Over the last few weeks, I’ve been preparing and sorting myself out to start back at university. It still feels as nerve wracking as last year, partly because I’m going to be starting at a different university and on a different course. I’m off to Hull university instead to study Zoology, this is slightly different to the degree I was studying in York, which I decided wasn’t quite for me. Anyway, a slight change of plan but it’s very exciting and I can’t wait for it all to kick off.
In the meantime, this Saturday. I’m pretty certain there aren’t many who haven’t heard, but it’s the People’s Walk for Wildlife. A peaceful walk across London, gathering will begin at around 10 am in Hyde Park, with talks and entertainment beginning at 12 pm before the walk will begin at 1 pm. It will take a route through London to arrive opposite the gates of Downing Street for 2 pm.
It’s called the People’s Walk for Wildlife for a reason. It’s for everyone who simply has a passion for wildlife and wants to protect it. Whatever background, interest or age, it’s about coming together and saying enough is enough. Whether they’re individuals there off their own back, part of a small scale campaign group or from a large NGO, we’re uniting. No more small baby steps or watching the government or media turn a blind eye, we need rapid change to prevent this downhill slope into biodiversity destruction continuing any longer.
That is what this is all about, along with the accompanying People’s Manifesto for Wildlife which was released yesterday. This is a beautiful and very powerful document which has been collaborated by Chris Packham and 18 individual ministers, along with a team of editors, illustrators and researchers. It’s just a first draft though. Neither the manifesto or the walk are a ‘one off’, they’re the beginning of a storm to come.
I’ve been very fortunate and excited to be a part of Saturdays event and have contributed to the manifesto as one of the ministers for Young People in Nature, alongside fellow young conservationist, Bella Lack. The manifesto is a collaboration of 17 ministries which cover a range of subjects and areas with over 200 ideas to make a change in UK conservation. It really is essential reading.
Young people are a serious part of this. After all, this is their future and what they’ll see change more than anyone else, whether that’s for better or worse. A lot has been done to try and engage young people with the day and the manifesto. For example, the ‘Dictionary of Wildlife Wonders’. Of which, young people can add their own contributions to. Or perhaps write a spell or some rhyming couplets all about why they love wildlife, what’s special about it or what their hopes are for the future. You can find out more by clicking here.
As someone with a big imagination and probably makes up their own words and language on a daily basis (unintentionally!), this is brilliant. Here’s my attempt at a rhyming couplet:
Face to Face with a black and white form,
Is it a badger or an everlasting storm?
One of my favourite things to do and it really captured my love for nature as a kid, is watching and filming badgers. They’re amazing animals. But they also represent an arrogant and ill-informed attitude towards our wildlife due to their tie-up in farming and Bovine TB debates, which has resulted in a mass slaughter of these creatures over the past few years. The question of the second line asks whether we’re going to make the right decision; act and be able to come face to face with wildlife in the future. Or are we going to continue as we are and watch biodiversity dwindle and fall, uncovering an everlasting storm.