Tag Archives: march

Stampede for Rhinos and Elephants

A couple of years back when I first became aware of how the countryside isn’t all this glorious place I was so frightened to see the behaviour and activity that takes place. Obviously not for my own sake but for the sake of wildlife and their habitats. I remember looking into it and thinking surely that doesn’t still take place?! Most, if not all, hold no place in society today yet still do and are done so with pleasure, fun and the intention of greed. Context I’d expect to hear in one of history lessons.

I sometimes hear disputes amongst people about how British wildlife needs us here so we should put everything into that. That’s a good point but when you lean more about how similar the situations elsewhere in the world are it’s terrifying and makes you realise it’s not just the UK that’s somewhat stuck in the dark ages but many other places too. For example, it’s an odd comparison but compare the Hen Harrier to an African elephant. One main reason why Hen Harriers are persecuted is for greed, much like the killing of elephants, this is done to protect grouse which they then make money from (and for fun). Much like they do with the tusks of elephants. My point is, putting the pounds in their pocket in front of the life of an animal. That’s only a slight and brief comparison but another aspect which seems to have a big connection is the some sort of pleasure they get. From trophy hunting to badger baiting.

There are obviously a lot more influences too, for example who’s in power, community, culture etc. Thinking about it all of the top of my head I can think of quite a lot of examples of the persecution of wildlife around the world. All in different circumstances and locations yet all for similar reasons. Fortunately though, just like there’s people in the UK you may know who’s work is just fantastic, these people obviously do exist elsewhere too and it’s still important to try and support their work.

Although trying to spread yourself out everywhere would be brilliant, it isn’t possible. Something that hits me quite a lot. However I wanted to show my support and join those who had organised a march in London last Saturday for rhinos and elephants, against the ivory trade.

It was an early train into London and a 10.45 start at Cavendish Square for the day ahead. The march passed through different places including Leicester Square and past the South African Embassy before finishing outside the gates of Downing Street where a host of talks were given from the likes of Dominic Dyer, Born Free Foundation and of course Badger Trust, Nicky Campbell, presenter as well as animal lover, Philip Manbridge, Director of IFAW UK, and a few more too.

Here are some photos from the day.

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96 ELEPHANTS KILLED IN AFRICA EVERYDAY.

Standing up for wildlife – Ross on Wye

One of the key messages whilst on the march in Ross on Wye yesterday was we won’t give up. Even though the Tories have got back in and the next five years for wildlife look very bleak, we won’t give up.

Later this year the badger cull will be rolled out again and they’re now looking at Dorset too, there are plans to repeal the Hunting Act, there’s game keepers calling for reduced protection of birds of prey so they can protect their pheasant and partridge shoots and then there’s the Government fighting the EU ban on neonicotinoids which have a terrible impact on bees. With all this and more going on it is really important we don’t give up and we show that.

A few weeks back I heard about a stand up for wildlife march in Ross on Wye which was the first since the election. I’ve been to quite a few of these now. Not only do I enjoy going because I meet some great people and it’s always a good day but I think it’s really important to show your support and try and get that message heard loud and clear.

The march started at 12.30 and everyone gathered at the band stand in Ross on Wye. Altogether there was well over a hundred and as we went through Ross town centre the crowd seemed to grow. The march went up the high street and round by the market where it was very busy and lots of people shopping. This was good as there was more people to see and hear what we had to say. I find it fantastic how the whole street will just freeze as people stop to see what’s going on and the people working in shops come out too.

On our way round we stopping just outside Sainsbury’s for a few minutes, if you haven’t heard about Sainsbury’s click here, then we made our way to the top of the high street where Dominic Dyer (CEO Badger Trust) gave a few words. We then made our way back to the start before we created too much commotion in the town.

Once back we gathered round for some talks. First to speak was the dairy farmer Steve Jones who spoke about how he’s dealt with bTb and how good biosecurity will stop bTb. His talk was very interesting and one that I really enjoyed. You can watch it by clicking on the link below. Next to speak was Tosca, Lynn Sawyer and Ray Pottock who all spoke about issues like badger culling and the Hunting Act along with all the amazing work which has been done in that area by Gloucestershire Badger Group, who organised the march, the Wounded Badger Patrol and Three Counties Hunt Sabs. Again these were all brilliant speeches and it was great to hear about the positives work that have gone on during this horrific time. Along with this though it also reminded you of the terrible things that are going on and inspire you even more to do your bit.

Last to speak was Dominic Dyer who gave, once again, a superb speech and finished the afternoons march off.

Dominic’s speeches – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RcO6sT-vNohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61UQCMKPAbA

Steve Jones – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJqXCAvBgFw

Ray Pottock – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXPY6y1NeO0

Lynn Sawyer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AW6pJEzq5t0

All filmed by Dianne Bartlett.

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IMG_7875Thought this photo outside of Sainsbury’s was rather apt!

