Calan Daniels (aged 11) and his mother, Shaila Rao, are guest-bloggers for the Year of Young People themed month here at SNH. Shaila introduces the blog with a short word on her perspective of Calan’s growing interest and passion for the natural world. We learn more about Calan’s current activities within the realm of conservation.
A word from Shaila:
It was probably inevitable that Calan, my son, would end up with an interest in the natural world. Both of his parents are upland ecologists and he lives on Mar Lodge Estate – the spectacular and wild estate owned by the National Trust for Scotland at the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. From an early age Calan was in on the daily dog walking chat about “What bird was that?”, “Have you seen this plant before?” and “Whose tracks are those?”. He quite quickly developed a keen interest and curiosity about the natural world and I’ll let Calan tell you all about this.
A word from Calan:
Hello, I am Calan Daniels and I live on Mar Lodge Estate with my mum, dad, sister and pets. I am 11 years old and I am into nature and wildlife. Probably because both my parents are ecologists and I am always out and about, I just love the outdoors. I love what it contains and I always think it’s great that no human beings will ever know everything about it. I think it’s because we didn’t design it. We design cities so we know how tall buildings are or how much insulation that a skyscraper has. We design cars and know that when there is no petrol left they will stop, but we never will design nature because nature does what it wants.
From a very young age I was interested in nature. Whenever I came back from a walk I would be holding a pine cone or a feather or even sometimes a skull. Now I have a skull and feather collection which both contain lots of different shapes, sizes and species.**
As a family we would do bee transects and bird watches. I also helped mum with her work: sometimes it was tree monitoring; collecting in seed bags or (more excitingly) visiting a bird of prey nest and even ringing a chick.
Moving on, I recently entered the Cairngorms Nature Young Presenter Competition which is a competition where you enter a short video including: why you are interested in nature, how you can inspire other people to care for Cairngorms Nature and why you should be the next Cairngorms Nature Young presenter. I came second and have been offered the wonderful chance to be a young ambassador for Cairngorms Nature for Deeside.
In the future I would actually love to be a professional footballer but the chances of that are quite low. My second favourite job would be to work in conservation and to help make the world a better place.
**Please note, the possession of any part of a cetacean or any other protected species requires a licence. You can find out more about SNH Licensing here.