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A wild walk
and some sore legs.
It’s easy to get bogged down in the whys and the hows and the science and the politics of environmentalism, and very easy to forget to make the most of the places we’re trying to protect.
Saturday was a wonderful reminder of what we love and and a celebration of the people fighting to keep it, as we took part in WWF’s first Great Wild Walk.
The route was 10 miles through Epping Forest, a 6,000 acre ancient forest on the border of Essex and London and an easy train journey away.
It’s been used as a royal hunting forest for over a thousand years, and the trees just resonate history and character in a way you’d never find in a younger forests.
The atmosphere of the event was wonderful. Dozens of like-minded nature lovers, clad in matching t-shirts, took to the paths of the forest for a few hours as part of a fundraising challenge for WWF.
We raised £400 in the end, bowled over by the generosity of our friends and families. But perhaps even more inspiring was the sheer number of people who turned up in solidarity to protect and celebrate nature.
Environmentalism should be joyous. Yes, our governments and companies are pushing the needle way too far in the opposite direction from where we should be, and yes it can be overwhelming to be bombarded with all the things that are going wrong.
But if we are going to transform our world in the ways we need to pull it from the brink, we need mass movements of people. Everyday, normal people like you and me, standing up for our rights and the rights of the natural world. Telling our leaders that we won’t settle for less, that we deserve a stable climate and clean water and clean air and thriving biodiversity. And when people get together with a commonality there’s an air of celebration, a shared joy of what we love.
Marches like the Great Wild Walk, however big or small, are all reminders that we’re not alone in this fight. We just need enough of us to push the needle the other way.