On 2nd November, the Natural Surrey Heath event took place in front of a full house at Camberley Theatre. The event was supported by the Trust, the Camberley Society and others including Surrey Heath Tree Wardens.
Mike Swaddling, the Trust’s Marketing Manager was MC, while Colin Wilson, our Vice-Chair, set the scene with a description of the appalling losses in wildlife in recent times. He told us that The 2018 Living Planet Report, produced jointly by the World Wildlife Fund and the Zoological Society of London, shows that habitat loss and degradation, overfishing, pollution, and soil degradation have resulted in 60 percent drop in the populations of non-human vertebrate life forms.
Michael Gove then took over the same theme and the action on the environment the government is pursuing through the governments 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment. Amongst other things, he talked about Natural Capital and the need to appreciate what we have and look to enhance it, and this was a recurring theme throughout the meeting. Natural Capital is the world’s stocks of natural assets which include geology, soil, air, water and all living things. It is from this natural capital we derive a wide range of services, often called ecosystem services, which make human life possible.
Marc Turner and Adam Wallace of Natural England talked about what is being done in Surrey Heath by Natural England to support Nature. The main theme from them was the need to recover some of what has been lost and for all of us to value nature more as Natural Capital.
Daniel Raven-Ellison, guerrilla geographer, urban explorer and inspirational founder of the London National Park City Project then inspired us with a talk about the vision and movement to make the capital greener, healthier and wilder. He spoke of the need to make many small actions to improve nature around us, such as caring for our urban gardens, so they can be a great resource for wildlife.
Aa short panel session took place and finally, a call to action for all of us was made by Colin Wilson.
We all have to understand Nature is in serious trouble and we must take action to start repairing our losses now.
This theme will be continued urgently by the Trust and Natural Surrey Heath because our whole eco-system is under threat and only massive support from the public will ensure action in time.