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  • Writer's pictureIsabel Mack

4 Ways to Act Now for Nature

This weekend, I joined the Restore Nature Now march in London. The event united over 350 organisations, all dedicated to restoring and protecting nature. Among these were the National Trust, the Wildlife Trusts, the RSPB, Friends of the Earth, Surfers Against Sewage, and Extinction Rebellion. Over 60,000 people attended, urging our government to tackle the UK's wildlife crisis now.

Gallery of photos from the Restore Nature Now march and photos of British Wildlife

The UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world. Since 1970, UK species have declined by 19%, and nearly one in six species are now threatened with extinction (source: State of Nature report 2023). This decline of our wildlife continues despite the pledges of previous UK government to halt it.

We depend on nature and are part of it. Without nature, there is no food, clean air, or water, and access to nature is crucial for human well-being. So, what can we do now to protect nature?

1. Create a Nature-friendly Garden

Bee collects nectar from a wildflower meadow

If you have a garden, there are many ways to support local wildlife and improve biodiversity. I live on an estate built within the last 10 years. When we moved in, there was only grass and one tree. Over the past five years, I’ve added two more trees, various shrubs, bee-friendly plants, and a wildflower section. This has significantly increased the number of insects and small birds, including a nest of swallows.

One of the easiest ways to support wildlife is to participate in No Mow May by not cutting your grass during May. Letting wildflowers in your lawn grow provides vital food for pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Learn more about No Mow May

For projects which require a bit more work, The Wildlife Trusts offers guides on a range of wildlife-friendly projects, from building a bug hotel to creating a mini meadow.

If space is limited, consider vertical gardening. Even the smallest plots can thrive with these ideas from the Wildlife Trusts. Learn about vertical gardening

2. Get Litter Picking to Protect Nature

A bin bag with collected litter

Our discarded rubbish endangers wildlife. A Keep Britain Tidy report from 2018 found that litter could be killing up to 3.2 million shrews, voles, and mice each year when they get trapped in discarded bottles and cans (source: Circular).

Joining a local litter pick or organising one yourself helps remove litter from the environment. Many local councils lend out free litter pickers for groups - in the past, I’ve borrowed litter pickers and high-vis vests for my Girlguiding unit and neighbourhood litter picking events.

Keep Britain Tidy has a large litter-picking community and offers numerous tips and advice.

3. Write to Your Local MP Demanding Better for Nature

I have fallen into the category of thinking that writing to my MP about issues was pointless. However, in 2018 research found that many MPs didn't feel pressure from their constituents to act on climate change (source: Green Alliance). While this is changing, it’s crucial to tell your MP just how important it is to restore nature.

Contacting your local MP is easy with Write To Them.

  • Tell them why you believe nature should be protected and restored. You don’t need to be an expert—just voice your concerns.

  • Include facts about the decline of UK wildlife (see the Zero Hour website for some ideas).

  • If possible, cite specific local opportunities to protect wildlife.

  • And ask your MP to support change like the Climate and Nature Bill.

You can find out more about the Climate and Nature Bill via the campaign website, Zero Hour.

4. Volunteer for a Local Nature Project

A group of volunteers celebrate in a woodland

There are many ways to take local action for nature, whether restoring nature reserves, planting trees, conducting butterfly surveys, or supporting rewilding projects.

Many organisations work with volunteers to protect nature. These include the following who all run local projects across the UK:

Spread the Word

If you take any of these actions, please share your experience! Whether in a chat with a colleague, with a fellow parent at pick-up, or on social media, talking about the threats to nature and why you’ve taken action can be as powerful as the action itself.

Conversations create ripples, and each ripple can add up to the sea of change our wildlife so desperately needs.


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