As part of celebrating World Wetlands Day, Ujima 98fm and the Green and Black Ambassadors teamed up with the WWT and the Slimbridge Wetlands centre to help develop better ways to engage with and encourage diverse audiences to engage with nature.
Excerpt from pilot report:
In December 2016 and January 2017, Jazz and Zakiya facilitated a group of activities with the World Wildlife Trust’s Slimbridge Wetland Centre in Gloucestershire, involving Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Bristolians and their ideas on nature and conservation spaces. This included two trips to Slimbridge and a workshop held at St Werburgh’s City Farm in inner-east Bristol. Even though it was a cold January morning, 14 people aged 28–52 took part in a day of discussion and activities on memories of ‘being in nature’, likes and dislikes, and barriers to engaging with the environment and nature. When asked what they see as major obstacles to engagement with nature, they shared a range of insights
- Cost (unreliable transportation network, entry fees etc.)
- Not having proper resources (coats, boots etc.)
- Different cultural understandings of what constitutes fun or leisure in a natural space
- Fear of being culturally misunderstood or standing out as ‘the only brown face’ Urban life leading to a disconnect with nature especially among youth
- Lack of opportunities to get outside of the city to nearby nature reserves, conservation areas and so on