Introducing our new blog feature ...Frugi's Inspiring Young People!
We'll be chatting to young people who are doing really inspiring things, whether it's a hobby, an interest or a campaign that might change the world... we want to hear from you!
This month alongside the launch of our fab new Eco-Schools partnership we'll be chatting to mini Eco warriors and young people with a passion for the planet.
First up, we meet Alex White, a young wildlife enthusiast.
Please tell us a bit about yourself
When did you first realise you had a passion for wildlife and photography?
I’ve always had a passion towards wildlife as I grew up surrounded by it. My family has always been interested in nature and took me on my first badger watch when I was 3. The photography and blogging started as a way to record what I was seeing.
Why do you think it’s so important to get out in nature?
Nature is a great way to have time out from school work and other pressures. It can be great for your mental health, just something as simple as a walk can totally change the way you feel.
Enjoying nature can be done in so many ways, on your own, with friends, or with family and it needn’t cost anything at all.
What about if you live in a town or city?
Nature and wildlife is everywhere. You don’t have to go far or live in a rural area to encounter wildlife. Wildlife can be found indoors, creatures such as spiders can be fascinating to observe..
Watching the changing colours of the sky or birds flying by from your window can help you feel more connected.
Your garden, however big or small, is a sanctuary for 100’s of different creatures.
Many towns and cities have parks or nature reserves where wildlife thrives and species such as urban foxes and peregrines have learnt to adapt to our urban areas
Tell us about your book ‘Get your boots on’
I wrote Get Your Boots On mainly for children, teenagers and young adults. When I was 12 years old I took part in a podcast called ‘Every Child Wild’ where 6 of us, ranging from 10 to 18 years old, talked about why secondary school children sometimes lost their interest in wildlife or it was pushed to one side by other hobbies or school work. I always had those thoughts in the back of my mind and decided to write a book that explored ways to encourage young people to stay interested and even change a passion for wildlife in to a career.
I asked a number of different people to give advice or share their experiences of growing up being interested in wildlife and in some cases, explaining how wildlife is a part of their job.
Get Your Boots On concentrates on wildlife that people can see around their local patch, you don’t need to go long distances, buy expensive equipment or give up hours and hours of your time to have amazing wildlife moments.
How can young people get involved in their own communities?
There are some fantastic wildlife and nature communities around the country. Many areas have bird watching or specific animals groups. There are working parties that clear up nature reserves or plant trees.
The Wildlife Trusts, RSPB and BTO all have local groups for young people to get together and often run courses such as wildlife photography or bird identification.
Social media is a great way to find out what is going on in your local area
What small actions can we all take to protect British wildlife?
One of the biggest threats to British wildlife is the shrinking habitat. Being able to give a little bit of habitat back is a simple and important action we can all do. Leaving a little wild area in your garden, building a pond, making a bug hotel, cutting a small hole in the fence to allow hedgehogs to pass through or leaving food and water out for the birds, will all help to protect wildlife and encourage it in to your garden, which in turn you can enjoy.
Lastly… What is your favourite creature and why?
That’s an easy one. Badgers
Badgers have such complex family lives. The more I watch them the more I discover their individual characters and the way they go about their daily lives.
Alex's book 'Get Your Boots on' is available to buy from independent book shops and here.
See more of Alex's awesome photography on his blog