A GLOBE-TROTTING schoolgirl birdwatcher became the youngest Brit ever to be awarded an honorary degree last week.

Dedicated ornithologist Mya-Rose Craig, 17, was the youngest birdwatcher in the world to spot 5000 different species.

The teenage twitcher is also an equality and diversity campaigner.

And now Mya, from Compton Martin, Somerset, has become the youngest Brit in the UK to be awarded an honorary degree.

Mya was given the BSc degree by Bristol University at a ceremony on Thursday (February 20).

The only younger person to receive one is Malala, the Pakistani activist for female rights and education.

Speaking to the crowd, she said: "I want to say very deeply and sincerely thank you to this university for this

"[...] When I first got the email I thought it was a strange scam or a prank from one of my friends.

"It took verifying the email to finally realise that it was real."

She spoke about the responsibility that privilege brings and added: "I genuinely believe that you are the change makers of tomorrow.

"I have no doubt that you are going to go on and do great things.

"But I believe its important while you do that to remember the people that weren't able to go to an elite university in a first world country.

"Not to apologise for how fortunate you are, but to understand that you are in a position of privilege, and with that privilege comes responsibility.

"Responsibly to provide others with the opportunity to break through glass ceilings, and ensure that diversity and inclusion ifs on the forefront of your minds."

She was nominated by Richard Pancost, head of the School of Earth Sciences.

Speaking to the graduated ahead of introducing Mya-Rose, he said: "Honouring your achievement today is a privilege and it is an obligation

"To bestow a somewhat comparable honour on someone who is only 17-years-old is not a decision we take likely as an institution.

"It is reserved for those are are leading truly special, truly amazing projects, courageous projects, trans formative projects - Mya-Rose is doing just that."

Over the years, Mya has travelled the world finding and spotting hundreds of different birds.

When she was four years old her mother, Helena Craig, decided that she was old enough to start counting birds on her own.

Twelve years on, the teenager has visited 38 countries over seven continents, including Australia, Egypt, and several trips to the Amazon, in a quest to tot up as many spots.

In 2012, when Mya was 10, her parents decided to take her out of school for six months, - tutoring her themselves, to take her on the trip of a life time.

The family spent six weeks in Columbia, six weeks in Bolivia and nine weeks in Peru, ensuring a two week return home between each trip so Mya could meet up with friends.

Her 3,000th spot - a Bowerbird - came during a six week trip to Queensland, Australia, in Summer 2013.

The teenage twitcher made her 4,000th spot - a red-throated tit - at Swara Plains, Kenya, during a summer 2015 trip to Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya.

Last June Mya earned her C-permit from the British Trust for Ornithology - an official authorisation for her to birdspot and record alone, without the supervision of her parents.

The International Ornithological Congress (IOC) World Bird List currently has 10,738 birds on it - and determined Mya-Rose is keen to see half before she turns 18.

Speaking previously, she said: “The bird I’d like to see most is a Harpy Eagle, the biggest eagle in the world which lives in South America.

“There’s only relatively low number of them left so it’s difficult to spot them.

“I’m going on my first trip to Brazil this summer, so I think I will be spoilt with additional species there.

“I’m just really hoping I get to see the Harpy Eagle.”

Proud mum, Helena, 50, a retired lawyer, said: "She used to come with us when she was tiny. We first took her to the Isle of Scilly when she was only a few months old.

"It’s what me and my husband have always done but Mya is really into it as well. Even her third word was 'birdie!'"

Mya, who attends Chew Valley Secondary School, in Somerset, is keen to keep up the hobby and is already planning her next trip.

Her parents, Helena and retired TV executive Chris, 50, said while they are keen to continue travelling with Mya they don't think she'll be taking any more time off school.