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Wearing my badger army t-shirt along with my Hen Harrier badge ready for Hen Harrier day! Click here

to find out more.

GE2015 Day Three: Badgers and Witney March

If you read my introduction blog you’ll know that throughout this week, running up to the general election, I am doing a blog a day about some key issues which affect wildlife in the UK and in some cases on a world wide scale. As I only have six days and I’m currently taking my GCSEs I’ve only been able to include six topics but of course there are many more. With these blogs I hope to show people the problems our wildlife faces, what we can do, who it affects, what will happen if we don’t address the problem, see if there’s been any mentions in party manifestos and much more! I’m also trying to exaggerate the fact that we should be voting for nature and the environment. Along with sending the posts to party leaders, MPs etc. It’s key that we address problems facing wildlife now so it’s not too late as when it is too late we’ll be in serious trouble.

Today’s blog is slightly different to the last two as I would of done a blog today anyway about the march I went on in David Cameron’s constituency, Witney, yesterday. But as I don’t want to go out of sink with my General Election blogs I’ve decided to do this one about badger persecution and the cull, then include the march I went on in Witney yesterday.

In the UK badgers are one of the most protected species under The Protection of Badgers Act 1992 however they are the most persecuted. Since the badger cull was rolled out this has brought all sorts of problems for badgers, for example an increased number of cruelty against them. Every month around 2000 badgers are illegally killed. This includes petrol being poured down setts, snares, dog fighting, glass being put down setts and many more disgusting acts. What makes it worse though is the cull which has been rolled out over the past two years, which has led to an increase in badger persecution, doesn’t even work. Even though badgers have always been a victim to wildlife crime, over the past few years, due to the cull, hundreds and thousands of badgers have been slaughtered and targeted by cruelty.

The badger cull is a very controversial subject. Some think it is humane and effective yet many others disagree with this and believe that it is barbaric, inhumane and inefficient. This is a mixture of a political and scientific debate. There are lots of reasons behind why the badger cull won’t work, I’m not going to go into detail on this post but you can read previous posts where I have spoken about why it won’t work or follow this link to the Badgergate website where Chris Cheeseman explains all – http://www.badgergate.org/guest-articles/why-a-badger-cull-wont-work/

As I just mentioned, a lot of people disagree with cull. So much so that over the past 18 months 30 marches have brought thousands of people from all round the country together to protest against it. Yesterday I went along to the last march before the General Election on Thursday. This wasn’t as such a badger march but it was a march to show how much we care about wildlife and how much it matters. The march took place in Witney, Oxfordshire. This is David Cameron’s constituency and is a Conservative strong hold. Unfortunately even though we’d invited Mr Cameron he didn’t come along but other parties also hoping to represent Witney did. This was the Green Party candidate, Stuart Macdonald, and the Labour candidate, Duncan Enright.

For 1pm everyone on the march met in the town centre. Photos were taken of the banners, placards and supporters, and it was good to catch up with some familiar faces and also meet some new people too. Once we were all ready we set off down the high street. Overall there was probably about 100 people. Even though there wasn’t as many as in Worcester the week before we all made some noise and held our banners and placards high. Whilst making our way through the town we definitely got plenty of attention as it was a busy Saturday afternoon so there were lots of people about. Again it was a great feeling to be surrounded by these people and it was a fantastic atmosphere. I went on my first march a few months back and since then I have tried not to miss any as they are so great to go on. Even though they are good to go on I hope yesterday’s was my last, depending on what happens on Thursday.

After we’d made our way through the town we ended up on Witney Green where we gathered round and listened to the speakers. First to talk was Lynn Sawyer. She spoke last week in Worcester and as I mentioned then she’s done some fantastic work. She spoke about the badger cull and how we should be looking out for setts, no matter what happens on Thursday, hunt monitors, the Heythrop Hunt and their disgusting ongoings, setts being badly affected by hunts, strengthening the hunting act and much more. After Lynn’s talk, the Green Party and Labour Party representatives spoke about their polices linking to animal welfare and the cull. It was quite funny as these were all great representatives and it shows that even in a Tory strong hold like Witney, Cameron has parties fighting against him.

Next to talk was Dominic Dyer. I’ve heard him speak many times over the past few months, including in Worcester last week. He is a brilliant wildlife campaigner and activist who always speaks very passionately and about a number of key issues facing our wildlife in the UK, and gave some examples from abroad too. Last to speak was Nigel Tolley who read out a letter which we were about to post through Cameron’s door. The letter had been written by the organiser, Emily Lawrence. In the letter she stated issues like the badger cull and hunting. This letter was to be poster to Cameron because over the past five years he rolled out a two year badger cull, hasn’t done anything for our wildlife and threatens to roll out the badger cull to more areas and repeal the hunting act if he gets into power again next Friday. This was a reason why the march took place in Witney.

