Restore Nature Now: A Powerful Call to Action

On Saturday, June 22nd, the Restore Nature Now march saw London National Park City Rangers unite with over 350 organisations and an estimated 60,000-80,000 passionate individuals. The event was a resounding demand for action against the ongoing crisis ravaging our natural world.

For the first time, major organisations like the National Trust and WWF marched alongside direct action activists. Together, they called on the next government to take bold steps to address the biodiversity crisis.

Our Rangers proudly carried banners advocating for a greener, healthier, and wilder future. They were joined by supporters from various London groups, including the newly established nature reserve Warren Farm, Trees for Cities, and the RSPB.

It was great to be joined by Slow Ways and LNPC founder Dan Raven-Ellison, environmental education charity ecoACTIVE, international art community ArtCan and The Ramblers who all walked alongside our rangers.

The natural world is in trouble and we need to take action.

We want to see UK politicians show strong domestic and global nature and climate leadership by:

  1. Giving a pay-rise for nature.
  2. Making polluters pay.
  3. Delivering more space for nature.
  4. Putting a right to a healthy environment in law.
  5. Ensuring fair and effective climate action

Read more about the specific demands we are making

London National Park City Rangers at Restore Nature Now

Before the march began 19-year-old conservationist and London National Park City Ranger Kabir Kaul spoke to the assembled at Hyde Park Corner.

“An unforgettable and historic day marching for nature in Central London. I’m very proud to have been part of the Restore Nature Now March, and walk with so many familiar faces from across conservation.

I will never forget leading the chant of “Green roofs! Green roofs!” through Piccadilly!”

Take it up wear it out, Elly Platt

Best Ranger outfit had to go to Elly Platt with her interactive Thames Water chore jacket.
What a great way to bring a personal beef with Thames Water to the Restore Nature Now march!

It’s also worth mentioning two young Rangers in the making who were enthusiastically handing out flyers and spreading the word of London National Park City to a welcoming public along the route.

Reflecting on Restore nature Now

There has been number of reflections on the whole experience from many groups and individuals over the past couple of days. We’ve picked out a few that we thought were worth resharing! 

Green Industrialist Dale Vince said: 

“Great to speak at the Restore Nature Now Rally in London yesterday. I spoke about the cow in the room… The blind spot of many who care about climate, nature, and the environment: our diet. Nature is in decline not just because we are concreting the country, the climate crisis, or the fossil fuel industry, but largely due to what we choose to eat.

Farmland takes up about 75% of our country. We grow plants, to feed animals, to feed people – an inefficient system. For example, we put 10 times more protein into a cow than we get back out. If we stop eating animals, we can give 50% of the land back to nature. That’s how we resolve this crisis.”

Feargal Sharkey also took to the stage. 

“We’ve been lied to

We’ve been cheated

We’ve been misled

We’ve been told untruths

We’ve been promised greatness

We’ve been promised the world that is brighter more prosperous, greener than anything we have ever seen before

And we have been lied to

There is not a single river anywhere in England that is not polluted

And one of the largest sources of that pollution is the water industry”

Daze Aghaji from Extinction Rebellion said:

“When you look at all the organisations supporting this event, you feel this real love for the people who are passionately defending nature every single day. From Bumblebee Conservation and BugLife , Burgess Hill Swift Supporters, Citizen Zoo, Rewilding Britain, Trees for Cities, there are just so many amazing organisations with their incredible supporters who are coming from all corners of the UK to be counted and show our politicians that we want action on restoring nature now.”

Liz Bonnin, President of The Wildlife Trusts. Science, Natural History & Environmental broadcaster, commented: 

“So many beautiful humans in my world today! 

A huge thank you to the inimitable Chris Packham without whom this day would never have happened. In awe of his tireless dedication and passion for making it a better place for all life on earth.

Today all sectors of society and community came together to stand up for nature like never before. And it was powerful. We can be the leaders we’re looking for and the change our planet needs.”

Beccy Speight, the chief executive of the RSPB, said:

“The government signed up to protect 30% of land and sea by 2030 and we’ve got just 3% of English land protected and well-managed for nature. We’re miles off it. We’re not talking about little tweaks from political parties here, we’re talking about a really fundamental change in how we think about how nature underpins so much of what we’re trying to do. That’s the thing we’re not seeing from any [political party].”

