Bumblebee perched on a finger.

Success for the day of mass declaration of a Nature Emergency in Sheffield!

More than 1,000 individuals and 30 organisations joined together for a mass statement on Friday 21st May to declare a Nature Emergency for Sheffield.

The declaration was organised by Nature Recovery Sheffield, an alliance of organisations who want us all to take immediate action to reverse the decline of nature and wildlife in Sheffield.

“We had a huge level of support on declaration day,” said Liz Ballard, CEO of Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust. “However, this is just the start of our plan to help nature’s recovery in Sheffield. The doors are wide open for more people to show their support and take action. We want to see a local nature recovery strategy for Sheffield developed collaboratively with residents, groups and organisations.”

Anna Parkin from Sheffield Green Parents who led on coordinating social media for the group said “More than 680 people or groups shared a post on social media using the campaign hashtag #naturesheffield.”

As a result of the campaign, on Friday’s declaration day, both Sheffield City Council’s new Labour and Green Party administration and Labour’s new Shadow Minister for Nature, Water, and Flooding, Sheffield Hallam MP Olivia Blake publicly said that they strongly support declaring a Nature Emergency in Sheffield.

Liz Ballard said “We very much welcomed these announcements on our declaration day and look forward to working with all the stakeholders to start taking more action for nature’s recovery.”

As well as working with authorities, landowners and land stewards, Nature Recovery Sheffield is now working on the next steps to support individuals and local groups who have signed the declaration and provided information through the website survey about the great things they are already doing to help local nature and wildlife.

One of the alliance’s next phases is ‘Take 5 for Nature’, asking people across the city to do just five things to help nature and wildlife.

“There are so many small and meaningful actions we can all do,” said Lindy Stone, coordinator of Sheffield Friends of the Earth, one of the partner organisations. “They don’t have to be big or daunting or costly. But if each and every one of us takes action by doing five small things, we could turn this around. We could save local species that are going into decline, we could clean the air we breathe, and we could make nature and wildlife thrive again in Sheffield.

Some of the proposed actions you can take for Take 5 For Nature include:

  • Go peat-free in your garden
  • Take your children to the woods for some natural play
  • Join your local Friends of Group or volunteer with a conservation organisation
  • Listen to and feed the birds this spring
  • Record the wildlife you see wildsheffield.com/sightings

Rachel Smith from Sheffield Green Parents said “We’re still keen for schools to sign up and get involved. We can provide lots of information and ideas for children and schools to help nature’s recovery in Sheffield.”

Dr Cathy Rhodes, Environment Officer for Sheffield Diocese said “It’s not too late for churches and Diocesan schools to sign up. As an A Rocha Eco Diocese, we are committed in our mission to work with partners to help sustain and renew the life of the earth, and are proud to be part of Nature Recovery Sheffield. For inspiration, all are welcome to book free on Eventbrite for our online Eco Church Festival on 12 June

There are lots more ideas of things you can do on Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust’s website, visit www.wildsheffield.com

You can find more suggestions at Friends of the Earth, including a Planet Protector Pack for children: www.friendsoftheearth.uk  

Kids Plant Trees are working with schools across the region and Sheffield City Council on their Go Wild! project to create free wild play spaces where children – and wildlife can thrive. Find out more: www.kidsplanttrees.org