Rural Britain is predominantly white, with Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities put off visiting or simply unable to access the outdoors. But there are some amazing organisations helping to make these spaces more inclusive. We’ve put together a list of them that you can join today, and if you’re able to, make a donation to support their incredible work.
1. Black Girls Hike
Founder Fatinikun started Black Girls Hike as a social walking group, but it gained traction on Instagram and quickly turned into a charity to encourage Black women to explore the great outdoors. Each month, the soon-to-be social enterprise arrange group hikes, outdoor activities and training events. They have groups in the North West, Midlands and London, and walks range from easy to moderate, so there’s something for all abilities – with most being beginner-friendly.
2. Black Swimming Association
With one mission – to diversify the world of aquatics – The Black Swimming Association (BSA) works with its partners to raise awareness of swimming as a life-saving skill, educating on water safety and drowning prevention. BSA is dedicated to removing the barriers for those in African, Caribbean and Asian communities, setting up swim groups and ensuring that those who wouldn’t normally have access to swimming facilities, do.
3. Brown Girls Climb
What started off as a virtual community, soon turned into an in-person climbing community that has amassed 40,000+ followers on Instagram. Now a social enterprise, Brown Girls Climb has brought together a community of women of colour, who are not only passionate about climbing but also the history colonisation and industrialisation has had on the land. Purchase a membership via their website for access to events, resources, discounts at gyms and even employment opportunities.
4. Black Girls Camping
After camping helped her mental health after a life-changing event, Tianna Johnson founded Black Girls Camping to help make the outdoors more accessible for Black women and non-binary people in the UK. Organising regular camping events in East London, the organisation is a social group to reconnect with nature and meet new friends. With rural areas being predominantly white, Black Girls Camping encourages its participants to escape the city and create relationships with outdoor spaces.
5. Black Cyclists Network
Encouraging Black and ethnic minority communities to take up cycling, the Black Cyclists Network hosts rides for all abilities. Rides usually take place on Saturdays and Sundays from London, but they’re on a mission to establish partners in other parts of the UK too. Whether you’re a beginner or are looking to cycle competitively, there’s a ride for you to get involved with. Keep up to date with their next events on Twitter or Instagram.
6. Wild in the City
Wild in the City is helping people of colour, living in urban areas, with access to the British countryside. Recognising outdoors spaces as an important mechanism for improving mental health and wellbeing, the organisation has regular monthly hikes in and around London. It’s not all about hiking though. Wild in the City host a range of events and workshops including ecotherapy, woodland living skills and local wildlife safaris.
7. Change Foundation
For 40 years, The Change Foundation has been working with more than 500 young people across Birmingham, Newcastle and London to transform their mindset around the outdoors. The award-winning charity coaches vulnerable and marginalised people through sport and outdoor programmes for up to 12 months, giving them the skills and experience to unlock more opportunities.