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Decolonising the UK countryside with Maxwell Ayamba

Updated: Nov 26, 2023

Maxwell Ayamba MBE is a PhD research student in Black Studies at the Department of American & Canadian Studies at the University of Nottingham, whose research explores the trajectory of ‘race’ ecology and environmental justice in the UK.

Maxwell is passionate about the countryside and increasing access for Black, Asian and other global majority groups and refugee communities, which is why he co-founded The 100 Black Men Walk for Health Group and established the Sheffield Environmental Movement.

In England, only 8% of the countryside is accessible to the public under the 2000 Countryside & Rights of Way (CRoW Act).

Maxwell explains why this is the case, and how the recent events of covid have negatively impacted people’s rights to freely roam.

He also talks about his work to encourage more Black and Global Majority folk to connect with nature is beneficial for promoting positive mental and physical health. He was honoured in the UK’s 2023 New Year’s Honours List with a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to the environment and to the community in Sheffield, South Yorkshire.


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