Who will be walking beside you on 22 September?

Who might you see in Hyde Park on 22 September taking a Walk for Wildlife?

Prominent politicians?

TV personalities?

Staff of your favourite wildlife NGO?

Your friends?

I’m looking forward to seeing you.

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27 Replies to “Who will be walking beside you on 22 September?”

  1. I can’t do this walk anyway due to work commitments but every time I have tried to ask what the aims of this walk are, and where the merchandise profits are actually going I have been ignored. Chris Packham, for example has produced love-heart prints for £300 each, yet has not specified who will benefit financially from this. It would cost me around £50 in total to get to London, buy food and drink, and get around whilst in London. Even if I take a packed lunch, it won’t be much cheaper. Surely by spending my money on plants that attract bees/butterflies or a few more bird feeders, I would be giving wildlife the practical help it needs. I would just like to see some clarification regarding how walking through London for an hour, at a great expense to most people, will actually benefit wildlife. I would also like clarification regarding the merchandise: who exactly is benefitting from it’s sale. Will any of the charities/organisations benefit financially, if so, which ones? In short, what is the point of it all and why has there been such a reluctance to clarify this?

    1. You were never, ever really going to go, were you..?
      (see below).
      I think you are probably kept awake by the sound of goats trip-trapping over the bridge. You don’t have to donate. Or buy anything. Or attend.
      But it’d good if loads of people did.

  2. In addition to my previous comments, I am extremely concerned that the hunt saboteur organisation has been invited to attend. This is an extremist group that employs terrifying tactics including wearing balaclavas to intimidate hunters. I know people who are involved in hunting and they have witnessed young children being literally dragged from
    horses by these extemists. I do not condone extremism, in any form, therefore even if you do answer my previous questions I will not attend this walk.

    1. Wearing a balaclava is a terrifying tactic!!! Nowhere near as bad as chasing a fox with dogs for fun and having it torn apart by said dogs. Then wiping the fox blood on the face of children being indoctrinated into this vile pursuit. A pursuit/perversion, which of course is itself a crime.
      The company of ” extremists” objecting to and trying to prevent such crime is infinitely preferable to that of the criminals themselves.

    2. Why not come along and discuss your concerns with the HSA staff (I assume all these org’s will have stalls). If any of their supporters have been deliberately targeting children I’m sure they will be appalled as such behaviour does absolutely nothing to protect the fox’s or other potential targets of the hunt.
      Also consider that you where told this by someone who partakes in fox hunting, do you not think they may want those who don’t know what they do to think those opposed to their vile hobby are just a bunch of violent extremists in order to try to gain sympathy?

    3. Lorraine until about four years ago my opinion re Hunt Saboteurs wasn’t that much higher than that of the people who go chasing foxes on horseback for ‘fun’. That was until I encountered the wonder of you tube and then I looked at the evidence for Hunt Sab violence myself. What I saw shocked me and gave me a rather severe case of guilt. Yes there was a tremendous amount of violence (not just against animals) at fox hunts, but it was VERY much the fox hunters that were perpetrating it not only on hunt sabs, but also hunt monitors. Watching a 60 year old grandmother, as she is watching a trail hunt to make sure it doesn’t turn into a real one, being pushed around very roughly by ‘men’ twice her size and half her age is not an edifying experience and any last vestiges of respectability that fox hunting might have should be well and truly killed for any decent person watching it. Do you want to explain to us Lorraine why there is video after video after video of sabs and monitors being threatened, pushed, hit with riding crops, being driven and rode at, verbally abused – which shows exactly why many sabs wear balaclavas to conceal identities – and..how many of actual sab violence, if any?

