A teenage schoolgirl from Cumbria is being tipped to become Britain’s leading environmental campaigner, following in the footsteps of her hero Sir David Attenborough.

Friday 17 May marked the launch of a new British environmental charity, founded by 16-year-old Amy Bray from Matterdale in Cumbria, which has received encouragement, messages of support, and participation from notable individuals such as leading expert in carbon footprinting and author Mike Berners Lee, naturalist Chris Packham CBE (TGO’s Campaigner of the Year 2018), and world record ocean rower and sustainability advocate Roz Savage MBE.

The charity, which Amy has called ‘Another Way’, encourages and helps children, families and communities to find ‘another way’ to reduce the environmental footprints of their lifestyles.

“The overarching aim of unifying groups to find some commonality in sustainable living is key to our future”

Amy’s charity launch comes in the wake of recent widespread protests by climate-change activists calling themselves ‘Extinction Rebellion’, who blocked roads in London and other UK cities, urging the UK Government to take action to avert climate breakdown. The recent UN Global Assessment Report, 6 May 2019 – which concluded that 1 million species risk extinction because of human activity – and the WWF and Global Footprint Network Report, 9 May 2019, which shared that the EU uses almost 20% of the Earth’s “biocapacity”, even though it comprises only 7% of the world population.

Amy Bray said: “The world is at breaking point. The world is warming. Our forests are disappearing and all animal life on Earth is drastically reducing. Our oceans are clogged with plastic. We must find another way, fast.”

Speaking on his recent BBC Television documentary Climate Change – The Facts, Sir David Attenborough warned that “a catastrophic future” is looming unless the world takes action.

Sir David Attenborough said: “We are facing a man-made disaster on a global scale. In the 20 years since I first started talking about the impact of climate change on our world, conditions have changed far faster than I ever imagined. It may sound frightening, but the scientific evidence is that if we have not taken dramatic action within the next decade, we could face irreversible damage to the natural world and the collapse of our societies.”

“We need to push for big changes” – what leading environmental campaigners have said about Another Way

Mike Berners Lee said: “We all need to push for big changes in the way that we look after our planet. We need to engage ourselves and each other in every way we can. I wish Amy’s fantastic initiative every success in energising the action that we need.”

Chris Packham CBE said: “Brilliant. Top work. Love the broad and engaging outlook of Another Way. The overarching aim of unifying groups to find some commonality in sustainable living is key to our future. The Another Waynwright Day in August is an excellent way of bringing people together to acknowledge and address the challenges we face.”

Amy Bray hillwalking in the Lake District

Another environmental campaigner supporting Amy’s Another Way charity is one of the world’s top athletes, English rower and environmental campaigner Roz Savage MBE. She holds four Guinness World Records for ocean rowing, including being the first woman to row solo across three oceans: the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian.

Roz Savage MBE said: “We need to take the pressure off our planet. Amy and Another Way’s aims are more than admirable in contributing to the goal. We as individuals need to take responsibility and act now by changing our lifestyle habits. Joining Another Waynwright Day is the perfect opportunity to show our allegiance and devotion to this cause.”

Launch event

Over the last two years Amy has been quietly working towards the Another Way launch. She has delivered sessions on sustainable living for community groups and schools reaching over 800 people. These sessions share information on what is happening to the planet and how people can change to support more sustainable lifestyles.

The charity’s launch event, ‘Another Waynwright Day’, is now being organised and will be held this August. Amy and her supporters will stage a ‘mass hill walking expedition’ in accordance with the charity’s values of individual change, uniting people and acting now. Walkers and campaigners from around the UK are expected to join the event, walking to the tops of a cluster of 214 hills, the Wainwrights, across the Lake District.

“Those of us who prioritise monetary wealth over the health of our planet do so at everybody’s peril”

Last year, fuelled by her lifelong passion for the ocean and its conservation, Amy launched a conservation campaign called Devotion to Ocean and launched a project at her school aimed at cutting the amount of plastic pollution it produces. A plastic-free shop, beach cleans, awareness days and film screenings are all part of the 18-month effort from Austin Friars in Carlisle as it aspires to ditch plastics. Her family began living plastic free 18 months ago and Amy was instrumental in the establishment of a zero-waste shop in Penrith, Another Weigh, the profits from which will support the Another Way charity. The charity, Another Way, forms the platform for her to continue and expand these and other activities.

Amy also feels encouraged by the motivation of world-famous Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who is 16 too, has enabled across the world, and whose protests recently sparked climate-change demonstrations in 128 countries. Amy added: “I feel very heartened by the amazing work being done by Greta Thunberg in Sweden, and this has created a huge wave of support for environmental issues across the world, and also in Britain.

“On Saturday, August 31st this year we are inviting people from across the UK to join us in supporting our new charity, Another Way. We are climbing these hills as a symbol. We want to spread our message loud and clear from the mountain-tops that those of us who prioritise monetary wealth over the health of our planet do so at everybody’s peril.”