GCER and fellow- GWT Evidence Team staff turned up at a very damp Hyde Park on 22nd September to join a huge march of a very wide range of wildlife supporters of all ages. Organized by Chris Packham, the march fulfilled the aim of bringing together often-disparate groups and individuals who are passionate about protecting wildlife. It was great to meet and talk to people who may have used and contributed to LERC information but whom we rarely encounter from day to day.
As the crowd gathered we watched big screens showing great live interviews with 'Ministers for wildlife', including some really clued-up and inspirational teenagers. Despite the damp the march swelled to over 10,000 according to police estimates, and at 1.00 we made colourful progress through the centre of London, accompanied by birdsong played from people's mobile phones.
At Whitehall opposite the entrance to Downing Street the march halted and we heard more talks, culminating in a rousing appeal from environmentalist George Monbiot. Our tube journey back to the station was shared with many people in owl, hare and fox masks, and we re-joined Bud the giant, foam hedgehog on the train home. Despite the size of the procession there was no BBC website coverage at all, but several national papers reported with good photos. The first, just an hour after the march, was an Independent article which also had a good interview with Chris Packam in which he mentioned the importance of wildlife data.