Adopt

Protect the Wild – how supporters EMPOWER us!

Before I get into this, can I just say now please don’t let the first two paragraphs below put you off! This short post is written to let you know how grateful we at Protect the Wild are to you (our supporters, readers, and contributors) for helping us feel less powerless and more hopeful…and as our tagline suggests, more empowered to protect British wildlife. Okay, here we go…

Whichever way we slice it, the wildlife/environment news over the last few weeks has been pretty desperate here in the UK. The new State of Nature Report states that nearly 1 in 6 of all British species are at possible risk of extinction, putting the UK at the bottom of the G7 league table for how much biodiversity it has left. Alongside a timeline of the hottest summer in human history is news that the government – on top of granting 100 new licences for oil and gas exploration in July – has okayed the development of Rosebank, the UK’s largest untapped oilfield. A single moron with a chainsaw can change how an entire landscape looks for the next 200 hundred years.

The fox hunting ‘season’ (what a nonsensical phrase given that fox hunting is illegal!) has started now and our own pages have been awash with reports of hunts breaking the law: The Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt, the Heythrop Hunt, the Holderness Hunt. The slaughter of as many as 50 million Pheasants starts in about 48 hours.

Many of us are asking (actually, have always asked!) how on earth do we fight back? What the hell do we do when we can see the Nature we love disappearing in front of us. When hunters and shooters and badger cullers, all backed by influential lobby groups and in many cases MPs, seem to be able to take, take, take with little consequence.

 

We took apart the grouse shooing industry in a series of posts  in August

 

It can be incredibly difficult to know what to do. Most of us have lost faith in the government, the police, the judiciary. One of the most influential conservationists in the entire country, Chris Packham, is now openly pondering whether it’s time to break the law to achieve change (in our opinion Chris does far more good outside jail than in so please, no).  We’re no different of course. The team at Protect the Wild loves animals. Writing about cruelty and savagery and criminals destroying what we desperately want to protect is wearing and dispiriting. This stuff fills our days and intrudes on our nights…

…but this is where our supporters, readers, and contributors come in and give us strength to keep going.  You give us the ability to ‘do something’. You enable us to fight back.

This isn’t a pitch by the way (and we’re certainly not comparing ourselves with Chris, just sharing his frustrations). To be honest, I was feeling down reading the news this week, but reminded myself that because of you I’m part of something that empowers me. I wanted to write something that acknowledges a simple fact: we here at Protect the Wild are in a very special place because of you.

It’s true. You give us the time and space to come up with ideas (like Protectors of the Wild) and ways of doing things (like launching our Substack) that many similarly passionate activists simply don’t have. We can try things out and if they work that’s great, if they don’t we can rework them or drop them for something better: that is a freedom that few groups in our position have. When we say we want to give away equipment to monitor groups you back us, and that’s an outcome that the groups we want to help are responding to. You give us a huge social media platform meaning that groups and individuals want to work with us and opponents have to listen to us.

 

Almost 30000 people have said they want a Proper Ban on Hunting too!

 

You inspire us to go further, to push harder, to aim for changes that mean following our own path – not because we’re dogmatic or think we’re ‘bigger’ than we are, but because we believe it to be right. Our Hunting of Mammals Bill – a call for a Proper Ban on Hunting – is a case in point: we could have settled for trying to reform the Hunting Act but we don’t believe that’s good enough – and you have helped us prove that many, many people feel the same way.

Now, I appreciate that might sound like it’s a little one way – you help us, but what do we do for you?

Actually, I’m convinced we all benefit – which of course means animals benefit too. Our growing influence is your growing influence. You amplify us, which means in turn we all amplify each other. We’re not buying trail cams and radios for us – you are buying them for the selfless, brave people out in the field protecting wildlife. We didn’t spend the time to answer over 400 FAQs on the law on badgers, birds of prey, bats, hunting with dogs, using mobile phones, trespass, harassment and much more for our own sake but for all of us. We empower each other, and that is a wonderful thing to be able to say.

Thank you (genuinely and sincerely) for helping me/us/Protect the Wild be in a position to keep listening and learning, to believe in ourselves, to keep trying things out, to keep doing what we want to do most: empower people – all of us – to protect British wildlife.