Hi I’m Arjun. I’m 16 year and I’m keen on all aspects of nature, but especially ecology, conservation and birds. Although I’ve been fascinated by the natural world since I was 8, in the last few years I’ve started to get more involved with my hobby, particularly in my local area.
Having got into nature through the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch, I slowly became hooked with visiting places and watching wildlife in action, with a trip to my country-of-origin India in 2012 drawing me closer to birdwatching. After starting a blog a few years ago, I’ve been able to share my experiences and pictures of nature with more people through writing; this also helped me find new places in the often quiet area of Surrey I live in, and now I have a ‘patch’ near me in Morden Hall Park, where I spend a lot of time whenever possible enjoying being outdoors and seeing any species around the park. However, conservation work never interested me until I went on an RSPB Phoenix Conservation Weekend, at RSPB Arne in Dorset, at the end of 2017, which was an amazing experience. The idea of getting involved with the interaction between people and nature helped me join a young team of rangers at Morden Hall led by GAPNT, where I’ve been a part of conservation work, campaigns, events and trips that included Brownsea Island in 2018.
I’m thrilled to have a role in the Cameron Bespolka Trust who work tirelessly to make the UK a place that young nature-enthusiasts can enjoy, with a wide range of amazing opportunities available throughout the year, such as the BTO Bird Camp in May as well as a similar event in Hampshire. By following them online, such as through Twitter, I’ve managed to meet new people and make new friends.
One of my ambitions is to encourage more people to interact with nature and birds, especially having seen how so many younger people think birdwatching is an ‘uncool’ or ‘silly’ hobby to have. I think it’s vital that more people – from all ethnicities and backgrounds – in all areas – can have the opportunity to enjoy the natural world and be concerned with its conservation. Hopefully I’m able to meet and work with more people through this, and help the Trust to continue to offer many more people to have memorable experiences as young British birdwatchers.
In 2017, I started a blog thinking I was one of - if not the only - young birder in London, and certainly the only one from a minority background. By 2018, when I decided to give in to my 'anti social media' policy and get Twitter, it was a massive relief and pleasant surprise to find myself to be wrong, as I soon found that there were at least 5 young birders in London.
Having met Howard, a real legend to the London young birder community, when I first went to Rainham in 2017, I realised …