Around 100 children demonstrated outside Buckingham Palace to ask the Queen to rewild the land she owns in the UK.
The Royal Family is one of the biggest landowners in the country and campaign group Wild Card wants that land to be restored to allow ‘untamed life to return to its ecosystems and landscapes’.
Today environmentalist Chris Packham, best known for his CBBC children’s nature series The Really Wild Show in the 90s, led a group of ‘school strikers’ to march for this cause.
The procession, made up of kids and their parents, walked through Green Park to deliver a petition with more than 100,000 signatures to the Queen.
The petition asks the Royal Family to commit to rewilding its estates before the United Nations Climate Change Conference (Cop26) at the end of October.
Speaking to the crowd, Mr Packham said: ‘Frankly, my conscience is not clear.
‘On my watch as an environmentalist and conservationist, I have failed these young people – I have failed to act quickly and broadly enough to prevent the crisis that we find ourselves in.
‘The world that they are likely to inherit – unless we act urgently, properly and quickly now – will not be as pleasant as the one I inherited when I was their age. And that’s not something I want to take to my grave.
‘It’s the most harmonious, beautiful and peaceful demonstration I have been on for some time.
‘We’re asking our royal family, denizens of the property behind us, to rewild the 800,000 acres of land that they have in the UK.
‘If they were to do so it would be a very powerful message that would resonate with people all over the world.’
Although the Royal Family was today’s focus, Wild Card has several ongoing campaigns appealing to ‘the country’s largest landowners’, including the church and Oxbridge.
But people at today’s demonstration believe the Royal Family has an especially ‘amazing opportunity to lead by example’.
Mum Hannah Clayton, 41, from Islington, north London, who attended the march with her son, said: ‘The Royal family have a huge amount land, they are really committed environmentalists, and I think rewilding would be a really easy thing to do and makes such a big difference to biodiversity.’
Sixth-form protestor Noah Macaulay, 16, said: ‘They could really, really help to improve nature and help biodiversity.’
Noah, from Hampshire, is the co-founder of the activist choice SOS from the Kids – a group of children who sing to convince adults to take climate action.
The choir performed outside the palace today and have also been booked to sing at Cop26.
One of the singer’s grandma’s, Barbara Cope, 70, said: ‘I think it’s so wonderful the children are here to support rewilding and being aware of the environment. I think people will listen to children.’
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