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.


GE2015 Day Six: Inspiring The Next Generation

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.

This is the last blog of my General Election posts. Although it’s taken up a lot of my time writing them and my revisions been slightly pushed I have enjoyed doing them very much. The response has been great!

This is a topic that I’ve blogged about quite a lot in the past but that’s because I think it’s a really important issue. What first provoked me to get interested in this issue is the fact that everyday I go to school and I’m surrounded by kids that have no idea of the natural world around them. I’m not expecting them to become experts but when they have no idea about how it benefits us in a number of ways it’s quite distressing. Instead they abuse it, take it for granted, don’t appreciate or understand it. As I’ve explained in previous blogs nature is very important, it does a number of things for us humans. For example it provides clean water, stops erosion, pollinates crops and much more. It’s also a fantastic and very enjoyable wonder.

It’s very important that we inspire and educate the next generation, here are a few examples why…

  • Over the last 40 years Earth has lost half of its wild animals
  • 1 in 3 species have halved in the last century
  • In the UK alone 60% of species have declined over the last 50 years
  • Turtle doves have declined by 93% since 1970
  • Hedgehogs have declined by around a third since the last millennium
  • The small tortoiseshell butterfly has declined in abundance by 77% in the last ten years
  • Of the 3,148 species analysed for the State of Nature report, one in ten face extinction
  • 97% of lowland meadow vanished between the 1930s and the 1980s

Why is this happening?

Some of the causes to why our wildlife is declining include the intensification of farming, this includes no areas left for nature and the use of dangerous pesticides and chemicals. Also the loss of meadows, hedgerows, and ponds. As well as the building development, cutting down trees faster then they can re-grow, harvesting more fish than the oceans can re-stock, and emitting more carbon than oceans and forests can absorb. These are just a few reason why our wildlife is declining here in the UK and on a world wide scale. There are many other reasons too, some on a much smaller scale. For example the idea of people tarmacking their garden or not having holes in the fence where hedgehogs can come in.

As you can see the problem is getting worse, our wildlife has declined dramatically over the past few decades and you can read more about this on the State of Nature report. On some articles I’ve recently read they have said things like decline and extinction of species can lead to ’empty landscapes’, just imagine how awful that would be! Even though lots of charities and organisations are doing fantastic jobs with the public’s backing, there is still work to be done. For example educating people.

Why education?

Well obviously there are lots of other things that we can do to reverse this decline but one that I think is a major factor is through educating people, especially younger people and children. Therefore I decided to choose it as a topic as part of my General Election posts.

Where to start, why is education important? Well that’s a difficult question to break down as all in all, it’s vital! Whilst at school some of the more interesting and important things that we learn tend to stick with us, or the idea behind it. Also when educated it opens us up, we want to learn more about that subject and it makes us more interested. Therefore education is a way forward. If a child was to grow up with gadgets and have no real experiences of the natural world around them then when they went to school and they are introduced to the wonders of the natural world just imagine how fascinated they’d be! Not only would it be a first but as a young child budding to find out what the world is about their curiosity could go on and on. I’m 16 and every time I go out whether it be on a walk on my local patch after school, setting my trail camera up or going out with my camera at the weekend there is never a time I’d either be willing to come home or come home regretting I ever went out.

Not only would this get the child interested but it would bring their imagination to life and the enjoyment of it all could make them very happy too. Then as the child grows up they’re introduced to different aspects, without a doubt when they’re older they’ll remember these experiences and be willing to share them with their own children or pass the memories and experiences on.

Overall, we all know nowadays that there’s more gadgets about and lots more opportunities etc so children don’t get the joy of going outdoors and enjoying nature for what it is but with this extra push whilst they’re at school that could trigger the enthusiasm off.

The link between decline and education

First of all, as I mentioned before, it is teaching and showing the child to go and explore. With this they’ll learn to appreciate what it’s all about and respect it. If they do this then they’ll pass it on to their friends and their own children in the future. Respecting and enjoying the outdoors could become ‘cool’ and they’ll begin to learn if they respect nature then they need to do other things too. For example basic things like using less energy, water and not dropping litter along with recognising a wildlife crime and sticking up for what they belief in for the environment.

