Harnessing the natural wonders of the UK and the creative minds of talented artists, we at UK Youth For Nature are using the power of craft to yet again bring struggling species to life - and we can’t wait to tell you about our latest Nature Stunt!
So, who are we? UK Youth for Nature is the UK’s leading youth-led network calling on UK politicians to take urgent action to address the loss of nature and wildlife. We are a network of determined and ambitious volunteers between the ages of 16-30: environmental professionals, conservationists, campaigners, and environmentalists of diverse backgrounds and disciplines from across the UK.
Through issue-led online and live campaigns, we target politicians, work with organisations and individuals on-the-ground, and provide a platform for young people to speak up and be heard. Our most recent campaign, Natural Kingdom: Wild Walls, involved commissioning a series of murals in cities and towns across Britain depicting local wildlife, in an attempt to draw people’s attention to species in their area that are in decline.
More information about our previous campaigns is here, but for now, let’s discuss our new and exciting nature stunt! What are we up to? We don’t do things in halves at UKY4N, and so we are taking many innovative routes which can collate to make a brilliant, creative, and impactful stunt - Nature Loss: Lines In The Sand.
As with all good projects, we first had to be inspired. While we are constantly touched and motivated by the sheer prospect of bringing biodiversity to the UK like never before, it does take some hard hitting truths to realise that action needs to be taken. Unfortunately, the UK is one of the world’s most nature-depleted countries - and this is only part of a bigger story, in which globally 50% of our world’s wildlife has been lost. But after a moment of solitude with this fact, we realised that passion should turn to action, so we buckled up and decided which wonderful species needed our attention the most.
After some long and hard thought, we decided that the Eurasian curlew, Eurasian beaver, Oak, Atlantic Salmon were going to pioneer our campaign. The brilliant beaver is a keystone species, while both the salmon and curlew are bioindicators! The curlew is also an umbrella species, and on top of this, the oak is a flagship one. Given the natures of these organisms - from the boldness of the curlew to the powering presence of the oak - we knew that we had to do something big to do these huge personalities justice; so how about a 50ft masterpiece carved into the sands of the stunning Scarborough beach.
To amplify the UK-wide aspect of our message, all the species were slotted together to make up the outline of the UK, representing how society is built of rich biodiversity in healthy ecosystems. Hourglass symbols were added to represent the global movement Youth for Our Planet’s message that #NatureCannotWait, of which UK Youth for Nature is a branch.
On the 23rd of March, our team headed to South Bay Scarborough to meet the team from the company commissioned, Sand In Your Eye, where the outline of the art was already taking shape. Then it was time to get raking and bring these species to life. We wanted to be able to capture every moment of the process, as when the day came to a close, the beautifully carved wildlife disappeared. We can’t see this happening to the real species. Drones were used to record the whole process, up until waves were lapping at the edges of the drawing; a powerful visual message to convey the imminent threat to nature if we fail to act in time.
This also voices our three key political asks:
And this is why we were so excited, and so motivated, to perform this stunt - and so happy to have the support and encouragement of Link.
Beautiful and outspoken wildlife campaigning is at the heart of the work we do at UKY4N, and we know the importance of having organisations and campaigners in making projects like this such a success. Your support is so appreciated, and we cannot wait to show you what we’ve been working on. See our stunt here and support our calls at www.ourfuturewithnature.org.
Monica Kaur Bhatia is a content writer at UK Youth for Nature, the youth movement calling on the governments of the UK to act on the nature crisis.
The opinions expressed in this blog are the author's and not necessarily those of the wider Link membership.
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