Unlocking Nature and the Outdoors

jmp Black History Month

Black History Month 2021: ‘Unlocking Nature and the Outdoors: communities, race, gender and class’
Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience

CAWR’s Black History Month seminar was an opportunity to explore barriers and actions associated with Unlocking Nature and the Outdoors to Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. Research identifies that spending time in green spaces or bringing nature into your everyday life can benefit both mental and physical wellbeing. Access to nature and participation in outdoor activity offers an attractive means of promoting social inclusion and can have a wide range of social, economic and health benefits. However, simultaneously research findings show disparities between groups with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities ‘locked out of nature and the outdoors. Explanations put forward to account for the invisibility of Black, Asian and ethnic minority communities are associated with organisational and interpersonal barriers. Black History Month presented an opportunity for CAWR to bring people together to share their views and experiences and identify strategies and actions for unlocking nature and the outdoors to marginalised communities [Find further resources below the speakers list].



  • Pammy Johal – Founder of Backbone CIC
    • Backbone aims to entice and excite people of all backgrounds and abilities to experience the magic of our natural world. In doing so we form a bond with nature and find a desire to protect it.
  • Dr Geeta Ludhra – Lecturer in Education at Brunel University
    • Having stepped back from her full-time post as Senior Lecturer between 2018-2021, Geeta became an Associate Lecturer in order to invest time in other creative research and community-based action projects which she’s passionate about
  • Andre Kpodonu – Head of activism at Feedback
    • Leads on broadening and deepening participation in our work to transform our food system. Andre project directs Feedback’s EcoTalent, FLAVOUR and Gleaning projects.



What is Black History Month and why is it important? The BBC writes:

“..Why is Black History Month important?

Black history month was first launched in London in the 1980s, where the aim was for the local community to challenge racism and educate themselves and others about the British history that was not taught in schools. Black people have been in Britain for a lot longer than previously thought – One of the oldest skeletons ever found was that of the Cheddar Man who had dark skin.

Archaeologists, the people who study human history through digging up sites looking at bones and ancient objects, think that he was alive during the stone age…”.