Local candiates replies

A few weeks back I did a blog for the group A Focus On Nature where I spoke again about why we need to inspire the next generation. You can read it here. After writing my post I emailed it round to all of my local candidates for their reply and take on inspiring the next generation. I was very pleased to have a reply from all of them, but unfortunately not from the UKIP candidate.

Labour (Chris Worsey) – he replied by saying that my blog was on a much needed subject and agreed with the fact that children need to be out and about more enjoying the natural world. He said how some of his childhood memories include exploring the outdoors – much better then being sat in front of a computer screen!

Conservative (Michael Fabricant) – I didn’t get as much as a reply from this candidate but he did say that if he is re-elected that he’d be willing and happy to take the issue further, especially on educating people about local wildlife.

Liberal Democrats (Paul Ray) – He agreed with my idea of that natural habitats need to protected. He also sent me some information about the parties record of delivery on this subject and what they promise to do more of in the future. This included ‘putting nature at the heart of the Government’, access to nature and, safeguarding forests and planting more trees.

Greens (Robert Pass) – He agreed with the post and made the point of “We need many more young people to engage with the natural world and with the fight to save it.” He also made the point about more and more people are waking up and realising that a lot of this technology ‘progress’ wasn’t progress at all and are busy rediscovering the wisdom of stewardship and respect for the living earth. As well as this he attached an article called ‘Rewild the Child’ which was a great read.

It was great to be able to get a reply from some of my local party candidates, of which I am very thankful for.


Team Nature Squad

Late last year along with some others I formed a group called ‘A Planet Fit for Nature’. Our team consists of conservationists, writers, bloggers and photographers but overall we are all nature loving individuals.

Over the last 40 years Earth has lost half of its wildlife and we believe not enough is done to make people aware of this and the worries of this terrifying drop, but mainly the fact that not enough is done in schools. I can relate to this as throughout my school life the most I’ve ever learnt about the natural world has been a lesson about the basic elements of the food chain and I agree that it is necessary that more needs to be done. Even though I was taught about the food chain, I was never taught about the importance of the food chain and how without it there would be no life on earth. Which is the way we’re heading by eliminating different species from our natural world.

We believe that if schools educate children in a stand alone lesson on the curriculum about these issues and teach them about all that resides in the Natural Kingdom then our wildlife may stand a chance. Plant a seed now and it will grow. Here is a petition which has been set up to get the natural world and conversation on the National Curriculum –

The purpose of the group is to raise awareness of the on goings in the Natural World, to unite people to speak out against matters like animal cruelty, poaching and hunting. Along with this, as I said, we want to educate where we can as prevention is key!

To get involved you can join us on Facebook by clicking here or on Twitter by clicking here.

In the last week we have also launched a competition with some fantastic prizes. The competition is open to families and you can find out more about it on our Facebook page and on the poster below.

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Merry Christmas all!

I would like to wish all my blog viewers a very merry Christmas and I hope you all enjoy your day. I hope you’ve all had some lovely gifts too. I’ve got my first DSLR camera which I am looking forward to using.

My Christmas wish

My only Christmas wish for this year though is not for lots of presents or money but to help save our natural world. The natural world is a very important place to me and it always has been for as long as I can remember. Some of my earliest memories are walking with my Granddad or getting home from school and feeding the birds that visited the garden. Unfortunately though over past years lots of problems have occurred.  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.

Wildlife crime is also a big problem. It takes place throughout the UK and one of the main reasons for this is that members of the public don’t realise that what they’ve seen is against the law and therefore don’t report it.


My wish this Christmas is for everybody of all ages to realise and understand how precious and wonderful the natural world is so we can preserve it for future years. There are many different campaigns to help do this which you can find by looking at some of my recent blog posts.

Christmas foxes.

Over the past few weeks I have been filming some foxes on one of my local patches, here’s some of the best footage from this week.

If you watch this clip carefully you’ll see a fox entering from the left hand side then another fox comes and pounces on it. They then stay in an unusual position until the clip is over. The position shows that they are asserting dominance.