Environment: RSPB marks million step milestone

A programme to rally the UK to help tackle the crisis facing nature has received overwhelming support, with people taking over one a million steps in just six months.

The RSPB’s Stepping Up For Nature movement is one of the most ambitious nature conservation charity efforts in the world, and one step has been taken every 18 seconds since it started in March.

The RSPB launched Stepping Up for Nature to help tackle the catastrophic declines in bird species and other wildlife, and the damage and destruction of their habitats.

The wildlife charity believes small individual steps can make a big difference, and if everyone acts together nature stands a chance.

Steps include any effort to help nature both here in the UK and overseas, and are separated into four categories; giving, doing, volunteering and campaigning.

Included in the million steps that have already been taken are feeding garden birds, putting up nest boxes, volunteering on a reserve, donating money to save rockhopper penguins affected by an oil spill in Tristan da Cunha, and e-mailing government in response to their flawed proposals to change England’s planning system.

With help from those ‘stepping up’ the RSPB is able to help turn around the fortunes of wildlife like bitterns, corncrakes, stone curlews and great yellow bumblebees.

People taking steps include farmers, landowners, gardeners and shoppers.

The charity’s Aggie Rothon says: “It may sound like a daunting task to save nature from the crisis it’s facing but if we all do our bit, small steps can add up to make a big difference.’

“There are so many species teetering on the brink of disappearance and many of them are in our own backyards. For the future of much of our natural world it’s ‘kitchen sink time’ and we need to throw everything at it. Government, organisations like the RSPB, wider society and individuals all need to make a difference.”

One step you can take today is signing the pledge calling on ministers to help safeguard our seabirds at sea now: www.rspb.org.uk/marinepetition.

For more ways to step up for nature visit www.rspb.org.uk/steppingup