‘Birdgirl’, 17, becomes youngest Briton to receive honorary doctorate

Maighna Nanu
'Birdgirl' Mya-Rose Craig, 17, is the youngest Briton ever to receive an honorary degree: Helena Craig

A teenage birdwatcher known as “Birdgirl” has become the youngest Briton ever to receive an honorary university degree.

Mya-Rose Craig, 17, has been recognised for her campaigning projects to make the natural environment more accessible to people from minority ethnic backgrounds.

The Bristolian, known as Birdgirl due to her Twitter username, has set up nature camps and conferences for young people and is also the youngest person to have seen half of the world’s bird species.

Professor Richard Pancost of the University of Bristol, who nominated Mya-Rose, said she was “most deserving” of the accolade.

The earth sciences department head said: “Although only 17, Mya-Rose has already created a phenomenal amount of positive change for nature and is a fantastic role model for her peers.

“She epitomises courage in the face of resistance as she challenges the environmental sector to tackle the lack of racial and ethnic diversity.

“Her enthusiasm as @BirdgirlUK has inspired so many people to take an interest in wildlife and enjoy the beauty of nature while protecting its fragility.”

For her part, Mya-Rose said she did not initially believe she had been nominated. She added :“I felt so emotional hearing that I had been nominated with such famous people and realising that my message must be getting through.”

Mya-Rose’s mother, Helena Craig, said she was “extremely proud” of the work her daughter had done, and pleased that her “amazing work” was gaining recognition.

Mya-Rose was listed alongside George Ezra, the singer, and Game of Thrones actor Maisie Williams as one of Bristol’s most influential young people.