Ramblers Scotland is hosting a free webinar this week to discuss the challenges and opportunities for increasing diversity in the outdoors.
The event on Friday February 26 will be led by BAME inclusion expert Pammy Johal, who is the founder of Backbone, a leading BAME outdoor education organisation.
She will talk about her four decades of experience as an outdoor and environmental practitioner, as well as Backbone’s ongoing work to support inclusion within the outdoor recreation sector.
Pammy, from Garve in the Scottish Highlands, said: “I am looking forward to a good old blether about things that matter. I’m hoping for a discussion that feels like a bothy night.
"It’ll be a cosy, comfortable and thought-provoking evening. By the end of it we will all be ready to take action for change – one step at a time.”
The webinar is this year’s Dick Balharry Memorial Talk, which is an annual event held by Ramblers Scotland, in memory of former chairman and pioneering Scottish ecologist Dick Balharry, who died in 2015.
Widening BAME conversations in the great outdoors
Ramblers Scotland director Brendan Paddy states that one of the central goals of the charity has always been to help everyone enjoy the outdoors through hiking. The organisation also recently announced they are part of a new Scottish Walking Awards initiative.
He said: "Improving diversity and inclusion will be a major focus for us in the coming years, but this journey needs to start with listening to those with far more direct experience of the barriers facing BAME communities than we currently have. Pammy’s talk is one small early step along that road.
"I hope people will join us from across our community – from individual hillwalkers and other outdoors folk, to staff and volunteers within charities and national parks. We can each do our bit to create a more welcoming environment for all."
The online event will start at 7pm and there will be an opportunity for questions from the audience.
Register at www.ramblers.org.uk/diversitytalk.
Fiona Russell is a widely published adventure journalist and blogger, who is better known as Fiona Outdoors. She is based in Scotland and is an all-round outdoors enthusiast with favourite activities including trail running, mountain walking, mountain biking, road cycling, triathlon and skiing, both downhill and back country. Her target for 2021 is to finish the final nine summits in her first round of all 282 Munros, the Scottish mountains of more than 3,000ft high. Aside from being outdoors, Fiona's biggest aim is to inspire others to enjoy the great outdoors, especially through her writing. She is also rarely seen without a running skort! Find out more at Fiona Outdoors.
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