Tag Archives: england

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.

A day to remember

Yesterday was a remarkable day. For me, on a personal level, there in London, it was just mind blowing. I joined around 50,000 others in the streets of London as we marched through giving out a strong message of how we not only care about the future of this planet but want it to be a safe and sustainable place for everything which lives on it. Now, along with in many, many years to come. All through my body, I felt hope. The smile on my face was beaming as I was surrounded by so many passionate people who are fighting for what they believe in. That’s the thing with climate change, everyone has different stories and reasons why they’re so provoked to take action. Whether it be for those in the poorest parts of the world who’s homes could be washed away permanently with a 2-3 degree rise in temperature or for our wild friends and to protect their habitats. At the end of the day though, this is what brings us all together and shows we’re all the same.

One of the reasons why I did feel so hopeful was due to the amount of people there, no one can ignore that! At the end of the day it was announced as the biggest climate march that’s ever taken place in the UK! But what about elsewhere? Well, in other parts of the UK there were events taking place in York, Wales, Southampton, Manchester…everywhere! Then further afield, they were taking place all around the world. Sydney, Manila, South Korea, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Yemen, Greece, Austria, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Ukraine and the list goes on. Paris was also another city where protests were taking place but after the recent attacks, they were told that people marching and gathering was not allowed. Instead, the people here did something even more powerful. They left a pair of shoes to symbolise those that would of stood their. The sight of this must be so overpowering. Each and every pair representing someone. It made me think more to the core of why everyone may of attended a march. All with their own story and the path they’ve taken, perhaps the sadness they’ve come to contact with or what they’ve witnessed and has therefore made them come to terms and fight.

But was the message clearly shown? Well, if none of these marches or people happened or gathered around the world over the weekend then it wouldn’t of been shown how important this is. Letting leaders know that the whole world is watching. Regarding COP21, we have some hope. The fact it’s happening and the aim of the outcomes already are to put a cap on rising temperatures and the use of none-renewable energy. But, how far will this go though? Will it be enough to tackle the rising temperatures? Is it just going to be for the next 30-40 years or will it be established that the impacts of climate change and aims for a healthier planet need to be taken beyond that and into many, many years to come. Above everything, we need change.

Being part of the march in London yesterday was beyond imaginable, it was simply so inspiring and powerful, the sheer number and drive from all those people. There has been quite a build up too. For me, I’ve been doing lots of writing for numerous blogs, this blog and some more as well as attending local events. I believe local scales are very important as it’s about approaching ordinary people and encouraging them to get involved and do their part. Whether that just be things around their house, spreading the message to friends or perhaps they go on and write just a simple letter to their MP. It’s all important and adds up to the bigger picture and this massive wave we want to send to those who have the power to make a change. Some of my friends or people I might talk to believe that the rising temperatures are no big deal to them, yet they pose bigger threat, if big change doesn’t happen, then many of the issues which they believe do.

In fact, this wraps up with something that makes me mad about the attitude of many. The fact that it isn’t acted upon in ways that similar issues or maybe ones that are arguably not as important. Why are they issues that are classed as something not as vital as others? Not only by politicians and leaders but by ordinary people too, is it because we’re so disconnected? Aren’t looking to the future? Or perhaps because they’re classed as long term issues that are fast becoming short term issues? But when that time comes it will become too late. There are so many different elements to it, another may be profit and money which boils down to the fact that some would rather kill off natural environments to get some pounds in their pocket.

The whole world has it’s eyes on Paris from today until the 11th December. Young , old and from all around the world. Climate change is a global issue that we all must unite together to tackle. There are a number of topics that I’d like to write about on this post about yesterday, COP21, some of my views and so on. Also there’s so much that’s going to be happening over the next 11 days so to add my support and my eyes on Paris, I’ve decided that I’m going to write a series of blogs through the 11 days. Perhaps not everyday but covering a range of topics as the climate talks in Paris are very important and I’d like to highlight that with my blog.

 

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And of course, those hen harriers! (Richard Ebbs)

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Herd bovine TB risk factor – badger persecution (data)

Today I came across this data map and table which I found very interesting. They both show wildlife incidents involving badgers during 2013 that were reported, but in different formats.

2013 badger persecution incidents 22013 badger persecution incidents

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just a couple of weeks back the cull in Gloucestershire and Somerset finished after the third year. In Dorset it was the first year of culls. If you look at all three of these areas, the numbers are very high. In fact if you compare the data to the map you will see that three out of six of the highest zones of reported badger incidents by county are in the West Country.

Many may interpret this data in different ways but for this short post I’m going to contrast this data with a report that I also read today. The report is about herd-level bovine tuberculosis risk factors and assessing the role of low-level badger population disturbance. This study was carried out by Queens University Belfast and found that badger persecution IS implicated as a risk factor which contributes to the persistence of Bovine TB hotspot.

Could there be a link between hunting, illegal sett interference (etc) and the persistently high incidence of bTB in the recent cull zones, of which are areas with high levels of persecution rates?

Some very useful and interesting data:

http://www.scottishbadgers.org.uk/userfiles/file/Main_folder1/UK-BADGER-CRIME-2013-final-version-1.pdf

http://pure.qub.ac.uk/portal/en/publications/herdlevel-bovine-tuberculosis-risk-factors-assessing-the-role-of-lowlevel-badger-population-disturbance(50f39952-8d8b-4791-9287-5d2db32d3ce4).html

Celebrate badgers with National Badger Day!

As you’ll know today is of course National Badger Day!

Many people are shouting out about it, whether that be on social media (#NationalBadgerDay – which has been trending all morning!) or in person, there’s events taking place all around the country, the NBD film is being shown to children and much more! It’s a really wonderful day and one we should all use to celebrate this iconic and charismatic species. All of us should be doing our part to protect these animals as they really do need our help.

It’s hard not to think about the horrible ongoings of the cull right now. With patrols still tirelessly venturing out night after night in the cull zones, it’s important to support the work they do in saving these animals lives.  As well as this, unfortunately they are the target of a lot of persecution and unlike the cull it happens all over the UK. Whether it be badger baiting or disturbance, it’s so important that we’re keeping a watchful eye out for these animals.

So, whatever you do today make sure it includes something positive for badgers, they deserve it! Whether it be at an event or telling other people all about them.

You can see the full film here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drcBAct42TQ&feature=youtu.be

I’m very pleased to be part of the video and I’ll also be wearing my National Badger Day badge whilst at sixth form today along with talking to some of the younger years about it later this week!

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