Mike Hammer works to increase our impact on Facebook and Twitter but doesn’t only talk the talk.
Back in September I heard the call of the wild, it came in the form of a post on Twitter, by the TV presenter Chris Packham announcing The People’s Walk For Wildlife, on 22nd September in London. After reading Chris’s comments on the depletion of UK wildlife I found myself particularly fired up by the following sentence: ‘Loss, lost … as if this habitat and these species have mysteriously disappeared into the ether. Lost means inadvertently misplaced. No, our wildlife has been killed, starved, poisoned, ploughed up or concreted over.’ I attended that march on a wet Saturday morning because I felt that it was time that wildlife was on the agenda; the wild nature that is part of us, not something that is outside of us, something to be watched on a plastic screen or in a wildlife ‘theme’ park. The #PeoplesWalkForWildlife was a lot of fun and walking down Whitehall towards No.10 to the sound of birdsong playing on peoples’ phones was a buzz [Chris had made it possible for people to download/stream birdsong for the occasion].
When I then found out about the Good Food March on October 14th I was ready. This was again something I felt passionate about. Wildlife is currently being sidelined by the big agro-businesses and this Good Food Good Farming event was designed to get the voice of the small farmer heard in Parliament. Currently there is a discussion about a new agriculture policy for post-Brexit UK and now is the time to let the policymakers know how you would like to see the future of farming and whether you’d like access to locally grown, nutrient rich, fresh food.
Many people feel that wildlife needs to considered as essential not just something to set aside within rectangular fenced-off ‘nature islands’ to tick a box and receive a payment for. Small organic farms and holdings are well known for increasing biodiversity (and increasing the general well-being of the local human community at the same time).
So, on another wet morning we assembled on Parliament Square and when the tractor arrived it wasn’t long before we were a wet and noisy procession; banging our wooden spoons on pots and pans. As we followed the tractor across Westminster Bridge we started to lock into a really wild groove thanks to the samba band who’d come along to help us join together.
I bumped into WWOOF legend Adam Cade, who has raised funds for WWOOF UK and played a major role in the creation of the LLOOF and YOOF projects; he was dressed in a fruity white pinafore with Morris dancing bells on his legs, banging a pair of cymbals… my ears have only recently stopped ringing! The Landworkers’ Alliance had done an amazing job of promoting the event and by the time we arrived at the Oxo Tower we’d been seen and heard by hundreds of bemused people who now know that #GoodFoodGoodFarming means a good boogie too! See you on social media where you can find out much more about the important work done by the organisations we support.
photos: first photo of Mike with Adam Cade by Mike Hammer
all other photos courtesy of the Landworkers’ Alliance twitter feed