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

 

National Badger Day

In less then two weeks time it will be National Badger Day. It is also halfway through the current six week badger cull. Compare that and it makes you realise how important it is to get the message out  for National Badger Day on the 6th of October.

Not only that but it’s so important that we’re celebrating the badger for the animal that it is, nothing political, which is the exact reason for the day.

It shocks me that some kids don’t even know what a badger is and I’ve even had friends that didn’t even know we have badgers in this country. An animal that is a treasure of our landscape and has been for over 400,000 years. Together with being Britain’s largest land carnivore surely it should be considered and  recognised by all. Along with that, hundreds are being killed in a bid to decrease bTb using the tax-payers money, as well as suffering from horrible acts of persecution.

As I mention though, NBD isn’t about focusing on all the bad things they experience but celebrating and making people aware about the creature it really is. On the back of this innocent, beloved species it carries the stigma of being a nuisance and that it should be eradicated from it’s home. Most would agree that this animal just deserves to be left alone from all the killing.

National Badger Day  is a campaign which is being run by The Badger Trust and closer to the date a video will be released, featuring the likes of Chris Packham, Virginia Mckenna, Steve Backshall and more, to be showcased to primary school kids, groups and at events too. Of which are taking place all around the country. Obviously though it’s going to take your help too, doing your part.

One thing I’ll be doing is giving an assembly and showing the film to year 7 & 8’s at the school I go to sixth form at. If you’re still at school, a teacher, a parent (etc) you could do the same. The video includes talk about the badgers ecology, insights of the species from quite a few familiar faces and much more.

You can also get involved by joining an event, getting the word out on social media, get yourself a National Badger Day badge, getting in touch with your local group or whatever else you can think of. Or if you want to take a hands on approach then why not join and support patrols in the field.

Events – http://www.badgerevents.org.uk/

Video trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6E5sng6juA

The final video is around 10 minutes long.

National Badger Day badge – http://shop.badgertrust.org.uk/en/products/badges-stickers/national-badger-day-badge.aspx

Badger cull patrols – https://georgiaswildlifewatch.wordpress.com/2015/09/07/worry-not-do-more/

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Get involved and do something positive for National Badger Day!

Dear Mr Gibb…

If you read one of my latest posts, Thanks Mr Gibb but nature is important, you’ll know that back in July I met with my local MP and then went onto write to Nick Gibb, Minister of State at the Department of Education, about the need for outdoor/environmental education on the National Curriculum.

After Nick Gibb’s very unhelpful, but predictable, reply I have gone on to set up a very exciting project/campaign that I hope to share with you all in the next few days. Along with this I also wrote back to him. I haven’t received a reply yet but I’ve decided to share the letter that I wrote with you all.

Dear Mr Gibb

 

Thank you for your reply to my letter, a copy of which I have attached. I’m pleased you took the time to reply to what I had to say regarding the need for more outdoor education at primary level.

 

However, I would like to reply and add to my point. In the letter it seems you have stated what is on the National Curriculum at the moment, I had done my research before sending you the letter so knew this already. I feel as though you have not considered my point and you don’t reply to my statement that we need more young people coming through into either professions in conservation etc or the importance of why every child needs to have a connection with their natural surroundings. I don’t mean to be rude but do you not understand that nature is important?

 

You mention how the environment is included in biology and geography. When I think back to any environmental education throughout my primary education I can’t think of one example. I asked my brother and he said he may be able to think of one, however this was organised solely through the school. The only reason why he remembers this is because it was practical, which is what’s so important. It imprints in your mind due to the amazement you experience.

 

I go into local primary schools and do activities with younger children through community based projects. some of which I’ve helped set up myself. The last visit into a school was just a couple of weeks ago when we did bug hunting with year 2’s. None of them had done anything like this before. When a blackbird flew past, they had no idea what it was.

 

My point is, if there is a teaching of nature in schools which is already on the curriculum then it simply isn’t enough. One of the children said that it was one of the best days of his life! It not only benefited him in the way that he learnt something new but it made him feel better, made him happy. Isn’t making a young child at school happy something that you should aim for? Improving a child’s education? Except I know that he will most likely never do anything like that again. It was a one off project, the school have obviously not enrolled in something like this before or else he would have been able to tell me. In today’s society when most parents worry about dangers and so called ‘dangers’ he probably won’t be encouraged to do it again either.

 

A question I’d like you to ask yourself is when you were younger, how did you fill the time when you had nothing to do or just for something to do in general? If you were like my parents and grandparents then it was the case of just going outside. Climbing trees, riding bikes, playing sport in big open fields, appreciating the wildlife around and so on. Perhaps it was something you took for granted as it was always there and always an option? Your parents had no problem with it and nether did society. As well as this, at the moment, deep down I’m sure you understand and know what towards nature has positive and negative impacts. From Wikipedia I know you were born in 1960. From the State of Nature report I also know that since 1970, when you would of been 10, 60% of animals and plants studied have declined.  Along with other threats too. Now isn’t that scary? Well more then scary, nature not only in the UK but abroad too is in some trouble. We can do what we can now but what about the future? What way will it go? With figures showing only 1 in 10 children connect with nature, I’m very worried and it could well be very bleak.

 

But why is that so important to be acting for nature? Well you just think back to what you had to eat last night, everything on that plate was only there because of the natural world. All the ecosystems. It’s why we’re here today so not only is it beautiful and enjoyable but important to all of us.

 

I’ve gone a bit away from the point but I wanted to make myself clear. Even though some outdoor education is there, I know it varies from school to school. A child isn’t going to develop any type of interest when they have a couple of lessons in year 2 then a couple in year 5. I’m sure you’re very aware that it doesn’t work like that. Although out of school outdoor activities, sessions etc for children are very important, not every child has the privilege to attend.

 

I have many more points that I can add to my argument and I would appreciate it if you could take some more time out and we could arrange to chat about this extremely important subject in person.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Georgia Locock