Alongside our Good Natured Short Film Festival, we have teamed up with UK Youth For Nature, the UK’s leading youth-led network calling on the politicians & governments of the UK to take urgent action and tackle the loss of nature. The photographs you can see below were collated through their youth network and are aimed to raise awareness for insect conservation as UK’s flying insects have declined by 60% in 20 years. While the total area of crops treated with pesticides each year in the UK has increased by 70% between 1990 and 2016, there are actions we can all take to help insect populations!
“If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed 10,000 years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.” – E.O. Wilson, American biologist
Silent Spring at 60
Rachel Carson’s groundbreaking book ‘Silent Spring’ is nearly 60 years old. In 1962 Carson first drew the attention of the world to the decline of insects and the impact that chemical use in our countryside is having on our wildlife. Today, we are still fighting to protect our nature. Some of the pesticides in use today are thousands of times more toxic to insects than any that existed in 1962. The photo gallery below is a celebration of insects and we hope it will inspire you to take action to protect them! But if you’re in need of more optimism to get you started, then you can head here for plenty of insect optimism.
Archie Mathison, 21 – Slender mining bee (Lasioglossum (Evylaeus) calceatum)
Archie Mathison, 21 – Speckled bush cricket (Leptophyes punctatissima)
Charlie Rodwell, 22 – European common spider (Araneus diadematus)
Issy Drake, 17 – Brown argus (Aricia agestis)
Kate Bannister, 19 – Common clubtail dragonfly (Gomphus vulgatissimus)
Rik Schouten, 28 – Common clubtail dragonfly (Gomphus vulgatissimus)
Libby Kerman, 21 – Hover fly (Syrphidae)
Izzy Fry, 16 – Sloe bug (Dolycoris baccarum)
James Smart, 35 – Cuckoo spit (Cercopoidea)
James Smart, 35 – Froghopper (Cercopoidea)
George Cook, 29 – Oil beetle (Meloe proscarabaeus)
Megan Baker, 26 – Wolf spider (Lycosidae)
Elio Lomas, 28 – Angle shades moth (Phlogophora meticulosa)
Elio Lomas, 28 – Black-spotted longhorn beetle (Rhagium mordax)
Elio Lomas, 28 – Sawfly larvae (Symphyta)
Elio Lomas, 28 – Weevil (Polydrusus formosus)
George Cook, 29 – Goldenrod crab spider (Misumena vatia)
Elio Lomas, 28 – Common blue damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum)
Elio Lomas, 28 – 14-spotted Ladybird (Propylea quatuordecimpunctata)
Jake Dudderidge, 20 – Common blue butterfly (Polyommatus icarus)
Samuel Ridgeway, 28 – Bridge spider (Larinioides sclopetarius)
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP?
- Check out our guide on how to build your own bug hotel (take pictures and tag @ukyouth4nature & @conservationoptimism)
- Head to our social media and share your favourite insect picture
- Write to your local MP and to your local council demanding action – check out resources on how to do that here
- Tell your MP that we need to reduce pesticide use by 75% by 2030 to save our insects
- Head to https://youthfornature.uk/insect-decline/ for social media posts and more information.
Protecting the UK’s insects is one piece of a huge nature restoration puzzle. Check out other art for change campaigns below:
NATURAL KINGDOM: WILD WALLS
Natural Kingdom: Wild Walls painted a concrete vision of a more biodiverse future. To draw attention to nature at a local level in the run up to COP26, we worked with partners, artists, organisations, and individuals in cities and towns across the UK to commission a series of murals depicting locally declining species.
Nature is in catastrophic decline across the UK and is at huge risk due to climate change. The UN Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) and the UN Climate change Conference (COP26) are critical for defining the future of our natural environment. Nature, and the solutions it offers for mitigating climate change and building resilience, has to be at the centre of these negotiations.
The vital links between biodiversity and climate change can no longer be exempt from climate action.
Belfast Lagan Gateway
Belfast Lagan Gateway
Belfast Lagan Gateway
NATURE CANNOT WAIT
Nature Loss: Lines in the Sand
UK Youth for Nature drawing a line in the sand and saying enough is enough – nature cannot wait any longer, there must be no more loss of nature in the UK. Scarborough beach, March 2022. 4 iconic and biologically significant species as representatives of the vast range of species, habitats and ecosystems that we so desperately need to protect and restore in the UK: curlew, beaver, oak, atlantic salmon.
Check out the campaign video here