state of nature 2019 report uk cover

At 7pm on Thursday 3rd October 2019, the latest State of Nature Report was launched on Channel 4 News. Team4Nature was born out of the sad findings from The State of Nature Report 2013. Six years later, we are filled with hope. Here was a major news broadcaster, sharing the findings of this report in detail with a mass audience at prime time. John Snow was actually in a barn, interviewing people about #ExtinctionBritain!

The following morning The State of Nature Report was front page news in The Guardian newspaper. The great British public were learning that populations of the UK’s most important wildlife have fallen by an average of 60% since 1970, and that there has been no let-up in the losses, despite some wonderful conservation success stories.

Whilst working on the ground, the question that we get asked most, once people understand the state of nature and the fact that they are living in one of the most nature-depleted countries on earth is “What can I do?!”

Our work leads us to strongly believe two things. Firstly, that it is critical to inform people about the ecological crisis. Secondly, that once people receive the facts about the state of nature, the majority do care and want to make a difference. Our findings overlap with those reported in the document; Powerful People, Powerful Places.

What happens next is very interesting indeed. Without any guidance as to what they can do about the ecological crisis, people have a tendency to freeze or go into some state of denial, because they feel powerless or that the whole problem appears to be simply too huge. However, once you provide examples of actions that can be taken, everything changes. Hope and enthusiasm rises and before long, you can’t get a word in edgeways because the once “powerless” is now suddenly on a roll with a list of their own suggestions. It really is quite remarkable to see!

These findings completely influenced the way that we designed the Team4Nature website.

The mass flow of information, following the release of the State of Nature Report 2019, inspired us to appeal to our followers and supporters to help create a resource: The People’s #100Actions4Nature - a Response to The State of Nature Report 2019.

It has to be said that the response has been amazing. Massive thanks to everyone that got involved. Despite all the wonderful enthusiasm and interactions from a switched-on audience, it took our 100,000 followers nine days to provide 100 suggested actions that people could take to improve the state of nature. The masses clearly need more information, and that is what this document intends to provide.

We have gathered people’s suggestions into actions that you can take at home, in your community, through your activism, using your power as a consumer, using your ability to mobilise others, through your compassion for others, and through your own self-care and life style.

 Team4Nature’s contribution to The People’s #100Actions4Nature will be to provide links that help you perform them and also to include our own suggested action; to unite for a common cause!

Around 70,000 volunteers are on the ground across the UK, recording wildlife and 78 organisations worked together to create the State of Nature Report 2019. The findings of this report might be depressing, but the extraordinary display of teamwork that produced them is a beacon of light. Now it is time for us all to unite and create a legacy of powerful, positive change that brings about the great recovery of UK nature for the good of all. You came together to produce "The People's #100Actions4Nature", now let's get out there and start using them.

100 Actions 4 Nature

The People's #100Actions4Nature:

In association with:

Midland Regional Printers

MRP 2014

Take Action at Home

  1. Stop using pesticides, insecticides, slug pellets and other chemicals. Use natural alternatives. Control “pests and diseases”
  2. Plant flowers and shrubs that attract bees, butterflies and other insects.
  3. Allow ivy to flower as a late source of nectar and don’t cut until February.
  4. Aim to provide food and shelter for nature all year round.
  5. Create a wildlife pond. Even small areas can include a mini-pond.
  6. Use peat-free compost, to protect our important peatland habitats.
  7. Create a compost heap. Don’t burn leaves. Grow nettles to provide nitrogen feed, directly or dried in the compost heap
  8. Don’t throw fruit and vegetable waste in the bin. Add it to your compost heap.
  9. Mow a path in your lawn but allow areas to rewild, providing shelter for insects and other wildlife, and give more of your lawn over to native plants and trees.
  10. Do not use artificial grass. It adds to the ecological crisis and increases the risk of local flooding.
  11. Make your front gardens wild, not just stone, concrete and tarmac. Not only will this help nature, but it will also reduce the risk of local flooding. If you need parking areas then create raised beds full of wild plants and maybe even including log piles and bird feeders
  12. Install a bug hotel
  13. Grow your own fruit and vegetables and let a few plants go to seed. This saves money and provides an opportunity to help your community by sharing crop surpluses. Food for you and the fascinating creatures that share your garden. Plant flowers nearby that encourage insects and will control “pests” naturally.
  14. Plant native trees and hedges and let your hedges flower and fruit. Allow nature to make the most of this food source by cutting back in late winter.
  15. Inaction! Don’t “weed” and leave areas to allow wild flowers to establish and self-seed, feeding birds and other wildlife along the way. Allow your garden to become a home for nature.
  16. Leave a hole in your garden boundaries big enough to allow wildlife, such as hedgehogs, that need large territories to roam freely.
  17. Set up a bird feeding station and clean all feeders regularly.
  18. Install a bird bath and place saucers of fresh water at ground level too. Clean these water supllies regularly.
  19. Bees can drown in deep or fast-flowing water. Create a bee bowl using a shallow dish with stones and water in.
  20. Build a bumblebee nest.
  21. Install a hedgehog house (keep the contact details for your local reputable hedgehog rescue centre handy in case you find a hog that needs assistance. These rescue and rehabilitation centres are, in the main, unfunded and run by passionate volunteers. Supporting these rescues with donations will certainly help their work and hedgehog conservation).
  22. Set up bird boxes
  23. Set up planters to bring nature onto any essential hard landscaping
  24. If you don’t have your own garden, then seek permission, if needed and install window boxesplanting them with nectar-rich flowers
  25. Adapt your property so that bats, birds and other wildlife have a home there too.
  26. Create a wild corner in a sheltered part of your garden with a log pile, brash and leaf litter for insects, amphibians, reptiles, hedgehogs and other wildlife
  27. Install a water butt to collect rain.
  28. Grow plants for butterfly and moth caterpillars
  29. Late winter and early spring is a critical time for many species of UK wildlife, in the “hungry gap”, where food sources become scarce. Stock up your feeding stations and plant early spring flowers for pollinators.