So we all headed back down into the main town centre with the banners and placards held high again, and the shouting echoing down the high street to Mr Cameron’s office. As I mentioned before, unfortunately he wasn’t in but we gathered round outside, the letter was posted and photos were taken too.

Here are a few photos from the day

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Dominic Dyer speaking

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Myself, the organiser Emily (in the badger suit), and fellow young blogger, Alex.

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Gathering round David Cameron’s office door

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Lynn Sawyer speaking

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Myself with the placard I made

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Outside David Cameron’s office

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We Will Not Be Silenced

As you most likely know the general election is approaching fast, in fact just 10 days away. It is becoming very tense as the current polls are close. However it’s not just tense for us Humans, it’s also very tense for our wildlife and animals. Although they can’t vote we need to vote for them, give them the voice they need.

Unfortunately, as I’m 16, I can’t vote but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been interested in the parties manifestos, their campaigning but also the other campaigning that’s been going on. In fact, when I’ve been able to, I’ve been getting involved with the campaigns. From getting involved on social media and supporting thunderclaps to doing blog posts, writing letters to local party candidates and getting involved with protests.

One protest which caught my eye this week was the suffragette-themed march on Parliament to launch the “Votes for Animals” campaign where a variety of organisations, charities and individuals got together. They proceeded the streets of London with their striking masks, costumes and signs with their main aim of giving animals a voice and encourage the public to vote for animals on May 7th. You can read more about the Vote for Animal protest in London by clicking here.

Yesterday though was another day where I went out and helped do my part to give nature a voice. I was up nice and early as I had two trains to catch and was very excited for the day ahead. I was off to join the badger army and wildlife defenders for their march in the streets of Worcester. Once we arrived in Worcester we went for a quick coffee then headed down to St. Andrews Park where the march began. This was my second march, the last one I went on was back in February and took place on the streets of Birmingham. The one in Birmingham was more of a festival as there were more speakers and stalls, you can read more about it by clicking here. It was also brilliant to go yesterday after the Badger Trust Seminar in Bristol last weekend as it great to see some familiar faces. By 1pm there was a good crowd of a few hundred people and everyone was ready to go. There was people dressed up, plenty of signs and flags, megaphones, hats and much more. It was pretty obvious that it was going to be a successful protest.

But before we could begin addressing the streets of Worcester there was three speeches. First was the main organiser, Chris Swan, who spoke about the fact that there is still the worry of badgers being culled, the threat badgers face and also read out a poem about badger persecution which had been wrote a hundred years ago but in many ways applies to today’s world. The second to speak was Lynn Sawyer who has done inspirational work over the past 12 months which resulted in 100’s of badgers life’s saved. She spoke about the fantastic work of hunt and cull saboteurs, the importance of looking out for local setts and read a book extract about the fact that Btb travels on the feet of those horses, humans and hounds. Then before the march began Nigel Tolley spoke. He is a very active member of badger army and a great wildlife activist. He spoke about the fact that even if the cull does stop, depending on who gets into power on May 7th, there is still the major problem of badger persecution. He stated that over 2000 badgers are killed every month throughout the UK which is well over the amount killed in the culls. He also spoke about how we need to encourage people to go out, recognise and report wildlife crime.

After these two talks the march was raring to go. There was a set route through Worcester, which we followed. Everyone was shouting either ‘Save our Badgers, Stop the Cull’ or ‘Save our Badgers, Tories out’. It was such a brilliant atmosphere, everyone was so passionate and determined to get the message across. Signs and flags were high in the air, leaflets were being handed out and stuck everywhere, and the shouting echoed down the high street. There was no doubt that we were making our mark and spreading the message. We then stopped outside of the Guild Hall where three more people spoke. The first was the Labour candidate for the area, then the Green candidate. They both spoke about the policies of their party. One of the common policies was putting a stop to the barbaric unscientific badger cull.

Before getting started again Dominic Dyer, wildlife campaigner, gave a speech. Over the past few months I’ve heard him talk a number of times and what he says is always very inspirational. He stood up on a park bench with a megaphone and spoke about a number of issues. From the badger cull to wildlife crime. He also stated that we will not be silenced.

As I heard a few times yesterday, to be able to protest in Worcester yesterday it took a lot of hard work from the organisers. This is partly due to the election approaching and in different ways it’s jeopardising the chance for parties to win seats because the badger cull, and wildlife crime, is among a key issue for many politicians.

We were then back to the protest through the high street in Worcester, feeling more passionate and enthused after more inspirational speeches. On our way back to St. Andrews Park we passed the Lush store in Worcester which had a few signs outside and their window display was about the ‘Votes for Animals’ campaign. This was another great feature to the protest.

Once back at St.Andrews Park all those on the protest stood together for a photo. It made a fantastic photo as it showed everyone’s passion and willingness to be there. Then with the outfits, masks, hats and signs it showed what we all stood for.

Here are a few photos from the day.

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