It’s time to change nature communications

If Joshua Pridding could change one thing to protect North East nature, it would be the way in which we communicate to inspire others about the natural world.

From the age of five, my mother has taken me camping all across the country, I have had the privilege of seeing much of the natural beauty that the UK has to offer. I am now studying to become a scientist of the natural environment; this is all down to years of exposure to nature as a young child. The inspiration I gained from these experiences has led me to work towards making a positive difference for the environment through my career.

There is one specific problem nature faces and it is not overfishing, plastic waste, deforestation or pollution. It is education and how little we use it to inform people about places of beauty. Feeding people information on the natural beauty the North East has to offer has the potential to make them as individuals want to make a difference. This, in turn, will lead to change. I was educated as a child and now as an adult want to make a difference in the world, if we change the way we educate people on nature we can set people on the path to creating positive changes in the way we view nature and treat it.

If people don’t know something exists how can they come to it and be inspired to make a change? There needs to be a change in the way environmentalists communicate with the public, to educate we have to connect. One social media page on any of the multiple platforms available for singular nature reserve/charity could have a huge difference, turn a 30-minute talk into a 5-minute presentation and let good quality social media bring the public to our natural areas of beauty so we can educate them in an experience. Rather than an assembly hall or meeting room when they want to finish work.

 By putting time into engagement with the public through social media we stand a chance of not just reaching children at school or the one parent who actually went through their emails, you can communicate with 5-6 generations at once. Instead of going to people, we should be bringing them to us.

Nature should be and is, an experience not a lesson and if I could change to make a difference for nature it would be the way we choose to educate people about it.

Joshua Pridding
Newcastle University

Josh is an undergraduate Marine Biologist at Newcastle University and volunteer at Gosforth Nature Reserve.

Share your ‘Plan A’ for North East Nature

If you could change one thing to make a difference for nature, what would it be?

Ahead of COP26, we’re inviting you to share what you feel should be the key priorities of decision-makers and nature organisations over the years ahead. Big or small, fundamental changes or individual actions, we want to hear from you.

Each submission will be entered into a prize draw, with prizes of 26 book tokens of £20 or free membership of NHSN.