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Restore Nature Now

Parliament Square | 22nd June 2024

As Spoken by Chris Packham

"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. Nineteen percent of our wildlife has been destroyed and one in 6 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.

And the State of Nature Reports are unambiguous. It's principally farming policies and practices that are driving declines and insects and birds.

We have a nightmare. Over one billion animals are confined in factory farms in the UK, and the number of intensive factory farms is on the rise. Since 2016 there has been a 20% increase of 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. It's estimated that 1.7 million animals are trapped in snares every year in the UK. Almost a 3rd of satellite-tagged 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. And 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, whilst 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've 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. So 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."

In the words of Chris Packham

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