Why I am marching for climate and nature on 6th November

Why I am marching for climate and nature on 6th November

Children and adults on the Oxford Global Climate Strike demonstration march in 2019 to raise awareness about climate change. Picture: BBOWT

Stand up for nature and climate at this mass public event. Join The Wildlife Trusts and thousands of others across the UK to send a powerful message to world leaders at COP26.
We can no longer let the people in power decide what is politically possible. We can no longer let the people in power decide what hope is. Hope is not passive. Hope is not blah, blah, blah. Hope is telling the truth. Hope is taking action. And hope always comes from the people.
Greta Thunberg
at the Youth4Climate event in Milan 28th Sept 2021

The consequences of the climate and nature crisis are becoming more and more apparent every day. Even those people who were unconvinced relatively recently are now waking up to the danger we all face.

Last week, The Sun reported that people in the UK are more worried about the environment that any other issue including the economy and Covid-19. Nearly 60 per cent of young people are very worried or extremely worried about climate change.

The climate and nature crises are inextricably linked. Climate change is driving nature’s decline, and the loss of wildlife and wild places leaves us ill-equipped to reduce carbon emissions and adapt to change. One cannot be solved without the other.

Research from BBOWT published last week shows that wildlife in our area is already being put at serious risk by climate change: numbers of dormice recorded at nature reserves in all three counties have decreased since 2010 in a change linked to warmer winters; hotter summers could see beech trees disappear from some local areas, and there is strong evidence that caterpillars are emerging at different times of year, impacting breeding birds.

The global climate conference, COP26, which starts next week in Glasgow has been hailed as a once in a lifetime chance to tackle the climate and nature crisis.

The UK as host needs to lead by example. We need world leaders to understand that restoring nature will also help fix the climate and vice versa. For more about the climate conference and what The Wildlife Trusts wants to see happen click here

But why march on Saturday 6th November? 

A march is an age-old form of protest and, of course, a large march is a demonstration of the strength of feeling on an issue. But it is much more than simply a numbers game – it is a way to highlight a topic and start a conversation.

It helps to shift public perception about what is acceptable and reasonable in society and in addition it empowers those who are marching. It is a way of taking back control, standing up for what you believe in and acting together with like-minded people. In this article RSPB staff members share their experiences of attending marches. 

If you are intimidated by the thought of marching on your own, please join me and others from BBOWT at Costa coffee, 141/145 Cowley Road, Oxford at 1pm on Saturday 6th November. We will then join other groups marching from Manzil Way on Cowley Road, finishing with a rally in Broad Street. 

You can find more information and register here. Even better, bring a like-minded friend!

Having said this, I know that not everyone is able to march for a whole variety of reasons. There are still many ways to help and make your voice heard. You could sign up to join a virtual march and find out how to use arts and crafts to bring about change.

Individual action is also important and you can find an excellent list of suggestions here. However, I would draw your attention in particular to the 8th point on this list – write to your MP – I believe that we need Government action as well as individual action to tackle this emergency. You can find lots of advice about lobbying your elected representatives here.

If you are interested in helping wildlife by lobbying your MP and/or local councillors, become a BBOWT Wildlife Ambassador. You will receive suggested actions, including advice about what you can include in your communications.

In addition, you can join an online event from the heart of the discussions in Glasgow at which a panel of climate and nature experts and activists will discuss how to deal with the climate crisis, and you can sign up for daily updates live from the climate conference here

The march on Saturday 6th November will be replicated around the country, and around the world. I hope to see you at the march in Oxford where we can stand up for climate and for nature together.

Register for the march