If you were anywhere near the Houses of Parliament yesterday, you may have found yourself questioning your sanity – you were sure an albatross, bumblebee and tiger had just strolled past you...
...Worry not, it wasn’t the onset of sun stroke, merely the RSPB taking its biggest ever campaign to the door of Number 10 Downing Street.
Over 213,000 people have now signed Letter to the Future and I had the pleasure of accompanying my furry friends to Westminster to help prove just how many people are calling in better investment in nature ahead of the emergency budget scheduled for next month.
The three species, representative of the broad spectrum of work the RSPB undertakes, were taking time out to be photographed with two young children, Cherry, 11 and Rosie, 13, collectively calling for better investment in nature.
The animals and children were then accompanied by Martin Harper, Head of Sustainable Development, and Karen Rothwell, Director of Marketing, to deliver a letter outlining the ongoing Letter to the Future campaign messages to Downing Street.
Martin said: “The severity of the economic crisis is clear and an emergency budget is less than a month away. Yet this must be the parliament which takes decisive action to tackle the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.
“We are calling for an Emergency Budget that invests in nature today, to create a bright future for wildlife, a more stable economy and a richer quality of life for us all.”
The RSPB isn’t arguing against the need to cut the economic deficit, we simply believe that the Government should be doing all it can to address the ecological debt.
We need more signatures to demonstrate the growing support for investment in nature, more people to recruit as members and more people to campaign with us.
It would be fantastic to be able to say, this autumn, that a quarter of a million people have signed the RSPB’s Letter to the Future. And, who knows 300 000 by the spring 2011 budget and devolved elections? Dare we dream for more?
Please, if you haven’t already, take the time to add your signature here: http://www.rspb.org.uk/letter
You don’t need me to tell you that we are having a rather severe impact on our planet. Climate change is something which threatens our future – but species are disappearing right now as a result of habitat loss, a much more immediate threat.
One of those species is the field cricket – down to just one colony in the 1990s and until last week still only present at four sites in the country. This flightless insect has suffered as a result of the loss of heathland and acid grassland in recent decades. So we are particularly proud to have been part of a project to reintroduce them to two more sites at our Farnham Heath reserve in Surrey and Pulborough Brooks reserve in Sussex.
Radio 4’s Today programme visited Farnham recently and featured the project on the show this morning – you can listen again here. Later on they continued discussing the wider story as part of their coverage of the launch of the UN’s latest Global Biodiversity report. You can hear our Director of Conservation Mark Avery being interviewed here. On the show Mark predicted that the number of signatures to our Letter to the Future campaign would top 200,000 today – and he was quickly proved right!
The field crickets now have a growing fanbase and you can follow their exploits again on Radio 4 tomorrow (Tuesday) on Saving Species which is on at 11am. If you miss it then visit the show’s homepage afterwards where you can listen again.