I can't have been the only person to be surprised that Bristol has awarded an A level student an honorary degree. Of course, this is not an ordinary A level student, this is Mya-Rose Craig who has spotted half of the World's known bird species. She blogs at Birdgirl where you will read:
"I’m Mya-Rose Craig AKA Birdgirl, I’m 17; I live near Bristol. I’m a Young Naturalist, Young Ornithologist, and, Young Birder, (Young Birdwatcher) as well as a Young Environmentalist, Young Conservationist, Young Activist, and Writer. I want to do everything I can to save the environment from damage and persuade people to do the same through my writing, talks & use of media. I’m proud to be a Bristol European Green Capital 2015 Ambassador. I love birding in my garden & locally at Chew Valley Lake. I have been bird ringing (bird banding) at Chew Valley RS since Sept 2011, age 9 and got my C licence when I was 16. I love British Twitching and get a thrill every time I see a new bird. My big passion is World Birding & I became the youngest person to see 5369th birds [sic] in Brazil in August 2019 which was 1/2 the world’s birds. I want to combine my passion for nature & wildlife with my love of adventure to be a nature TV presenter going on expeditions to remote places, looking for rare or undiscovered species, like Steve Backshall. ..."
I know I'm supposed to be in awe of all this, as the Daily Mail clearly was, but I really cannot manage it. I can't help thinking of all those air miles accumulated by Craig and her parents in this birding obsession.
The university says: "Each year, following very careful consideration, the University bestows a number of honorary degrees on distinguished individuals who merit special recognition for outstanding achievement and distinction in a field or activity consonant with the mission of the University." It says that Craig was honoured "for her activism and pioneering work, which includes campaigning for greater ethnic diversity in nature, conservation, environment and wildlife filmmaking."
Bristol didn't care about the air miles given how many it racks up itself.