Two days ago, I wrote a blog ‘Remain for Nature’, I wrote about my fears and my distrust that our government would act on the side of protecting our natural world. That if we left the EU we would be vulnerable and unprotected. So, imagine my dismay when I awoke to grey drizzly skies and an uncertain future. I was shocked and saddened that such a large majority of young people voted Remain and that the older generation, who, let’s face it, will leave us with this legacy sooner rather than later, voted to leave the EU. They chose to ignore the fact that we would be picking up where this left off, that is if we ever get to University and find jobs! I was spiralling into despair and we were all heartbroken. My mum had stayed up all night to watch the result and she looked pretty haunted when she was getting us all ready for school. My dad was very upset as he is an environmental scientist and works really hard to protect our Areas of Special Scientific Interest, all these places are underpinned by EU legislation.

After much thinking, I made a decision. I would not let despair win. I would fight. I would Rise Up, For Nature. All through this week, The Wildlife Trusts have been working hard to educate people on Twitter about the EU referendum, I follow them and they tirelessly tweeted and reminded people to think about nature and wildlife before they voted. I was really impressed by this. Our family are proud Ulster Wildlife memebers, we think it’s really important to support Non-Government Organisations to keep nature safe and protected for future generations. They have great nature reserves and brilliant resources for kids. We are Wildlife Watch members, and love their magazines, and for reaching out and connecting kids and families to nature. We have also been taking part in 30 Days Wild, a month long event ran by WT’s for people to chronicle and share their nature journeys with others.  I want to stand beside Wildlife Trusts and tell them that there are people growing up with fire in their bellies and we support you. Through lack of funding for nature educators in N. Ireland. my mum has decided to see if we can get a Wildlife Watchers group in Fermanagh, this will connect more families to nature, to get the message out that our environment is important, that we could learn a lot and become good citizens and custodians.

I am also going to write to my MLA’s and MP’s to make sure they are thinking about our environment and held accountable. I will not give up. I don’t think any of us should give up and roll over.

We all face great challenges ahaead but it’s not time to hate, it’s time to rise up and be counted. To stand tall for nature, to show that we care. Through all the sadness, I want to feel there is hope and I know that organisations like  TWT’s/Ulster Wildlife will work hard to make sure that we can enjoy our special wild places for a long time to come. You can visit their website, its brilliant, and maybe you could become a memeber and be part of something bigger for nature, something great.

Thank you to The Wildlife Trusts

Dara