Tag Archives: British wildlife

My worry, my future, but not my choice

My future has been decided but by a seven month gap, I had no say. I had no say on what my future would hold regarding the direction the country I live in will go, and what that will mean and result in.

Above everything the thing I feel the most passionate and now worried about is our natural environment. Everyday I observe it, record it, enjoy it and it brings me such happiness. Going out onto my patch and exploring what’s about; swifts flying high, chiffchaffs singing, buzzards squawking overhead, badgers tumbling over and sneaking over fields at the dead of night. Campaigning and doing whatever I can to give those species that are on the brink or entangled into the poor decisions and disregard of humans; from hen harriers and turtle doves to badgers and foxes. Trying to spread why our natural world is so wonderful and what we can do to help it has just got harder. Harder in a way that we’ve put 70% of UK environmental safeguards at risk, but we need to make sure this isn’t lost. In a world where nature is not a top priority, this is going to be beyond tough but vital for the future of everything simple in our country which brings us life everyday. 

The combination of shock and worry makes this post difficult to write, and I really didn’t think I’d have too. Yet again I was too ignorant to think that as a country we’d vote for a future, and one with peace in mind. No longer are we a continent of unity, which I believe being a member of the EU represented. By the looks of things, we will no longer be a country of unity either as the results have split us a part. When I woke up yesterday morning, I felt numb from the shock. So much so I had to check if Friday had actually happened, it didn’t feel realistic. Fortunately this morning I seem to have come to terms with the matter but still terribly unsure of whats happened. A reason why I feel ‘better’ this morning was after yesterday and the satisfaction I got from speaking my thoughts a loud, effectively getting it off my chest.

It was the launch of National Badger Week at Lush, Oxford Street and I was very privileged to go along and talk. After what had happened in the last 48 hours it wasn’t just badgers I was going to talk about. Regarding the results I spoke about what this could mean for nature as well as the voice of young people. I further discussed this with Dominic Dyer and MP Kerry McCarthy. Both were unsure of what’s to come, and that at the moment there are no answers. Two interesting points were that farmers have lost 65% of there subsides, which came from the EU, meaning due to the extortionate costs of the badger cull it could be put off this year. Not that’s any reason for us to have voted leave as food prices are likely to go up and this will only be short term, but in the mean time it gives us an opportunity to fight against the cull. The point was also made about the high percentage of young people who voted to remain. Obviously when they voted they were looking to the future; their future jobs, future economy, what their country will look like in the future which I believe included the environment. More precisely issues which are growing in awareness such as climate change. Something we need to work together on small and large scales to tackle, and if nothing is done soon enough it will catch up with us in the future. Instead, older populations decided our future.

Based on what has happened already since the results, the uncertainty, and shock, I have never felt so worried. On Friday morning I felt ashamed and embarrassed to be English. Embarrassed by what our neighbours must think and ashamed because of what we’ve lost. We all worry in life; for myself that may be if I’m going to get some homework in on time, whether I’m going to have time to go and put my trail camera at my local badgers sett later, or whether I’ve got the grades I need to get into the University I want and later a job. However I’ve never felt so worried, this decision effects all this and the thing I care about above everything; nature. I know I’m being very bleak at the moment and (I hope) I’m exaggerating what the situation may be. Of course I don’t want a bad outcome for my country. The uncertainty is making it a lot worse though, I feel physically and emotionally exhausted – what’s to come? After all that blabber from the Leave campaign saying we’ll ‘take back control’, well it feels as-though we have no control now.

We had backing and support from the EU, including in relation to the natural world. From nature directives and environmental laws to a community that could work together to fight climate change and work for progress. We’re out on the other side now though and unfortunately it looks bleak. However bad it looks though and perhaps how bad it’s going to get, then the stronger we have to fight and collaborate for the sake of our natural heritage. That’s what I’m going to do, for the sake of wildlife do whatever I can and more. Making sure that its protection continues but also progresses, through increasing species numbers, richer habitats and for it to be safe to thrive and future generations to enjoy.

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My #VisionforNature

As you’ve probably guessed in just under a month the general election will be held, 7th May. The campaign has already began and parties are rolling out their policies.

Unfortunately, as I’m 16, I can’t vote but that doesn’t mean I don’t have an opinion on the political parties and what I would like to see in their Manifestos. As you can probably guess the thing I am most interested in what they say about is wildlife and the environment.

A few weeks back I became aware of the #VisionforNature campaign that A Focus on Nature have set up which consists of a series of blog posts running up to the general election. Over the month AFON members will share their own Vision for Nature. This includes what they want the natural world to look like by 2050 and how they want to get there. You can get involved by using the hash tag they have created, #VisionforNature and by filling in this survey.

Yesterday, for the 3rd day of their series, I did a blog about my Vision for Nature. It was very difficult to decide what to write about but in the end I decided to write about getting the next generation involved and everyone realising how important nature is. Not just to them who are interested but for every single one of us, all ages.

