Yesterday I had one of my best wildlife related experiences in a long time, probably ever. And it was in the centre of London! It was of course the #PeoplesWalkForWildlife initiated by Chris Packham who also developed a #PeoplesManifestoForWildlife to go along with it. I can't imagine the effort and energy that went into that but I am so grateful that Chris decided to develop both these ideas.
|Dawn on the train.|
|Nice to catch up with Lindsey|
Well the day came. Dad and I started the day at about 5.15am in order to get the train to London. I love trains so this in itself was a treat. The journey for us was very straight forward, straight down the East Coast Mainline and we were treated to an incredible dawn, signalling to us what was going to be an awesome day. Not visiting London that often we decided to walk from Kings Cross to Hyde Park and arrived just before 10 to find there were already a good few people there! Almost straight away we started bumping into people we knew like Stewart Pike (@raptorwatcher), Alex White (@appletonwild) and Lindsey Chapman (nice to catch up with my fellow Wild Watch patron :-) .
It was pretty much a whirlwind from there on as we just kept bumping into people we knew, catching up and also seeing new faces and admiring some of the awesome costumes and artwork. I got to say hi to people who have been a great support on twitter like Caroline Lucas. One of the things that was great to see was the breadth of passionate people there. Young and old. People passionate about bats, trees, bees, seals, hen harriers, hares, owls, squirrels, butterflies, sparrows and flies (for @flygirlNHM :-). That was one of the powerful things about the day, every one there cared and was passionate about our wildlife and you could really feel it.
|Lovely to meet Caroline|
|On the walk the|
|At the gates of Downing Street ready to deliver the|
The main walk ended at Whitehall where we had a few more speeches by some great people like George Monbiot, Kate Bradbury and Mark Avery. I say the main walk as there was a last leg to do.
Chris very much wanted young people to attend the walk and to engage in the activities like the Dictionary of Wildlife Wonders. For me this is important as we need more young people to value and cherish nature and the more young people see others taking an interest the better. I think it also sends a message to the politicians that the issues we raise about protecting and caring about nature won't go away. There are fresh generations of passionate, caring, committed conservationists coming forward to continue the fight for our wildlife!
|At Number 10!|
Photo credit @LukeDrayPhoto/@WoodlandTrust
|Discussing environmental policy in Portcullis House |
as you do - not my usual Saturday afternoon!
A beautiful piece of writing that I often think about is by Chief Seattle (see this blog post for it all) which has a haunting end. It's from the nineteenth century but is just as relevant today and it reminds me of the need to keep fighting for our wildlife:
"Contaminate your bed, and you will one night suffocate in your own waste. But in your perishing you will shine brightly, fired by the strength of the god who brought you to this land and for some special purpose gave you dominion over this land and over the red man. That destiny is a mystery to us, for we do not understand when the buffalo are all slaughtered, the wild horses are tamed, the secret corners of the forest heavy with scent of many men, and the view of the ripe hills blotted by talking wires.
Where is the thicket? Gone.
Where is the eagle? Gone.
The end of living and the beginning of survival."
Please read the Peoples Manifesto for Wildlife, be inspired, send it to your MP and do what you can to help our wildlife.
|Click to go to the Manifesto page on Chris Packham's website|