Public Knowledge: Flock Together
The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the value and importance of outdoor spaces. Recent studies into public health and well-being state that green environments are associated with reduced levels of depression, anxiety, and fatigue and can enhance both children and adults’ quality of life. However, access is not always a given, nor is everyone encouraged to feel welcome in green spaces.
Flock Together is a birdwatching collective for people of colour initiated to challenge and dismantle existing prejudices. Over the past year, every month, they have been organising walks around London’s green spaces. To promote the mental health benefits of birdwatching — and expand the perception of what it means to be a birder. Since its inception, Flock Together has attracted hundreds of young people, who have either physically attended or joined their expanding online community. Recently branches have opened in NYC and Toronto, with more to follow.
For this episode of Public Knowledge, Flock Together co-founder Nadeem Perera walks us through Hackney Marshes in East London. To explain what interested him in birdwatching, how he and Ollie Olanipekun came together to form the collective – and why birds can teach us all a thing or two.
Flock Together is a birdwatching club formed to combat the underrepresentation of black, brown and other people of colour within the natural world. Founders, Ollie Olanipekun and Nadeem Perera met online through a mutual love of birding. Ollie, as a creative, has built a reputation for innovation and breaking ground whilst Nadeem has been a birder for 12 years as well as a youth sports coach in East London. Flock Together provides a safe space for POC to come together and share experiences as well as ideas in the backdrop of nature. Nature is for all and Flock Together aims to reclaim this space one walk at a time.
For more information please visit www.flocktogether.world or follow @flocktogether.world
Image: Flock Together