Photographs by Michael and Elodiedh Shilling

Restore Nature now coverage and speeches

If you missed the speeches don’t worry as the entire livestream is available to watch on YouTube.

Emma Thompson also spoke to Sky News about the event. The actor shared her thoughts on the political inaction on climate change at a rally in London.

Chris Packham Restore Nature Now Speech

The afternoon was closed off with a rousing speech from Chris Packham. For those of you that prefer the written word here’s a transcript.

Now is the summer of our discontent because we have a nightmare.

Since Frankie Goes to Hollywood told us to relax, 600 million birds across Europe have vanished, including 65% of our cuckoos and 90% of our nightingales. We have a nightmare. Since the Sex Pistols pointed out it was anarchy in the UK, 80% of our butterflies have gone, 19% of our wildlife has been destroyed, and one in six species are now in danger of extinction.

We have a nightmare.

Our rivers may be full of sewage, but agriculture is the number one source of river pollution in the UK and also responsible for 35% of our greenhouse gas emissions.

The state of nature reports are unambiguous. It’s principally farming policies and practices that are driving declines in insects and birds.

We have a nightmare.

Over a billion animals are confined in factory farms in the UK and the number of intensive factory farms is on the rise.

Since 2016, there’s been a 20% increase in industrial pig and poultry units. Factory farming is the single biggest cause of animal cruelty on the planet.

We have a nightmare.

Foxes are still ripped to pieces for fun by entitled savages. And at the cost of 60 million pounds of our money, we’ve exterminated 230,000 badgers in an inhumane, unethical, and wholly ineffective cull. That’s half the UK badger population. It’s tragic.

We have a nightmare.

We’ve estimated that 1.7 million animals are trapped in snares every year in the UK. Almost a third of satellite-tracked golden eagles have died in suspicious circumstances. And woodcock, snipe, golden plover, and pochard are still legally shot despite being in serious decline.

It’s madness.

We have a nightmare.

92% of our marine protected areas are not protected from destructive fishing. Last year, these so-called marine nature reserves were subjected to 100,000 hours of industrial fishing and 33,000 hours of bottom trawling. They are not protected. They are being trashed.

We really have a nightmare.

2023 was confirmed as the warmest year going back to 1850. And this May marked the 12th month of world record-breaking heat in a row.

And yet, while the world has been roasting, they have handed major oil companies 53 new drilling licences, including Rosebank, the biggest undeveloped oil and gas field in the North Sea.

But it doesn’t have to be like this. It doesn’t have to be like this.

Because we can restore nature now. And we will restore nature now.

We have the tools. We have the technologies. We have tried and tested the solutions, and they work. So let’s make them work.

I’ve got to tell you, it’s too late for dreaming. We’ve been dreaming, and it hasn’t worked. It’s time to wake up and start acting. Doing things that really make a difference.

Because there is no longer a choice.

The simple truth is, this is our last stand for nature.

Now is the time to stand up and start fighting for all of the life that we love so much. That’s not just me and us and them. It’s every one of you. Because you can make the difference. You must make the difference.

You will make the difference.

Now is the time to finally find the courage for the biggest battles, not the easy wins.

Another dormouse reintroduction won’t save biodiversity. But radically reformed sustainable farming, fishing, and forestry policies will. So let’s bang on that door until we get them.

Now is the time to make a liveable earth a reality for all of our children. And everything that creeps, crawls, slithers, slimes, and stings.

Now is the time to love life.

To love life harder, madder, and faster.

To love life with every last beat of our beautiful hearts.

Nature can’t act, but we can.

Nature doesn’t have a voice, but we do.

So let me hear it. Restore nature now. Restore nature now. Restore nature now. Restore nature now. Restore nature now. Restore nature now. Restore nature now. Restore nature now. Restore nature now. Restore nature now. Restore nature now. Restore nature now. Restore nature now. Restore nature now. Restore nature now. Restore nature now. Restore nature now. 80 to 100,000 people are saying, “Restore nature now! Restore nature now!” Restore nature now! Restore nature now! Restore nature now! Restore nature now! You’re loud, you’re proud, you’re beautiful. Thank you very much indeed for coming. Please come back next time. I fear this isn’t the first event that we’re going to need to run like this. Thank you very much indeed.

Scroll to Top