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About Me

My name is Kabir Kaul, a young conservationist and wildlife writer, passionate about biodiversity in London, and I love to encourage people to make their doorstep more wildlife-friendly. Welcome to my website! Here, I write about experiences around the Wild Side of London, and sometimes around the UK and abroad. You can find my interactive map here too, Nature Reserves of London, as well as a bibliography of articles I have written.

I have always loved nature, and when I was seven, I looked out into my north London garden and saw many Blue Tits, Robins and House Sparrows, and wanted to make a difference for them. After getting a better pair of binoculars and stumbling upon a nearby National Nature Reserve with lots of wildfowl, I quickly got into birding over the following years. In the following years, my family and I began to regularly visit north Norfolk and the WWT London Wetland Centre in Barnes, Richmond.


My patch, Ruislip Woods National Nature Reserve, Hillingdon, London


Birding at RSPB Snettisham, Norfolk, November 2016

As my interest in birds particularly grew, I soon found a local RSPB group, who gave me information on opportunities to meet like-minded young people: after going on a BTO young naturalists' camp in 2018, I was inspired by the other young people there, and this motivated me to restart an old mapping project, Nature Reserves of London, which you can find out more information about on a separate page.

That year, I was lucky enough to make many connections, attend Birdfair for the first time, and expand my knowledge on wildlife as a whole. I also joined social media, an amazing platform for spreading awareness and networking with like-minded people of all ages. I was privileged to get involved with the work of the BTO too, becoming a finalist at the Spurn Young Birder of the Year 2018, and attending a reception at the House of Lords. Around the same time, I began writing articles for a few nature publications about London's wildlife, a subject which I took interest in the previous year. In November 2018 I gave a preview of my map at London Recorders' Day, and filmed with Mike Dilger in North Norfolk for BBC One's The One Show.


With the other finalists at the Spurn Young Birder of the Year competition, Spurn, East Riding of Yorkshire, September 2018


My first article, in RSPB Wingbeat, October 2018


At the BTO's 'Agenda for Change' reception at the House of Lords, London, November 2018


Filming for The One Show with Mike Dilger, Horsey, Norfolk, November 2018

In February 2019 I released my map, which has become fairly popular. I became an ambassador for the Cameron Bespolka Trust, and a Champion for the London National Park City Foundation, the organisation who have campaigned for the designation, and wish to make London more green, healthy and wild. In July 2019, I spoke at London's declaration as the world's first National Park City, at City Hall in the presence of the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. In September 2019, I became a Youth Council Member for the RSPB. In that month, I began campaigning against HS2, which will destroy ancient woodlands in Hillingdon, create a viaduct over west London's Colne Valley, and affect ten designated wildlife sites in the capital. (I surveyed Broadwater Lake and Moorhall Gravel Pits in the Valley from February 2019 to January 2020 as part of the Wetland Bird Survey, but this has been taken over by the railway company).

Meeting the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan

Speaking at City Hall at the declaration of London as the world's first National Park City


On the way to an anti-HS2 march with a Field Maple!


Ambassadors and trustees of the Cameron Bespolka Trust, Birdfair 2019


RSPB Youth Council, RSPB Franchises Lodge, September 2019


Surveying Broadwater Lake, Hillingdon, London

October 2019 was another eventful month. I was honoured to be the recipient of the BTO Marsh Award for Young Ornithologist of the Year 2019, presented by Charles Micklewright of the Marsh Christian Trust, and Frank Gardner, President of the BTO. That same week I participated in a BBC Radio 4 interview with David Lindo at Walthamstow Wetlands, and in an ITV London News interview at the same location the following week!


In January 2020, I was named as one of The Big Issue's Top 100 Changemakers of 2020, and in March, received the Prime Minister's Points of Light award.

Receiving the BTO Marsh Award for Young Ornithologist from Charles Micklewright, The Mall Galleries, October 2019

Recording a Radio 4 interview with David Lindo, Walthamstow Wetlands, October 2019

Filming for ITV London News, Walthamstow Wetlands, October 2019

Top 100 Changemaker certificate from The Big Issue, January 2020

 
Prime Minister's Points of Light award, March 2020


The lockdown from March 2020 onwards resulted in most events to be conducted via zoom, and this gave me the opportunity to connect with many more people. This included interviews, podcasts and other events, including an induction day, where myself and fifty-three other Londoners became the first London National Park City Rangers. I appeared on Sky News, on Chris Packham and Megan McCubbin's wonderful Self-Isolating Bird Club, and on Springwatch a couple of times, sharing my experiences on discovering the local green spaces on my doorstep during the lockdown. In May I participated on a panel to redesign Grosvenor Square in Westminster for biodiversity, and in June started making videos to raise awareness about wildlife sites in the capital, on social media.

In July I was involved in an exciting project, and it helped to develop my large interest in London's history: a poll to determine a county bird for the Historic County of Middlesex. Myself, former MP John Randall and astrologer Russell Grant launched the poll for Middlesex Heritage, of which they are Patron and President respectively. The charity promotes the history and geography of the county: Middlesex includes significant parts of ceremonial Greater London, Hertfordshire and Surrey. This was very successful, with hundreds of people voting. As a result, the county bird became a Family of Mute Swans, represented in this way to distinguish it from Buckinghamshire's county bird, the Mute Swan. Later that week I was honoured to become Middlesex Heritage's first Director of Environment & Conservation.

Since the launch of the map in February 2019, I have participated in, chaired and given a number of lectures across the capital and beyond, from local groups such as RSPB Pinner to larger audiences, such as the Natural History Museum. I continue to write articles on London's wildlife, some of which have been featured in The Big IssueTime Out LondonThe South West Londoner and The Observer. I am hugely passionate about London's biodiversity too, raising awareness about the capital's designated wildlife sites and green and blue spaces, and the volunteer groups that work tirelessly to preserve them. However, I have started to forget how amazing and surprising my local area can be, and must spend more time on my own patch too!

In the future, I would like to become a conservationist and broadcaster, perhaps specialising in urban ecology and presenting nature programmes on TV and radio. I would definitely continue writing too, and most importantly, keep encouraging people to explore and protect the Wild Side of London.


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