      It turns out quite a few sabs are in the caring professions – they genuinely help people and that sympathy extends to animals – which has come in handy on occasions when fox hunters have sustained serious injuries and been helped by health professionals that have been on hand. It may very well be that sabs have saved at least one fox hunters life. https://www.huntsabs.org.uk/index.php/92-news/press-releases/561-paramedic-saboteur-treats-injured-hunt-master .So again please let me know why the fox hunters don’t have such a very extensive library of videos showing violence committed by sabs against fox hunters – why no film of children being dragged off horse back? Strange how hunt sabs and monitors manage to take incriminating film, but hunt supporters don’t know how to use a camera apparently. Of course people who are happy to try and hit a woman sab with a riding crop aren’t going to scruple about making up the most atrocious lies about hunt sabs are they? I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt Lorraine and instead of thinking you came on this blog to discredit the fight to reform field sports in this country (i.e a bog troll) you are just a well meaning, but gullible person who finds it easier to believe lies than research and think for them self. For my part I spent many, many years not thinking much of a bunch of people who were giving up their time to take on the very worst aspects and stupidity of ‘huntin, fishin, shootin’ in this country head on, and were maligned by the media and received very, very little thanks for what they did – instead they were labelled as the perpetrators of violence rather than what they were which is the victims of it. They are trying to do the same with raptor workers – accuse them of being responsible for bird of prey losses when they are working against the real perpetrators. I was hardly alone in my prejudices, but I had even less excuse for them – I actually got mixed up, accidentally, in a running ‘battle’ between hunt sabs and a mink hunt on the river Ure in 1989. I was fishing at the time, and when I realized that a crowd of hunt sabs were there did my absolute best to crouch down and make myself as inconspicuous as possible while thinking ‘oh shit’. What happened – nothing, one or two sabs muttered comments that weren’t quite audible which I assume weren’t complimentary to people who pull hooks into fishes’ mouths, but most smiled and even asked if I’d caught anything. That was the extent of the hunt sabs’ ‘viciousness’ that day.

      The entire country no less owes a massive apology to those who put themselves through horrible abuse and danger to fight against something it should never have allowed in the first place – and then they got maligned for it, that’s the real disgrace. I don’t think you’ll be missed at the Walk Lorraine, in fact maybe you won’t be missed much anywhere – but at least have a look at this just one of many cases where it was those against hunting that were attacked, then start looking for yourself and go back to the people you know who have been making these claims and ask them to explain why you can’t find videos of these acts that sabs are supposed to do, but plenty showing the violence going the other way. https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/news/leicester-news/belvoir-hunt-employees-sentenced-attack-1677954

  3. I have gradually become an ardent supporter of Chris Packham and pretty much everything he stands for. However, I have to say that the crowdfund appeal for this walk does not appear to be going well, standing at just over 7,000 out of a target of 50,000 at the moment.
    One of Chris’s hopes is that the huge number of different groups involved in the various aspects of wildlife protection and conservation would put aside their differences and stand together to send out a strong message.
    The fragmentation of the conservation movement is, imo, one of its great weaknesses. While we all have our favourite issues and species, I really hope that we can focus on the things we have in common and support this event. Numbers matter to politicians of all persuasions, and a shift in the political climate is sorely needed if we are to reverse the year-in, year-out losses of wildlife.

  4. There are a lot of organisations on that list so it should be a good turnout……except, I suspect that many just want to be on the list!
    Thank you to WWT, Friends of the Earth and Plantlife. If you enter ‘People’s Walk for Wildlife’ into their search bar you actually get info on the Walk!
    That is more than can be said for the RSPB, Wildlife Trust’s (either individually or the collective), Buglife, Greenpeace.

    Now I am making the assumption that all these NGOs have been contacted to be included on the list, so how come the vast majority, large and small aren’t supporting the walk on their sites? If FoE, Plantlife and WWT can do it, you all can.

    See you there!

      1. Richard, that’s as maybe, but it doesn’t alter the fact that if you enter the walk in their search bar, all you get is a list of walks around reserves. I think a member that doesn’t read Martin’s blog, and I don’t believe all 1.2 million do, ought to be able to find details on their main site, don’t you?

        And I think you knew that that is what I was saying.

        1. Paul I do agree that the RSPB main site is abstruse and that the News page lacks impact. I didn’t have a great problem finding what I wanted though. Martin Harper’s blog is good but not as frequently updated as his predecessor!

          See you there!

    1. Cumbria wildlife trust have plugged it on their Facebook twice – and will be attending, specifically due to the recent conviction of Cumbrian grouse moor gamekeeper Tim Cowin who eventually pleaded guilty to having shot and stamped two short-eared owls to death.
      There’s over 40 wildlife Trusts so let’s see who does show – their reasons will be their own. Jamie.