 

Take Action In Your Community

  1. Join your local greenspace/bluespace group to help look after local parks, reserves and waterways (If there isn’t one then gather friends and family and create a group!)
  2. Join your local community action group to address issues such as littering, fly-tipping, destruction of wildlife habitat and the climate crisis.
  3. Become a citizen scientist by recording local wildlife
  4. Pick up litter whilst out walking and encourage others to do so too.
  5. Become a member of wildlife charities and connect with their projects which are running in your local area
  6. Community gardens are amazing and help to build communities from the ground up. Join one, or gather friends and neighbours and start a new one.
  7. Support your local libraries and encourage them to set up enticing wildlife areas with books and resources to encourage more children and families to enjoy and appreciate nature.
  8. Volunteer with your local wildlife or green space or blue space group to help control invasive non-native species in your local area.
  9. Support the Britain in Bloom movement in your area and suggest the use of more species that help pollinators and other local wildlife.
  10. Work with others to make sure that your local wildlife does not have to suffer from hazards such as netting and litter. By doing so you will also be raising the attractiveness and level of pride in your community.
  11. Reduce the impact of artificial light on wildlife.
  12. Support your local forest schools to get more children and families in your community enjoying a deep connection with nature, through play, learning, bonding and discovery.
  13. Join the Incredible Edible community to help create kind, confident and connected communities through the power of food.
  14. Where there are ponds, ditches, streams, canals or lakes in your area, encourage landowners and managers to maintain habitat for Water Voles which are rapidly declining in numbers.

 

Take Action Through Your Activism

  1. Join your local council forums and raise the issue of the state of nature and its importance.
  2. Contact your local garden designers, landscapers and housing developers to ask them to embrace nature in their work and protect local nature.
  3. Support petitions and campaigns that protect nature, review damaging activities or propose new laws or regulations to stem the rapid losses in UK nature
  4. Write to your local council and ask them to stop mowing grass verges (except where there are genuine visibility or other health and safety issues) and also to let areas of grass grow longer for a couple of months in local parks
  5. Contact elected councillors and MP’s, quoting the findings of the State of Nature Report 2019 and asking them to protect your local nature because it provides health and wellbeing to them, you, your friends, family and other people that voted them into office. Ask them to solve the housing crisis by building on sites of low value to nature and taking action to utilise empty properties. Ask them to ensure that new developments include homes for swifts, bats, birds and other wildlife.
  6. Oppose local plans that threaten existing wildlife habitat. Even well-intentioned proposals like greenway schemes can fragment wildlife habitat if it is not properly planned and consulted with nature in mind.
  7. Consider joining Extinction Rebellion to speed up the political processes needed to resolve the ecological and climate crises, through peaceful protest
  8. Support campaigns with Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace.
  9. Contact your local farmers and ask them to work with your local nature (by, for example, leaving hedges to provide food and shelter into late winter, before cutting) and ask them to join the Nature Friendly Farmers Network.
  10. Join the Sustain Alliance for better food and farming policies and practices that help people and planet.
  11. Join actions that reduce waste, plastic and littering such as the deposit return scheme on plastic bottles.
  12. Always vote in local and general elections and vote for the candidate that has a track record of looking after people and planet and standing up to “business as usual”.
  13. Help end the use of Glyphosate-based herbicides like Monsanto’s Roundup and join the pesticide-free towns Report misuses of herbicides (like contractors aimless over spraying at speed and distance from quad bikes) to your local council!
  14. Take action to stop councils “fuelling the fires” of the climate crisis through their pension investments.
  15. Consider signing up to become an Earth Protector, helping to stop ecocide.
  16. Ensure that local “developers” adequately and independently assess the impact of developments and artificial light on wildlife. Are there alternative sites available with lower impact?
  17. Hemp, Jute and other natural materials have massive potential for producing sustainable products. Join actions that support the scaling up of their use.
  18. Use social media to create and support petitions and campaigns that protect nature.
  19. Join the campaign for a wilder future by supporting a Nature Recovery Network.

