There are young people across the UK who are already taking action Now for Nature. They are making our Vision for Nature a reality. While proof of any progress on a governmental level can be dumbed down to twiddling thumbs and choruses of humming and hawing, these young people embody what Now for Nature values – action. We hope that decision makers will follow where they are leading. Featured below are seven magnificent young individuals from across the UK who are doing amazing things Now for Nature.
I try to do my bit for nature every day: by recording birds and Lepidoptera in the field, by volunteering with my local Red Squirrel action group and by working towards a career in the environmental field. I also write about nature frequently – online and in print – to highlight its plight and encourage others to get out there and enjoy it. It was this fondness for the written word that inspired me to start New Nature magazine: a virtual publication which aims to promote, encourage and embolden young people with an interest in nature, and in doing so, ensure that in the future, there will be no shortage of individuals waiting in the wings to defend the natural world.
I’ve always loved writing, but it was only during my time at university that I started to realise how the power of language can illuminate the wonders of the natural world. I now write professionally on wildlife, landscape and people, and I have just finished my first illustrated book ‘Food You Can Forage’, which will be published by Bloomsbury in March 2018. This is aimed at families and amateur naturalists, to encourage more people to explore the outdoors and discover how accessible nature can be.
Up until recently my efforts have been fairly focussed on birds and have included bird ringing, SPA surveys and Bird Tracking all my sightings. However, in the last few months or so I have tried to broaden my interest to other taxa and I now moth trap on a regular basis, and will submit all records to my county recorder at the end of the year. I also use iRecord to log sightings of other taxa, including butterflies, hoverflies and beetles, so that this data is available to inform conservation efforts.
Georgia is a keen birder, blogger and aspiring conservationist. She isn’t afraid to stand up in any way when it comes to protecting our natural environment. Previously, this has included actively campaigning against issues, such as, the badger cull and engaging, when possible, with those her own age and younger about the importance of doing this.
Currently, I’m doing local volunteering for the Wildlife Trust, the RSPB and my local bird club, in wildlife education and community engagement. I’m a Wildlife Watch helper, and I’ve been running wildlife activities in my school for the past few years – leading trips and delivering assemblies and talks. I also do wildlife art, blogging, moth trapping and contribute to biological recording when I can!
I am currently involved in the Hill Head Sea Defence Phase 2 project, monitoring disturbance and birdlife over the next few months, with the aim of minimising the impacts of the construction work, and the Solent Birds Project, which looks at identifying the network of roosting and feeding sites in and around the Solent. Outside of work, I’m regularly running a moth trap both at home and at Titchfield Haven, birding almost constantly, while also attempting to enhance biodiversity further and appreciate more of the natural world.
Nature communicates to us in many ways and it tells me every day to get up and do something. I have learnt very quickly that you can’t do everything, but what you can do is be determined and disciplined. This year I felt that I should concentrate on what I believe are the two most important aspects of nature conservation in the UK; fieldwork and campaigning.
(On that note, we should give Findlay a well-deserved acknowledgement of his efforts on behalf of naturalists UK-wide for running this year’s “Inglorious12th” hen harrier campaign.)
Each of these snippets reminds us that at the heart of nature is action spurred by the passionate individuals to whom the natural world is as inseparable as the air we all breathe. By sharing their insights into a more natural world, we aim to promote the concept of Now for Nature.
The concept is both to raise awareness and further interest in the natural world in addition to, above all, building a global network of like-minded youth intrigued and enthralled by the mystique and raw beauty that nature possesses. Within or beyond the British Isles, today’s youth continue to inspire and lead, so my question to you is: what are YOU doing #NowforNature?