  5. Dear Lorraine,
    I understand your concerns. I have felt the same in the past and that’s why I’ve always avoided protests. But this feels different somehow, it’s more positive. (And maybe I feel more positive and trusting in general). And the point of this event is kind of like Birdfair – it’s a festival to celebrate wildlife, many likeminded individuals coming together to show their love and passion for life on earth in all its diversity, and through our love we of course have a huge collective interest in nurturing, protecting and conserving that life. Multiplying that life. And we just so happen to be walking in a very public place, so those in government and otherwise in power can join in if they choose, and they can see how much nature is at the heart, the forefront of British and global consciousness. If we show them how much it matters to us, and also if we demonstrate to ourselves and each other, that’s a huge solidarity and it’s quite powerful. Because to really reverse species decline, and get this planet back to where it should be, we’ll probably achieve it more effectively once we realise we are not alone, we all love wildlife, from the poorest to the richest person in the country. We are born from nature, we are nature, yet we also have a unique point of power to change and protect things. It would be lovely to see you there! I’m going down with my daughter and partner, and I’m going to be swimming the Serpentine at 9:10 to raise money for the Bumblebee Conservation Trust (I also have a JustGiving page).

    1. Natalie, yours are one of the good guys. They actually have a link for the walk on their site. Best of luck, thank you, and don’t frighten the geese!

    2. Natalie — I find your post really moving. Like the Hen Harrier Days, this is community-forming.

      (I’ll be there).

  6. Yes I did, thank you very much. I would still like more clarification regarding the intended aims/ planned outcomes of this event.

  7. While I appreciate this, after all there is too much division today. I do believe all groups should come together, but I personally do not want to get involved with extemism. Perhaps I will join a future walk, if there is one, if I can see a clear aim. For now I will budget more money for my bee/butterfly garden and I will purchase another bird feeding station. We have upward of thirty very hungry sparrows this year in our front garden. I feel for now, this is a far more practical way to provide support to wildlife.

    1. Lorraine – it sounds like you are already involved with extremists. Your hunting friends are defying the law in order to chase animals until they are caught and then torn apart by dogs. By any sensible definition they are taking part in serious organised crime. And that makes them (obviously) serious organised criminals. Something to chat about perhaps next time you see them.

    2. Well Lorraine I have to agree that I wondered on the need to fund this event as well as turn up but you know I actually trust that man Packham and I’m pretty sure that he’s not doing this for profit, indeed he has said that he is putting money into the event. So I set about wondering about the overheads of running an event like this and whilst they haven’t been stated I imagine there may be a need for some portaloos, that policing for public events often needs funding by the event. Then Chris has alluded to some entertainment, even with a hint of surprise, and you know the man is creative and produces good quality entertainment. There’s bound to be a need for public address system, maybe a raised platform to present a sermon from and then there are those who, unlike Chris need to cover their expenses. In short if it’s a big event it’s going to need the resources and I’m also pretty sure that Chris himself has a team of folk helping getting it organised and making sure it’s a quality event which has the impact which it needs.

      When the walk was launched my wife and I felt we had to be there – because of the need to get this message across to the politicians, the public and to you. It is,as you point out, an expense and London is an expensive venue but it needs to be one event and it needs to be London. For us travel from Cumbria, up near the Scottish border, warrants an overnight or two so we are using the walk as the centrepiece of a weekend away. So it is expensive, we’ve chipped in to the crowdfunder, the bird feeders are full and the bees well catered for. We’ve got the small WeBS count done, reported on sightings to Butterfly Conservation, planned our tawny owl survey work and collected a few more bags of plastic off our beaches. Now we’re heading to London on the 22nd to help make an impact, and if that doesn’t work we’re going to start some extremist action too!

      1. Excellent post – look out for the 6 foot tall short eared bat from Cumbria. That’ll be me.
        Jamie – Cumbria WT.

      2. Very well said. Thank you.
        I’m sure Lorraine knows very well that this has to be visible to the government, there’s none so blind as those that will not see.

  8. I’m trying to fill a coach from Derbyshire. If you live in or near the county please consider using it and get in touch asap. Coach starts at Matlock, pickups in Belper and Derby. £20 a head.
    Reluctant to give a personal email here so please search for the ‘Derby Peregrines’ blog where the full details and an email address can be found.
    35 seats to fill and not much time to do so.
    Ps Derbyshire WT is supportive and helping me with the promotion of this….

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