You can read the blog post I did here – http://www.afocusonnature.org/a-vision-for-nature/inspiring-the-next-generation-by-georgia-locock/#more-6049

I have also sent the blog to all of my local party candidates to help spread the message that young people care about nature’s future. Since that is the aim of the campaign.

My Wild Life

A few weeks back I heard about The Wildlife Trusts ‘My Wild Life’ campaign. The aim is to show how much nature matters to our lives. They’re doing this by showcasing stories of hundreds of peoples daily experiences with nature and how it is helping us all. The more people who add their story and make nature part of their life, the bigger the voice for wildlife, and it’s really important that we do this. As I’ve mentioned numerous times, over the last 40 years Earth has lost half of its wildlife. People need to realise this, how scary this decline is and that we all need to do something to reverse it.

I decided to do a blog about it as I think it’s fantastic a campaign. I’ve seen the stories everywhere, lots of different people have been getting involved and their stories are really heartwarming. Here is a link to the My Wild Life website where you can read more about it and some of the stories, where you can also add your own  – http://www.mywildlife.org.uk/

MyWildLife

Act for Nature.

Today I came across a campaign which has recently been set up by The Wildlife Trusts and RSPB. It is also backed by a number of other organisations which include WWT (Wetlands for life), Butterfly Conservation and many more. The campaign is called Act for Nature and it is a proposed piece of legislation to bring about the recovery of nature in a generation for the benefit of people and wildlife.

The joint campaign is asking politicians to act for nature and call for a Nature and Wellbeing Act in their Party’s election manifesto. The new laws would ensure protection and enhancement of nature as an investment in our nation’s prosperity.

You may ask, why do we need to act for nature? Well, the answer to that is for many different reasons! The first one is that we are loosing it at an alarming rate and something needs to be done. There are four principal causes of damage: habitat degradation, over-exploitation, pollution (particularly global climate change) and the introduction of invasive non-native species. The State of Nature report found that 60% of our UK species we know about are in decline. Habitats are becoming more fragmented and their condition is worsening to the extent that only 37% of the best sites are in good condition. These are just two of the worrying statistics about the alarming drop in our UK nature. From here though, at the moment, things aren’t looking too good for the future as only 1 in 10 children regularly play in wild places, compared to almost half, a generation ago. Without more young people growing an interest in the natural world and fulfilling a career in years to come the state of conservation will be lower and these statistics could decrease more and more. From my experience, at school I don’t know anyone who has any real interest or knowledge about nature. Then when I listen to stories of my Grandparents they explain that when they were at school everyone had an interest and everyone would regularly play in wild places. Also throughout my education I have never had many lessons about nature except for a few biology ones explaining the basic food chains – in my opinion this really isn’t an encouraging way of getting more kids involved and interested.

Nature helps us in every way possible, without it we wouldn’t even be here. For example the bees that pollinate the crops which create the food that we eat and just generally being outside that helps our wellbeing. It really does have a profound effect on our day to day lives. Currently we are facing increasing numbers in obesity and physical inactivity, and one in four of us will experience a mental heath problem at some point in our lives. Physical inactivity affects 60-70% of the adult population. The physical fitness of children is declining by up to 9% per decade. Many heath issues are linked to environmental inequality. Considerable evidence show that contact with nature can help to prevent and reverse poor health and wellbeing.

My last point, but certainly not the least, is the how much pleasure myself, and many others, get from being outdoors and observing the natural world in many different ways. From appreciating our endangered Hen Harriers fulfilling their distinctive sky dance to nature lovers feeding and caring for their garden residents. Like many others I experience the beauty of the natural world everyday. Whether it be the simple things like the change in colour on my local patch as the Autumn arrives or filming timid badger cubs emerging from their sett for the very first time.

From a young persons prospective the plummeting decline in our British wildlife is very worrying, whether it be as a whole or just individual species. It’s very scary and I often think about. Will anything be done in time? Will our wildlife ever be able to thrive within our landscape or will we carry on fighting for it’s survival. I want to do my best to make sure the natural world around us goes onto teem and be appreciated and noticed by everyone.  This campaign could help a lot by putting nature at the heart of how our country is run, so everyone can enjoy the benefits it provides in our everyday lives.

Within the Nature and Wellbeing Act, some of the changes that would be created for wildlife and nature include:

  • Wildlife in Neighborhoods
  • Making caring for nature a key purpose of schooling
  • A call for everyone to live no longer than 10 minutes walk from a natural space
  • Make access to nature and wild places part of preventative and treatment-based healthcare
  • Set new targets for increased wildlife and raise the nature baseline
  • Make sure our existing wildlife protection laws remain strong and continue to defend threatened species and habitats from harm.
  •  Create an Office of Environmental Responsibility in government to ensure targets for recovery are met

To support this campaign for a Nature and Wellbeing Act, take action and find out more please click here.

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