 

Take Action Using Your Power as a Consumer

  1. Switch your money to ethical banks
  2. Make your retirement savings do good by using ethical pensions and If you need independent advice, use an ethical adviser.
  3. Boycott companies that have a poor track record of protecting nature and the environment.
  4. Research other ways to make a difference using the Ecosia search engine which plants a tree for every 45 searches made.
  5. Buy organic produce and support traditional butchers and wildlife-friendly farmers
  6. Boycott produce known to have come from intensive, destructive farming sources
  7. Support local businesses that care about your community and its nature.
  8. Support companies that are raising awareness of the state of nature and taking positive steps to protect nature and the environment themselves
  9. Boycott goods that are covered in plastic and feed it back to store managers.
  10. Use refillable bottles.
  11. Switch to clean energy suppliers.
  12. Buy eco-friendly cleaning products, rather than harsh chemicals.
  13. Save money and the planet, whilst helping great causes by using charity shops and finding joy in second-hand, vintage and retro items.
  14. Buy items that use sustainable hemp and jute materials.
  15. Contact supermarkets and other businesses to ask them what their plans are to help end plastic waste and point out products that you feel are needlessly made from or wrapped in plastic.
  16. Refuse polystyrene packaging and spend your money with businesses that use biodegradable alternatives (e.g mushroom or plant based)

 

Take Action Using Your Ability to Mobilise Others

  1. Share surplus native plants, seeds, seedlings and your knowledge of the state of nature with neighbours and encourage them to create wildlife gardens.
  2. Ask your local schools to get kids out into nature more for their health, happiness and wellbeing. Suggest some activities and projects. Ask them to create a wild area that shows the children how amazing and important nature is. The idea of school children growing native trees from local seeds and planting them with parents or the local council in the neighbourhood was suggested by one contributor. This is an excellent way to connect people to their local green spaces and wildlife, whilst building a sense of belonging, purpose and pride in place. Offer to lead local wildlife walks.
  3. Use your voice and power! Talk to family and friends about the power of nature and state of nature in the UK and then share The People’s #100Actions4Nature with them to demonstrate that they can easily start making a difference.
  4. Contact your local golf course, sports club and others that manage large areas of land and ask them to encourage wildlife into their grounds
  5. People will only protect what they care about, so sharing your passion and the magic of nature with others, will certainly help to mobilise them. Lead your children, family and friends out into nature for their happiness, health, learning and wellbeing. By doing so you will also be strengthening the movement that will solve the ecological crisis, a win-win situation for your loved ones.
  6. Share conservation success stories to demonstrate that together, we can make a difference.
  7. Don’t be afraid to share ideas that you feel will improve the state of nature. Use your gifts to inspire and connect others to nature through art, writing, music, dance, sport, endurance etc.
  8. Become an active member of the wildlife charities that you support. Attend AGMs and contact them to suggest new ways of mobilising their membership
  9. Use social media to share the beauty of nature and your wild encounters. This will encourage others to connect with their local wildlife and green spaces for their happiness, health and wellbeing.

