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Restore Nature Now – attendee blog

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Joining a march or a demonstration is not something I would normally think of doing. However, the biodiversity crisis and decline of nature in the UK is now so apparent in my day to day life (let alone in the statistics and scientific data), that taking part in the ‘Restore Nature Now’ march in London last Saturday seemed an important thing to do.

I decided to add my voice to all the others who think it is more than high time that the plummeting state of nature in the UK should be being much more widely recognised, and the words’ nature recovery’ spoken of in the same breath as climate change, sewage pollution, river health, and the right to clean water.

The UK is one of the twelve most biodiversity-depleted nations on the planet. That is an awful record and bodes badly for our future. Adding my voice to all those who think similarly made me decide to go up to London and join the demand for proper action on nature recovery now.

Four things impressed me most about the march: firstly, the fact that there was a complete mix of people of all ages: families with children, people at all stages of their careers in all sorts of very different jobs and professions, young people, retired senior citizens…. no one age range out-numbering the rest.

The second remarkable thing was the distance that people had travelled to be there as ordinary individual members of the public to take their individual message to Government: I found myself talking to a young family from Devon, people form Kent, Manchester, Wales, Northumberland, Somerset, Sheffield, … to name but a few.

Apart from individual participants, the third thing that was impressive was the enormous number and range of established and volunteer nature and wildlife groups represented – from our biggest national nature conservation bodies, to hundreds of smaller local groups, each with a story of problems faced by a species, a habitat or some other aspect of our natural environment.

Last, but by no means least, the impressive thing was that the huge event that wound its way through central London was, in my experience, entirely peaceful and the atmosphere friendly, positive and hopeful.

But all in all, the big take-away was that people from all walks of life, people in all sorts of jobs and professions in this country care about the dire state of nature and biodiversity in the UK. ‘Nature recovery’ needs to be right up there on the agenda on equal standing with addressing climate change. The two go hand in hand, but nature has so far had short shrift. Both need to be on the daily agenda of politicians, local councils and other policy makers.

The march in London was the voice of 70,000-plus people asking Government to give nature a voice in policy-making. I was glad I made the effort to add mine to those.

Watch live footage from the day here

Catherine Day – a few impressions on the Restore Nature Now march in London 22 June 2024.