On Thursday 28th September, more than 40 of the UK’s conservation organisations came together to protest at the Government’s failure to address the deepening crisis in nature, laid bare in the devastating State of Nature Report.
Organised by wildlife TV presenter and conservationist Chris Packham, the demonstrations saw the UK’s leading conservation and wildlife charities, scientists, ecologists and wildlife experts unite in protest outside DEFRA offices to demand the UK Government to take more action for nature.
The newly-formed ‘Restore Nature Now’ movement states: “We are birdwatchers, ramblers, ecologists, pond dippers, river-swimmers, ramblers, no-mow-mayers, anglers, scientists, butterfly counters, spring-watchers, gardeners, rewilders, conservationists. We are ordinary people taking action in extraordinary times”.
Chris Packham said:
“This is beyond an ‘Attack on Nature’ in the UK. Our wildlife is being annihilated. Our wild places and wildlife are not ‘dying’- they are being killed. Those responsible for killing nature are getting away with it. Those responsible for protecting nature are failing. We are taking our demand ‘Restore Nature Now’ direct to the government department decision-makers responsible for failing nature in this country.”
River Action’s CEO, James Wallace, said:
“Our river ecosystems are on the brink of collapse, polluted by sewage, manure, chemicals and plastics. On the current trajectory, only 4% will be in good ecological condition by 2027, missing our pre Brexit targets of 100%. Globally rare chalk streams are smothered in algal sludge, preventing rare species like brown trout from reproducing. Rivers like the Wye have turned into filthy ditches for factory farms, while the wildlife in the River Thames is snuffed out by sewage.
“The dreadful state of the UK’s nature is an international disgrace and an existential risk to our economy. Without hedgerow habitats we have no insects. Without pollinators we have no food. Without healthy rivers we have no drinking water. And without water we have no industry, shops or hospitals. With the next election looming, we implore all parties and voters to back policies that will Restore Nature Now!”