TEENAGER Amy Bray spent nine months persuading her family to completely change the way they lived; to go completely plastic-free and to live more sustainably.

Then the 16-year-old Cumbrian campaigner decided to dedicate her time to bringing her passion for nature to a wider audience and to that end founded the environmental conservation and education charity Another Way.

She also set up two 'Another Weigh' refill shops in Kendal and Penrith.

'Since a very young age, I’ve been fascinated by the natural environment and adore all living things," sid Amy.

"More recently, I’ve set my path towards becoming a marine conservationist and through this journey have become more aware of the acute danger facing our planet.

"After influencing my family to stop using single-use plastic and to live more sustainably, I wanted to share our discoveries and the motivation to do this with the wider public, so I founded the charity Another Way in 2019 when I was 16 years old."

Over the last three years, Another Way has planted over 20,000 trees and worked directly with over 5,000 children, community groups and conference audiences.

News and Star: AMY Bray:Another Way SculptureAMY Bray:Another Way Sculpture

"We’ve also developed the ‘30 Steps to Another Way’ for homes and businesses, encouraged other young people to stand up through our Ambassador Programme and shared our thoughts and ideas on TV, in newspapers and in magazines."

Currently, Another Way is a very small charity operated solely by volunteers, but short-term future plans include employing a person full time to drive forward projects.

"We want to scale Another Way to share our thoughts further across the country," added Amy.

As part of the campaign, Amy, 19, wrote to local MPs and companies, asking them to change unsustainable practices.

She also met with school management teams to help reduce plastic waste, and ran a plastic-free shop at her school for charity.

"The last two years have been harrowing and unusual for everyone. I know it’s been difficult for people to think or act outside their own homes and especially about the environment for the obvious reasons.

"I’m hoping that events this year, including COP26 in Glasgow, will help people to understand the responsibility we all have towards protecting the planet we live and rely upon," she said.

Now Amy's path towards a 'better future' has been recognised by Cumbria Wildlife Trust, who turns 60 this year, and to celebrate, are recognising and thanking 60 nature champions who are doing great things to bring back wildlife to the county.

News and Star: 60th Anniversary: Stephen Trotter. Picture: Cumbria Wildlife Trust60th Anniversary: Stephen Trotter. Picture: Cumbria Wildlife Trust

Stephen Trotter, chief executive of Cumbria Wildlife Trust, says Amy was their first nominated nature hero and now they were looking for more: “The Trust has been working hard for Cumbria’s people, wildlife and environment for the last 60 years," he said.

"With the vital support of thousands of members and many partners, we’ve achieved a huge amount as a charity.

"But as is often the case when reaching a significant birthday like this, we’ve been reflecting on our successes, our role in the world and what’s most important to us.

“Our main conclusion is that you, the people and local communities of Cumbria are the most important element in the stories of wildlife and nature success in the last 60 years: people are at the heart of our work and people make us tick.

"Obviously, conserving and restoring Cumbrian wildlife is the focus of our activity but none of our work would have happened without the dedicated efforts of thousands of Cumbrian people, members, volunteers and staff, all giving their time and expertise freely to the cause of wildlife conservation.

"As a local charity, we are nothing without people working together and doing things for wildlife.

“So as we enter our 60th year, we’d like to recognise and celebrate the current generation of people around the county who are taking action for wildlife and nature’s recovery.

News and Star: Flashback to 1990. Chris Packham talks to young Wildlife Watch members at Cumbria Wildlife Trust. Picture: Cumbria Wildlife TrustFlashback to 1990. Chris Packham talks to young Wildlife Watch members at Cumbria Wildlife Trust. Picture: Cumbria Wildlife Trust

"We’d like to hear about your local Nature Heroes so that we can celebrate and thank these unsung heroes who are helping to look after wildlife and bring it back to places where we’ve lost it.

"Together we can help our struggling wildlife become abundant once again and restore our beautiful wild places.”

Do you know someone who spends their free time volunteering, say for beach cleans or litter picks, or a young person who’s set up a fundraiser at their school?

Maybe a local landowner who’s transforming their land to benefit nature, or a group that's created a wildlife garden in their community? It could simply be someone who’s built a bee hotel in their back garden!

If so, please nominate your local Nature Hero, by filling in a short form here: cumbriawildlifetrust.org.uk/get-involved/60fornature-nominate-nature-hero

The Trust will feature five nominated Nature Heroes each month throughout 2022 on its website www.cumbriawildlifetrust.org.uk and on social media with the hashtags #60NatureHeroes and #60ForNature