Wayfinding: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Great Outdoors is a natural heritage project which aims to provide increased access to and knowledge of the North East of England’s countryside for Black, Asian and ethnic minorities.
Working in collaboration with a number of key partner organisations and community groups, we aim to understand and eliminate the barriers in place which limit BAME communities’ experience, involvement and understanding of the surrounding landscapes and seascapes of the region.
We aim to increase the number and range of people enjoying and learning from the natural world. We believe that only from first-hand experiences, knowledge and understanding of the British countryside can a relationship be fostered and developed.
It so follows that from developing a relationship with our natural heritage, we as a group of people start to care about nature and hence start to conserve and protect our natural habitats and species for future generations.
The Black Environmental Network has written about ‘The Cycle of Participation’ which is already embedded in a white middle class lifestyle but missing for many deprived groups in society including BAME communities.
It’s that crucial first step, contact with nature and the enjoyment of nature that will lead to a love of nature. Once this love is in place, when we realise and understand that nature is threatened we will work to take care of what we love. We will eventually contribute to the conservation and preservation of our natural heritage in a constructive and positive way.
We, as identity on tyne, aim to create an entry point to the experience and enjoyment of our natural heritage in the region by providing, with strategic environmental partners, regular and constructive contact and participation with nature. Engaging more and a wider range of people with our natural heritage will have a lasting effect on the individuals and community groups involved, as well as our partner organisation staff, volunteers and trustees, and ultimately Nature as a whole.