Jim Densham, Senior Land Use Policy Officer with RSPB Scotland, is back with an update on the For The Love Of campaign, following his mammoth cycle from Edinburgh to London!
Earth, Wind, and Tyres
One month ago, four staff from RSPB Scotland (including me) arrived by bicycle at Westminster for a climate rally – we called ourselves team Sky-lark.
It was the end of a mammoth 530 mile, six and a half day ride from the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh to get there and to raise awareness of the impact of climate change on wildlife.
We were also aiming to raise money for RSPB Scotland’s climate change work – we are still gathering your donations here.
It was a long way and very tough at times. There was definitely sweat, a few tears but thankfully no blood (although there was a wheel-buckling accident with a taxi and a lot of painful muscles and tendons).
Looking back, it was one of the best adventures I have ever had and would have been even without the climate change theme, and the chance to meet my MP and talk to her about my concerns for our natural environment in the face of climate change. See the ‘Best of Speak Up’ page here for a review of the day. (Our picture is the first one below the video).
The weather was good to us - my greatest concern was that we would have to battle down the length of the country into a headwind. Thankfully the winds were generally in our direction and the rain mostly held off.
Seabirds at Bempton Cliffs
The fair conditions meant that when we arrived for our daily RSPB nature reserve visit we were afforded great views, for example, thousands of seabirds nesting at Bempton Cliffs and the wetland wonders of Saltholme and Frampton Marsh.
In total we listed 86 species along the ride, the highlights (for me) being lapwing, curlew and redshank on the North York Moors, and barn owls, turtle doves and a little owl as we raced the fading light through the Fens into Wisbech.
We chose to do this epic cycling journey to show the lengths we will go to call for action on climate change. It is so important that our MPs support a strong and binding global climate deal signed by all nations at the UN conference in Paris in December.
Redshank, Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)
We also want the Scottish Government to commit to strong action on climate change to meet our domestic targets and to really make Scotland a low-carbon country.
We also need help for our special wildlife struggling in the face of changes brought on by global warming and extreme weather events. We saw some examples of these pressures at the nature reserves we visited along the way.
Our earth and its nature needs us to fight for it and be its voice. If we don’t stop climate change, habitats will become degraded and lost forever leaving vulnerable wildlife with nowhere to go. Add your voice here.
Read more of what we found at each reserve on our Team Sky-lark blog post: https://teamskylark.wordpress.com/2015/06/26/homes-for-nature-in-the-face-of-climate-change/