This weekend Marcia de Graaff, Bastiaan Blaauw and their team from the Dutch-Frisian citizen movement Kening fan ‘e Greide (King of the Meadow), organised a march called “Stoarmrin voor Biodiversiteit” – Storming for Biodiversity.
The Stoarmrin was to be a marsh through the Dutch-Frisian landscape, which ecosystem values are at stake, as is true for many landscapes in Europe. The idea is very similar to the People’s Walk for Wildlife held in London this year. A positive message of concern, with people marching dressed as their favorite flower or animal; in our collective consciousness similar ideas were born. Chris Packham was so kind to sent an inspirational video:
And the Storming for Biodiversity did happen! On Sunday 28 October – in weather that was a lot more lovely than was anticipated with the stormy title. On a chilly but sunny Sunday a few 100 people, and one royal godwit on his carriage, embarked on a 9 km walk around the Frisian town of Burgwerd.
The participants were an eclectic mix of adults, children, artists, scientists dressed colorfully as animals, or simply in boots and a pink skirt – which symbolized hope for a better future for plants, insects and birds.
The march did not make it to Guardian (see below), but was covered on the front page of the regional Leeuwarder Courant. We hope this will be the start of a series of Walks for Wildlife next year. In The Netherlands we are dreaming up a large march eventually gathering at the seat of government in The Hague, so the royal godwit can deliver our own people’s Manifesto for Wildlife.
Other Walks for Wildlife in Europe
The London People’s Walk for Wildlife took place on Saturday 22 September initiated by Billy Bragg and Chris Packham. The Guardian reported how that day thousands peacefully marched in London to demand the government invests in wildlife-friendly policies and swiftly reverses the decline of British ecosystems. Read more here: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/sep/22/hundreds-march-on-whitehall-to-call-for-end-to-war-on-wildlife.
In Turin, Italy on 24 September 2018 the Terra Madre Salone del Gusto was held: a march promoting Slow Food and biodiversity: https://salonedelgusto.com/en/food-for-change-news/.