The UK outdoors has a diversity problem. Being outdoors improves mental and physical wellbeing and for some can help connections to faith and spirituality. For too long though Black and Brown people in these spaces have been underrepresented, underpromoted and undersupported.
Many people are taking upon themselves to change this narrative and these brilliant individuals are amongst the ground swell of Black and Brown people who are working really hard to create change. Join us and a star studded line-up on Sunday 11 April as we celebrate Black and Brown faces in outdoor spaces and acknowledge and discuss the challenges facing Black and Brown people accessing and enjoying the great outdoors. Simply tune into stories on our @antiracistcumbria instagram account
to ask questions and get involved. Follow the #antiracistoutdoors too.
Meet our line-up
The outdoors was never something that interested me until I moved to the Lake District, and even then it took a good few years for me to appreciate and enjoy it. I first began running to socialise and make friends and eventually it has become part of my life. I use it as a therapy really. No matter how low or bad I feel, even just a few miles in the fresh air and beautiful scenery, does wonders for the soul. I have two sons with plenty of energy so this helps me keep up with them too!
Sonny Peart is a trail and ultrarunner. This year he will run the 125km Highland Ultra and the 235 mile Deadwater six day ultramarathon. He co-founded Black Trail Runners in July 2020, aiming to increase the participation, inclusion and representation of black people in trail running.
Find out more:
Since retiring I spend my spare time birding, supporting my 17-year-old daughter Mya-Rose Craig (@birdgirluk) in her conservation and diversity projects such as Black2Nature, Race Equality in Nature Conferences, nature camps for Visible Minority Ethnic children and teenagers (Camp Chew & Camp Avalon). I help her campaign to make the environmental sector ethnically diverse.
I have been interested in equality, diversity and inclusion since my teens, being on the Bristol Law Society Race Equality Team, Stand Against Racism and Inequality (SARI) Management Committee and succeeding in making my firm ethnically diverse.
Zahrah Mahmood (know as @the_hillwalking_hijabi on Instagram) is a Scottish Pakistani Muslim woman who discovered the outdoors and a passion for hillwalking in her adult life. She enjoys hillwalking in the Scottish outdoors and finds it brings her physical, mental and spiritual benefits.
Cherelle Harding from Coventry set up Steppers UK to promote Diversity outdoors and encourage underrepresented groups to build positive relationships with the outdoors. With a focus on supporting Black, Asian & minority communities, Steppers provides a comfortable and fun space to explore, learn & RE-CONNECT with nature.
We’re currently on a mission to visit all 46 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty!
We’re all about good views & good vibes!
Aneela is partner, professional MTB guide and coach of multi award winning adventure and guiding company Go-Where Scotland. She brings 20+ years as a Diversity and Inclusion professional into everything she does, striving to widen participation in cycling. She now works directly with the cycling and outdoor industry inspiring leaders and decision makers to champion diversity through her new business ‘Mòr Diversity’.
She’s also a board member and trail inspector/volunteer co-ordinator for the Tweed Valley Trails Association, co-founder of women and girl’s MTB groups – the FNY Collective and MissAdventures and an active supporter of the Women of Colour Cycling Collective.
Most recently, Aneela’s been appointed Co-Chair of the new Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group for British Cycling where she looks forward to helping shape the UK’s cycling strategy for future generations.
If you’re interested in following her journey:
Twitter: aneela mckenna
Richard joined the Lake District National Park Authority as Chief Executive in June 2007. Previously he was Regional Director in the North West for Natural England, a role he took up in October 2006. Richard worked for one of Natural England’s predecessors, English Nature, for 15 years.
Richard is a Geography graduate from The University of Sheffield where he also gained an MPhil in Coastal Geomorphology. In 2016 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters for his work in National Parks by the same university. A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, away from work Richard is a keen, runner, cyclist and skier. From September 2012 to 2015 Richard was a Board Member for the Environment Agency.