Kate on Conservation

The People’s Walk For Wildlife

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The People’s Walk for Wildlife lead by naturalist Chris Packham through the streets of London, was certainly a force to be reckoned with.

Peoples walk for wildlife the crowd
Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

What was the People’s Walk For Wildlife?

The People’s Walk For Wildlife presented a chance to raise awareness of the huge decline in Britain’s natural diversity, owing to issues including; badger culling, fox hunting, driven grouse shooting, the use of pesticides, traffic collusions involving wildlife, fracking, etc.

I’ve attended many marches for wildlife over the last decade, and this was certainly one of most uplifting, expressive and largest I’ve ever seen. Thousands came together to march from Hyde Park to Downing Street, and there were so many creative signs; outfits (plenty of bees); hats (badger heads and blue tit helmets); an 8ft papier-mâché stag beetle… a 10-person wide caterpillar… amazing!

kate on conservation People's walk for wildlife banner
My own sign, held up proudly on the walk

I think the best part, however, was that instead of chanting, the peaceful march walked to the soundtrack of birdsong, played out from thousands of mobile phones through the streets of London.

What we’re missing…

After years of living and working in the Capital, walking past the buildings and landmarks I know so well, cloaked in the sound of birdsong instead of traffic (the roads were closed for the benefit of the march); was both remarkable and shocking — we are notably distant from the reality of wildlife in our cities!

Peoples walk for wildlife owl props

I was delighted to see so many friends and familiar faces coming together for the event. Those from different charities, different fields of conservation and involved in different causes all showed how, ultimately, we’re fighting for one goal — a better planet for our wildlife.

born free foundation and the badger trust
Dominic Dyer shares a message from Born Free Foundation and the Badger Trust

For a flavour of the kinds of people present, and their motivations for taking part, have a listen to Wild Voices Projects‘ live podcast from the event here.

What does it mean?

It’s important to recognise that yesterday’s walk is very much only the beginning of a much bigger story. The People’s Walk for Wildlife was a call to action to draw attention to an overall mission; the People’s Manifesto for Wildlife. The working document; compiled by 18 ministers, outlines 200 ideas for change related to our country’s wildlife and wild spaces and how we would like to see natural diversity restored.

To view the full document, and suggest any thoughts of your own, click here or on the image above. In the words of Chris Packham; “It is freely open to future contributions – we urgently need more ideas, discussion and debate to move conservation in the UK forward and cease the war on wildlife. Please distribute and please contribute.”

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Learn more about the issues facing British wildlife

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