Pupils and campaigners join Restore Nature Now rallies in London and Ramsgate

Restore Nature Now rally in Ramsgate

Video by Keith Ross

Nature lovers and conservation groups from across Kent unite to restore nature

Thanet and Kent groups were among more than 60,000 people who marched in London calling on next government to “Restore Nature Now”

At the same time students and supporters in Ramsgate held a funeral for nature

Kent Wildlife Trust, Wildwood Trust, Bee the Change Maidstone, Save Minster Marshes, Save the Blean, The River Len Local Nature Reserve and Medway Valley Countryside Partnership were just a few of the Kent Conservation Groups who took to the streets of London as part of the Restore Nature Now March, which was fronted by TV presenter, conservationist and activist Chris Packham.

Save Minster Marshes in London

The march, held on Saturday (22nd June) was a legal, peaceful and inclusive public march and rally organised by environmental groups and individuals who are united in a common goal. The march called on all political parties to make this General Election the turning point for nature that is need and act to Restore Nature Now.

The event started at Park Lane and finished with a rally in Parliament Square. Early estimates suggested over 60,000 people took part in the event, with further counts claiming it could be as much as 100,000.

The Kent Wildlife Trust Team dressed as butterfly’s and marched alongside a red-billed chough, whilst others carried placards championing their causes for wildlife locally.

 

In Ramsgate, pupils from Wellesley Haddon Dene Schhol Broadstairs, also marched through the streets and held a ‘funeral for nature’ to raise awareness of the decline in wildlife over the last 30 years while also highlighting the plight of Pegwell Bay and Minster Marshes which is threatened by National Grid’s development plans for the area.

Charlotte Lewis, of Kent Wildlife Trust, said: “The event was incredible, and the streets were lined with thousands upon thousands of people who are deeply concerned about the state of nature in the UK. The next government will have a huge responsibility to deliver the 2030 net zero goals and will define the future of generations to come. We must all act now and this is just one example of the public’s demand to restore nature now.

“People can help by making sure they select candidates who will put nature on the top of their agenda, we have created an election toolkit available to download on our website to help people with this decision as part of our Vote WILD campaign.

Paul Whitfield of Wildwood Trust said: “UK nature is in crisis and this march demonstrated how strongly so many people from across the country feel about that. We need to be the collective voice for nature and the government needs to listen and act urgently to restore nature now.”

Terry Oki joined the March with fellow Save Minster Marshes campaigners, Karen McKenzie, Helen Stewart, Nik Mitchell, Keith Ross and Simon Piggott. Terry said: “It was the first time I’ve felt it necessary to attend a rally like this. But something’s got to change. And politicians must listen to us. The atmosphere on the march was amazing and it gives you hope that we can drive this change together.”

Kerry Sabin-Dawson of the Wellesley Haddon Dene School said: “The students here are passionate about the environment, but not everyone was able to travel to London, so I decided to organise a school march!

“We gathered on Government Acre and walked along Ramsgate harbour with about fifty people made up of around forty students and members of the Save Minster Marshes Group. These pupils will be handed the baton of responsibility as they inherit the planet in the state we give it to them, and they deserve better.”

Vote WILD 

The Vote Wild Campaign using the acronym WILD to create four manifesto asks for the future MPs:

W – Wildlife is prioritised.

I – Incentives for nature friendly farming.

L – Land, rivers and seas are pollution free.

D – Developments that defend and restore nature, not destroy it.

The Kent Wildlife Trust election hub can be found here.

The Vote Wild manifesto can be found here.

4 Comments

  1. If we save all these spaces ,where do we put new houses ,said in jest ,seriously theses spaces should be saved for everyone

  2. Well done to everyone who took part in the marches – and particularly to the children who did so on such a hot day. I had heard very little about the proposals until prompted by this to look at it more closely. Something needs to be done – our local MPs and counsellors should be fighting against it.

  3. a great cause , but i feel they will still do as they like with building on our country side, the big brown envelope is king in planning applications, anyone coming back to thanet will not recognise the area as they knew it

  4. Interesting that the school children should protest against developing green spaces while the school have sold off their grounds for development. Maybe the kids know better than the adults!!

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