14/02/2020: Hull’s youth climate march

Yesterday morning, before an afternoon of laboratory practical’s at university, I jumped on the bus and headed down to the climate march in Hull city centre. Since the climate marches and school strikes began, I’ve been to quite a few but never one in my university city so this was exciting as I wondered what to expect.

Of course, what I found was what is present at all marches that took place across the UK and the globe yesterday: raw determination and boldness. Young people defying all stereotypes and knowing exactly what is at stake here. A type of force which I have never seen from a group of people before. From attending such events on issues including the badger cull, foxing hunting or climate change when I was much younger, these are very different. Perhaps partly because it doesn’t have that feeling of being ‘organised’. It’s been assembled by young people who have come along with school friends to exercise their rights for a healthy planet. Of course a few adults turned up to, and altogether it was a very exciting atmosphere.

The march in Hull was organised by the Youth Strike for Climate group for Hull, which I’m very proud to be a part of. The march went through the town, passing the City Council offices and arrived at Queen Victoria Square where some young people spoke. As I mentioned, there were young people and adults of all ages, some were perhaps as young as primary school age. It’s quite a contrast to those marches I went on when I was younger, where the age bracket was more around 30 to 60.

Nevertheless, all were very involved. Bringing homemade signs, chalk and even taking it upon themselves to give a speech or say a few words in front of the other protesters and the public that had gathered to watch. This was incredibly brave, but it was plain to see that this didn’t faze them, and they’d do anything to make the most of using their voices. A common theme we’ve seen across the world over the past few years.

The Youth Strike for Climate events took place across the UK yesterday, as did other Fridays for Future events across the world. My Twitter feed was packed with locations from across the globe, although this is nothing new and hasn’t been for a while now. But this growth of collaborations and movements doesn’t seem to be dwindling. Many of the climate strikes and marches have been happening across the UK for over a year now, some much more, but none seem to have lost any attention. Quite the opposite.

Here are some photos which I took on the day. If you’d like to see more or follow some of the events which took place across the UK (and the world) yesterday and find out about future events, then I recommend visiting these social media platforms:

YouthStrike4Climate – @Strike4Youth

FridaysForFuture – @Fridays4future

 

Day in London : Our Environment Our Future

Most people visiting London for the day would perhaps go sightseeing or to see a West End musical but yesterday I went to discuss a project about getting young people involved with nature and the environment.

We caught the train from our local station at 9:00 and arrived in London just after 11. We then caught the tube to the Park Green station and walked through Green Park to the building where the conference was being held. I managed to get a few photos whilst walking through Green Park and it nice to see people enjoying the green spaces within London, not just the built up areas. There was some unusual wildlife here though, for instants a turkey! Along with lots and lots of grey squirrels, gulls and pigeons.

When we finally arrived, after stopping about every few foot steps to take photos, and the conference began I got to learn more about this exciting new project which is all about getting young people (aged 11-24) involved with nature and improving their local environment.  It will take the form of a portfolio made up of around 30 individual projects across the UK. The Big Lottery Fund plans to invest £30 million across the UK to support these projects. The Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts is the leading consortium which has been chosen by The Big Lottery Fund. Other members of the consortium include Centre for Sustainable Energy, Community Service Volunteers, Field Studies Council, Plunkett Foundation, The Conservation Volunteers, vInspired and Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust.

Our Environment Our Future is all about young people shaping their local environment and acquiring new skills for the future. Outcomes of this £30 million investment include:

  • Make a significant change in the quality of our urban and rural environments.
  • Increase the ability of young people to improve places that are important to them and to influence the attitudes and decisions that shape their neighbourhoods and communities.
  • Catalyse change led by young people, by investing in both the direct improvement of the environment and the development of young people.

The Wildlife Trust, along with the other 7 members of the consortium, are now managing the portfolio investment and along with The Big Lottery Fund are working to identify and asses individual portfolio projects. They are now calling for expressions of interest from potential portfolio projects. If you are interested in applying to lead a project as part of the portfolio click here or if you’d like more information click here. You have until 5pm on the 17th of December to submit your Expression of Interest form.

Overall it was a great day for me as I feel very passionately about getting young people involved with nature as they are the future.  I also enjoyed meeting 8 other young people from the other members of the consortium as they all feel passionate about the environment in different ways. After the conference we also had some time to go and see the poppies at The Tower of London. They had already started dismantling them but they still looked fantastic.

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New garden resident.

This morning my excuse for being late to school was much different to most. This was because I had a grey squirrel visiting my garden for the very first time! Grey squirrels aren’t a rare species but I was very excited when I saw that I had attracted a new mammal species  into my garden. I managed to get a few photos in between getting ready but I hope to get lots more in the future. Here’s one of the photos that I took of the acrobatic squirrel.

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