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Every year more reports are released calling for action to restore nature, or risk losing it.
But what are we doing to speak up for our wild plants and fungi, and how can you join us on our mission to protect nature?
The landmark State of Nature report is a stark call to action, published by the RSPB. The headlines are alarming, with species populations in decline, species communities changing and extinction rates increasing. The report makes it clear that to protect our wildlife we need cohesion and mobilisation of all sectors of society.
Against this backdrop, and under the weight of responsibility to the environment, communities are now rallying together to ask for change. From small online actions such as signing petitions at home, to organising rallies in our capital, such as the Restore Nature Now demo organised by Chris Packham and his team in September 2023.
That’s what we asked ourselves when we were invited to join the Restore Nature Now rally.
Plantlife hasn’t traditionally taken much of an active stance as an organisation, but amidst the list of NGOs who would be attending, there was a stark absence of anybody to fly the flag for our flora and funga.
We recognise our own responsibility to step up for the plants and planet we love.
Plantlife advocated for the need for plants and fungi to be prioritised and valued at all scales, from landscape management planning right up to government decision making.
We emphasised that our species need us now, that they are the fundamental building blocks of biodiversity, and we simply can’t afford to lose them.
We attended alongside over 40 organisations, enlisting the help of community art groups to help up visualise our mission into a banner and meeting with supporters who had responded to our call to action.
Banner making at a local community group in Cardiff
The loss of our plants and fungi is a political issue in that it affects every one of us, and is beyond party politics. Despite the central role they play in biodiversity support and carbon storage, plants and fungi are still overlooked and undervalued by decisionmakers.
Here’s some ways you can ask for change:
The atmosphere at Restore Nature Now at DEFRA was exciting and energising, with talks, speeches, poems, songs and readings from scientists, artists and all kinds of empowered nature-lovers. Most organised events are inclusive, positive, safe and legal. It is awe-inspiring to hear people’s stories, hopes and visions. Look out for events shared by local groups and charities.
Regardless of which species or habitats we advocate for, each is interconnected and interdependent on each other. Like the formation or start of a whole new ecosystem, we need to make connections and have conversations with people beyond our organisations and groups. We need new friends and allies, people with a shared vision for change.
The money that supports us doesn’t just save wild plants through practical action for our most at-risk habitats and landscapes. It also fuels our passionate team of wild plant and fungi advocates to demand change at all levels, from local action to national governments. We can’t do this without you.
Want to support our work? However you choose to support, you will be helping to champion wild plants and fungi, helping us to protect nature, tackle the impacts of climate change and support people and communities.
What are we doing to speak up for our wild plants during the nature crisis, and how can you join us on our mission to protect nature?
Here are some ideas of how you can get outside and enjoy wild plants and fungi in January – from your garden to our remotest reserves.
Three Hagges Woodmeadow Site Manager Kara shares what volunteers do, from coppicing to nature surveys, and how you can get involved.
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