Restore Nature Now – 10 Ways WE Can Make a Difference

Apologies it has been so long since we wrote anything. To be honest, we have been feeling despondent and despairing about the total lack of progress made by our politicians to tackle climate collapse and the biodiversity crisis.

What’s changed is that on Saturday we took part in a Funeral for Nature street-theatre event in Bath (with Chris Packham & Megan McCubbin no less!), which has motivated us to “just get on with it” and do all we can to #RestoreNatureNow.

In case you missed the news coverage, Saturday’s Code Red for Nature event was a faux funeral for nature, where 400 Red Rebels plus hundreds more mourners dressed in black paraded silently through the streets of Bath (we took the easy option and wore black). The aim was to create an artistically visual performance to raise awareness of the fact that the UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world and it is up to us all to do something about it.

We were amazed by how many people took part. To see so many Red Rebels in one place was a real spectacle, grabbing the attention of the general public as well as national media. It was very different to a protest, with no placards, singing or chanting. We actually found it quite emotional and many passersby watched in respectful silence. There’s a great video of the highlights here.

To top it off, the parade ended at the Abbey, where both Chris Packham and Megan McCubbin gave inspiring speeches highlighting how much our wildlife has declined in the last few years but emphasising that it is not too late to do something about it.

We agree with Chris Packham’s view that “they” aren’t doing nearly enough (“they” being our politicians and big business) but that “we” can do something and have a responsibility to future generations to do all we can to protect and restore nature. He said we may feel that taking individual action is just a drop in the ocean given the magnitude of the problem, but reminded us that the ocean is a multitude of drops and if enough people take action, together we can make a difference.

But what exactly can we do? Here’s our top 10 list of actions you can take to help reverse biodiversity loss:

  1. Take an active part in campaigns with groups standing up for nature. Sign up to take part in the Restore Nature Now march in London on 22 June 2024. Promoted by Chris Packham, the Restore Nature Now march is an initiative of various environmental groups, ranging from the RSPB and The National Trust to Extinction Rebellion, delivering a simple demand to all political parties: Restore Nature Now
  2. Support a group that’s helping nature, whether that’s by donating to your local Wildlife Trust, Friends of the Earth, RSPB or other nature charity or by volunteering with a local group doing practical nature conservation work, such as tree planting, litter picking or maintaining a community orchard. Wildlife will benefit and you will meet like-minded people
  3. Do some guerilla planting – sow some wildflower seeds in a local area, or if you’re really patient plant some acorns
  4. In your garden, plant pollinator friendly plants and shrub or trees to provide habitat for a wildlife friendly garden
  5. Mow less and embrace the weeds and untidiness – No Mow May is just around the corner, then you carry on into Let it Bloom June
  6. Use peat-free compost and make your own – garden compost heaps create great habitats for insects, bumblebees and slow worms
  7. Don’t use weedkillers, pesticides or slug pellets – there are plenty of reasons why harmful pesticides should be banned
  8. Eat organic food, if you can afford it. Apparently 50% more plant, insect and bird life can be found on organic farms, according to figures from the Soil Association
  9. Demand action – sign petitions, write to your councillor and MP. Here are some easy actions you can take right now on the Greenpeace website
  10. Take part in citizen science projects such as the Big Garden Birdwatch, the Big Butterfly Count, Shoresearch, and Nature’s Calendar

While the facts are depressing – for example, 43% of UK bird species are in decline, the UK’s flying insects have declined by 60% in 20 years and we’ve lost 97% of our wildflower meadows since 1945 – nature can recover when given the chance.

We still have hope. We remember a family holiday in rural Wales in the 1980s when we spent a day in the middle of nowhere hoping to spot a rare red kite (we didn’t unfortunately). Nowadays red kites and buzzards are a common site not just in rural areas.

In our lifetime, otters have returned across the country as rivers were cleaned up, and, more recently, white tailed sea eagles have successfully been reintroduced.

If enough of us care and do all we can to save it, nature can recover. We can restore biodiversity and leave a sustainable planet for future generations. To quote David Attenborough:

“The truth is, every one of us, no matter who we are or where we live, can and must play a part in restoring nature. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed or powerless by the scale of the issues facing our planet, but we have the solutions. I am hopeful for the future, because although nature is in crisis, now is the time for action, and together we can save it”

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