On Thursday, 28th September, some of the Butterfly Conservation team joined representatives from over 40 environmental NGOs to protest outside the Defra offices, demanding more action to Restore Nature Now.
It’s an unusual move for Butterfly Conservation (and many of the other organisations) to take to the street in this way, but one that is symbolic of the crisis our nature faces, and the lack of action our leaders have taken to prevent it.
Because the day before we all stood outside Defra with our banners and calls to Restore Nature Now, we had the release of another State of Nature report, the fourth in ten years, showing that our wildlife continues to decline.
80% of butterflies in the UK have declined since the 1970s.
We’ve lost 30% of our moth abundance over the same period.
Our nature is collapsing. Butterflies and moths are a fantastic indicator of the state of our wider environment, and the alarm bells are well and truly ringing, telling us we need to act.
Which is why we got up very, very early on Thursday morning to catch a train into London and stand alongside our fellow scientists, conservationists and environmentalists to add our voice to the urgent calls on our government to please take meaningful action to tackle the biodiversity and climate crisis.
There were powerful speeches, including one from our very own Director of Conservation, Dr Dan Hoare, highlighting the facts. The UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world. Nearly one in six species are threatened with extinction in Britain. Much of this decline has happened in living memory.
But there were messages of hope too. We know what works. Where conservation work has been targeted, well-resourced and sustained, species’ fortunes have been turned around. But we need this conservation action to be at a far greater scale and at a far more urgent pace.
We need all political parties to put really robust, long-term policies in place to restore nature. We know many of the solutions: restoring habitats at scale, landscape scale conservation action, species recovery programmes, supporting farmers and landowners to create the habitats wildlife need, positive actions that will tackle the climate crisis. All of this is needed now to get our nature recovery heading in the right direction.
Which is why we were there last Thursday. As we look ahead to a general election next year it’s increasingly important to ask our politicians what their plans are to restore nature, what policies they would put in place and why we should trust them with the future of our natural world.
As Chris Packham, Vice President of Butterfly Conservation and the organiser of the protest said. We need to come together and demand action: “Because nature doesn’t have a voice, but we do. Nature can’t act, but we must.”
Can you help us take action?
By donating to Butterfly Conservation, you will help us to accelerate activity and increase our targeted efforts. You’ll be directly helping to save butterflies and moths, and contributing to giving nature a future.
Please act now with a gift to save butterflies, moths and our environment across the UK. Together, we can fix it.