 

Take Action Through Your Compassion For Others

  1. Report Wildlife Crime
  2. Report Fox Hunts
  3. Adopt practices that reduce the impact of cats on UK wildlife populations.
  4. Slow down on country roads to reduce the risk of killing wildlife and record roadkills here
  5. Support charities that empower women and educate people about birth control
  6. Use bio-degradeable dog poo bags and always place them in a bin

 

Take Action Through Your Own Self-care and Lifestyle

  1. A lot of people say that they simply do not have the time to help nature. Hopefully the #100Actions4Nature demonstrates that you can still make a difference, even where time is a restriction. One of our followers suggested halving the time spent on social media and using the spare time to restore our amazing wildlife. This highlights the benefit of time management, which can help to organise life, increase your wellbeing and free up time to do things that enhance your sense of purpose, self-worth and wellbeing.
  2. Reduce your carbon footprint. Climate change is substantially adding to the challenges that are faced by us and the rest of nature. Eating less meat, driving and flying less will all make a difference.
  3. Conserve water to reduce the impact on our river systems and their wildlife.
  4. Don’t flush wipes or sanitary products down the toilet!
  5. Get out into nature and benefit from its well documented healing powers. Reduce your stress, free your mind, resolve your problems and replace negative emotions, which can harm your body, mind and relationships, with exercise and fresh air, whilst reminding yourself about the miracle of life. People only tend to protect what is important to them. Today, so many of us have become lost and disconnected from the world around us, constantly in search of some mysterious missing thing. A peaceful walk in a park, by a stream or through a wood will soon remind you that we are all part of something very powerful and very special indeed – nature
  6. Bring the principles of permaculture into your lifestyle, if you haven’t already.

 

Take Action Through Unity

  1. Unite for a common cause!

It’s human nature isn’t it? When something goes wrong! First of all we get defensive and try to point the finger, that it’s someone else’s fault. Then what happens? Inevitably we get up, pull together and resolve the problem. This is the best of humanity and it goes on across the world, every day. It is the beacon of hope.

We are still in the first stage of the ecological crisis. Volunteers, wildlife charities and other organisations have pulled together and passed on their massive bank of data to the scientists. The facts are there for all to see; we are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction in the history of life on earth and we live in an age where humans have critically damaged the natural life systems of which we are all part and upon which we all depend. That age is now known as the Anthropocene; a geological period during which human activity has become the dominant influence on climate and the environment.

At this critical time in human history, here we all are, pointing the finger.

We often see people arguing that individuals should not have to take action to solve the ecological crisis because it is the responsibility of those in positions of power.

At the same time others are saying the opposite, that individuals have to act because, by the time the politicians and others holding positions of power wake up, it will be too late.

Others point a finger at the wildlife charities and say that the buck stops with them and it’s their responsibility, because they have been at the “helm” over the last 50 years. This is a nonsense! Have wildlife charities been sterilising our farmland? Have wildlife charities been polluting our water courses? Have wildlife charities been orchestrating the mass destruction of our habitats or throwing litter across the land that we are finding increasingly harder to call “Great” Britain or “United” Kingdom? No! They have been restoring, protecting and showcasing ecosystems that exist on the land that they manage.

Another argument is that restoring nature involves great personal sacrifice. We disagree with that too. We have spoken to volunteers who have day jobs and spend maybe eight hours a month helping their local greenspace community group. They don’t mention sacrifice. They don’t complain about the time that they are sacrificing. They share their achievements. They are actually the most content people that you are ever likely to meet. Their action fills them with purpose, pride in themselves, pride in place and an ocean of positive body chemistry that comes from the act of helping the world and others in it.

It’s time to stop pointing the finger and do what history proves we do best; pull together and solve the crisis. Societies have done it during the sad times of war. Humanity did it to start healing the hole in the earth’s protective ozone layer.

The simple truth is, we can all do more. Businesses can abandon greenwashing and embrace nature in decision making. By doing so in this time of ecological crisis they will win the hearts of informed consumers. Politicians can read The State of Nature Report 2019 and become heroes in their communities, by replacing lip service with real action, to protect those that placed them in power and the life systems upon which they all rely. Wildlife charities can offer more concessions for children and fully engage their members to mobilise them in their millions. It is a time to follow the scientific facts, get round the table, find common ground and crack on with the task in hand.

The good news is that we are almost at the end of the first stage of the ecological crisis. The science is there and yes, we do indeed know that there is an ecological crisis. Fingers are still being pointed, but at the same time, a movement, led by the people, is rising. Paul Hawken identified it back in 2007, and it’s moving fast, but nowhere near fast enough!

The People’s #100Actions4Nature was meant to mobilise those who felt powerless, but after pulling together your contributions, it has shaped itself into a tool that can help bring us all together and into the second stage of the ecological crisis; the bit where we work in union to solve it, and create a better world and a better future for all. Now that sounds like a “Great” Britain and that sounds like a “United” Kingdom”!

Please share The People’s #100Actions4Nature across all your social networks and start YOUR actions today. Teamwork WILL make our common dreams work, for a better world.

 

 

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