Wildlife and climate groups unite in what could be the biggest ever UK march for nature

Today sees the launch of a major coming together of environmental and nature conservation organisations to call on the next UK government to do more to protect and restore biodiversity.

Members of the public are being encouraged to ‘unite for nature’ by joining a legal and family-friendly demonstration on the streets of central London on Saturday 22 June 2024.

Backed by a wide-range of nature, wildlife and climate groups and campaigners – including CIEEM – the demonstration aims to be the biggest-ever gathering of nature and climate supporters in the UK.

The Restore Nature Now demonstration will bring thousands of people together to call on all political parties to take action to restore nature and tackle climate change in the UK.

Environment campaigners are urging everyone who cares for nature to unite and march through London to Parliament Square on Saturday 22 June, with a simple demand to all political parties: “Restore Nature Now”

This legal demonstration aims to be the biggest gathering of people for nature and climate that the UK has ever seen and is both a celebration of UK nature and a protest for urgent political action on the nature and climate emergencies.  

The Restore Nature Now march will be a peaceful, inclusive and family-friendly event. It is supported by a diverse group of dozens of wildlife and environment organisations (including the RSPB, The Wildlife Trusts, The Climate Coalition, WWF-UK, National Trust, WWT, Woodland Trust, Wildlife and Countryside Link, Rewilding Britain, Extinction Rebellion and Chris Packham) who are warning that this General Election must be a turning point for nature before it is too late.

The UK is ranked as one of the worst countries in the world for nature loss, with 1 in 6 wildlife species at risk of extinction in Great Britain. UK policies have also been rated as inadequate to the scale of the nature and climate crisis. In its annual progress report , the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) said that ‘the UK is ‘largely off track to meet its environmental ambitions, and must speed up and scale up its efforts in order to achieve them’. And the Committee on Climate Change has analysed UK action as insufficient to meet emission reduction targets, and reported that the UK is no longer seen as a climate leader.

The UK is known as a nation of nature-lovers and polls have revealed high levels of concern over inadequate UK climate and nature action. Results from two nationwide surveys conducted by The Wildlife Trusts showed that irrespective of voting choice, nature matters to people across the electorate, with 93% of voters reporting that they believe nature loss is a serious threat to humanity. Recent YouGov UK polling on behalf of WWF-UK also showed that the majority of people (70%) think it’s possible to avoid the worst effects of climate change but more than half (58%) think it’s only possible with more drastic action.

The Restore Nature Now demonstration will show a joint voice across the nature and climate sectors, uniting to tell all political parties that action must be taken to restore nature now. The organisations from across the UK are united in calling on UK politicians to show strong domestic and global nature and climate leadership, by taking the following actions:

  • A pay rise for nature – Farmers manage 70% of UK land and have a huge role to play in supporting environmental recovery. But they need more support. We want to see the nature and climate-friendly farming budget doubled.
  • Make polluters pay – Big businesses; from water, to retail, to energy, all contribute to environmental decline. We want new rules to make them contribute to nature and climate recovery, and an end to new fossil fuels.
  • More space for nature – Just 3% of English land and 8% of waters are properly protected for nature and wildlife. To meet UK nature and climate commitments we need to expand and improve protected areas, and ensure public land and National Parks contribute more to recovery.
  • A right to a healthy environment – Limited access to nature, and pollution in the air and water, affects everyone’s health. We’re calling for a commitment to an Environmental Rights Bill, which would drive better decisions for nature, improve public health and access to high-quality nature. 
  • Fair and effective climate action – We cannot save nature without solving the climate crisis. We want to see investment in warm homes and lower bills by increasing home energy efficiency, supporting active travel and public transport, and replacing polluting fossil fuels with affordable renewables to ensure we at least halve UK emissions by 2030. 

More details about the Restore Nature Now demonstration will be released in the coming weeks. Supporters can find out more about the Restore Nature Now demonstration at www.restorenaturenow.com and can donate to support the organisation of the demonstration at https://chuffed.org/project/restore-nature-now