Love letter for Norfolk's nature on Earth Day
If asked to name one reason why we feel so lucky to call Norfolk our home, so many of us would, without hesitation, cite the county’s natural beauty. We all have our favourite nature spots, and it’s no exaggeration to say the county’s rich and varied landscapes help to make us who we are. Even more importantly, they form vital habitats supporting a vast myriad of species, some of which are unique to this region.
Yet over the course of the next few decades and the century ahead, all these habitats face a massive threat – first to their quality, and then to their very survival. That threat is climate change. Drought, rising sea levels, ever-warmer temperatures and more erratic seasonal change would make life increasingly intolerable for the species of flora and fauna on which so much unique natural life depends.
To mark this year’s Earth Day on Monday April 22nd and its theme of ‘Protect our Species’, we’re asking the residents of Norfolk, and those who represent us, to fully acknowledge the scale of this threat and the challenge that faces us.
It’s great news, then, that North Norfolk District Council looks set to become the first local authority in Norfolk to declare a climate emergency. It is time that other councils followed suit, and you can sign the petition at climatechain.org/emergency to demand just that.
Meanwhile, environmental charities alive to the climate challenge include RSPB, who have published a vision showing how we can switch to 100% clean energy without harming our wildlife, and Norfolk Wildlife Trust who have for several years sought to create corridors of vital habitat to give threatened and everyday species the helping hand they need to adapt. And as it happens, studies have demonstrated restoring natural habitats to be a particularly effective way of removing heat-generating carbon from the air.
All such initiatives need our support, yet if we are to successfully address the climate crisis, we have to acknowledge that difficult decisions lie ahead. It’s important that people understand those decisions and the reasons why they’re made. It’s also true that to retrieve our natural world, time to act is short and getting shorter. But if enough people with nature close to their hearts can buy in to the need for change, hope is well and truly alive.
For some ideas on how you can act, go to climatechain.org/earthday
Climate Hope Action In Norfolk