A Vision for a #Wilder North-East

Wilder, the new grassroots activism group, is gaining momentum at present, largely due to the hard work and determination of the passionate young people at its helm. Of late, we have successfully launched our first campaign (#LawsOfTheLand), have featured in a number of media outlets, and have build a substantial following on social media. Successes which look set to continue long into the future. As such, following the successful launch of the Wilder Dorest group, We have decided to create a regional branch right here in the North-East.

The ultimate aim of Wilder, as a whole, is to support wildlife conservation and raise awareness of important environmental issues – something we hope to do via a variety of means, utilising the individual talents of members to make a difference for nature. It is a community born of necessity, of the concerns of the young people behind it and the need for unified action. More than just a group of conservationists clamouring for change, Wilder, we hope, will become a movement – towards a greener and more enlightened Britain. No small task, but something we hope to achieve through a variety of means:

  • By promoting and publicising just causes, on both a local and national scale – making the public aware of any decisions made to the detriment of our wildlife and, hopefully, encouraging positive action to reverse them.
  • By facilitating the campaign efforts of those working to protect wildlife. Something we hope to achieve through a variety of means but not least by; encouraging dialogue with local MPs, by organising events/talks to raise political awareness and by emphasising the power of petitions and social media.
  • And, most importantly of all, by stressing that each and every one of us, young and old, urban, rural or otherwise, has the potential to influence the decisions that impact our wildlife.

When applied to Wilder North-East however, I have decided that these aims are not enough. And despite the fact that we live in an altogether beautiful region, bursting with wildlife, I have reached the sorry conclusion that not enough people care for our local environment. This is something I would like to change and as such, WilderNE will adopt some additional objectives in addition to those listed above:

  • To promote a wider interest in the natural world, and thus inspire action to protect it. Something we hope to do through everything from school visits and youth engagement to “wildlife walks” making use of talented local naturalists to invoke interest in the natural treasures of the North-East.
  • To encourage people to dedicate their time to protecting, studying and conserving nature. Something we hope to achieve through work with local NGO’s to promote volunteer work, while at the same time, encouraging wider participation in everything from beach cleans to citizen science schemes.

The North-East is, in my opinion, the jewel in the crown of wild Britain. Though, like any other place in our day of human ignorance and growing detachment from nature, it faces its fair share of problems. Its landscape and wildlife subject to the same threats as anywhere else in Britain. Because of this, I believe the time has come to give nature in our region a unified, strong and independent voice. And sincerely hope, that WilderNE can accomplish this.

Of course, given the magnitude of the proposed task, I cannot do this alone, and desperately need people from all walks of life to get involved. As such I am hoping, over the coming weeks, to piece together a team of dedicated environmentalists to operate the day to day running of the group. Something which could involve anything, from building our social media presence or writing articles, to promoting Wilder at events. Or, in the future, visiting schools and leading walks to stress the value of nature. The possibilities are endless.

It is not going to be easy, not by a long shot, but if you wish to get involved, please join the Facebook group here or contact me directly. We will need all the help we can get! You can also find us on Twitter for updates and more information.

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James Common
Amateur naturalist, nature writer, conservationist, blogger and aspiring author. James is currently studying an MSc in 'wildlife management' and writes regular posts for Wildlife Articles, Conservation Jobs and Environment South Africa. He has been published, in print, on a number of occasions and tweets regularly at: @CommonByNature
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