist, Author and Science Communicator, is known on social media as ‘SophiePavs’ with an Instagram following of 11.7k. She has also been involved with the likes of the Wildlife Trusts, BBC Earth and BBC Countryfile Magazine in the past, sharing her love of UK wildlife.
  • Elie Gordon, also known as @elieoutside to her over 4,000 Instagram followers, has previously worked in digital marketing for BBC Earth and brings her passion for raising awareness of climate crisis through communications to the committee.
  • Veronica Pickering has worked with multicultural communities throughout her life and has had her worked recognised by the Queen, being appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant for Nottinghamshire in 2013 and also an Honorary Air Commodore for 504 (Nottingham) Squadron in 2018.
  • Ghazala Koosar has extensive experience working with under-represented groups, is a talented lawyer by profession, and is also a member of the Scouts Association.
  • Karen Larbi is the founder of people of colour in nature, an online community for people of colour to explore the healing power of nature. She is also passionate about dismantling the barriers people may face in accessing nature.
  • Jennifer Ullman’s career has focused on the management of landscapes, including parks, commons and historic gardens. She is passionate about ensuring a friendly welcome for all when visiting nature and greenspaces.
  • David Baldock has worked in Environmental Policy all his life, and was for eighteen years Executive Director of the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) the leading think tank on the environment in the EU. He brings his wealth of policy knowledge to the committee.
  1. The RSPB is the UK’s largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home. Together with our partners, we protect threatened birds and wildlife so our towns, coast and countryside will teem with life once again. We play a leading role in BirdLife International, a worldwide partnership of nature conservation organisations.



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Tagged with: Country: England Topic: About the RSPB Topic: England Topic: Conservation Topic: People Topic: Volunteering