Chris Packham tells Royals to 'step up' as he joins eco-warriors outside Buckingham Palace

Chris Packham, 60, today delivered a petition signed by more than 100,000 people to the gates of Buckingham Palace, accompanied by more than 100 school strikers.  The Autumnwatch host said “the time for talking is finished” and urged the Royal Family to lead by example by improving the ecological condition of their land.

“This is a time for action,” he said. 

“The time for talking is finished. We’re in desperate trouble and if they were to embrace this prior to the Cop, think what a message that would send to the world.

“They’re in a very powerful position to do something very powerful. I think it’s time to step up.”

Backed by a brass band, the march went from Green Park to the palace, with some of the crowd and their parents wearing headdresses of leaves and flowers.

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A 14-year-old, Simeon, was allowed behind the palace gates to deliver the petition to staff.

The Queen and Prince Charles are due to attend Cop26, which starts on 31 October.

The Royal Family is the UK’s biggest landowning family, with an estate that includes lands held by the duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall and the Queen. 

According to calculations by the rewilding campaign group Wild Card, the family owns more than 323,748 hectares (800,000 acres) of land, including the crown estate, which is equivalent to double the area of Greater London or 1.4 per cent of the UK.

The choir SOS From The Kids, who featured on Britain’s Got Talent in 2019, also joined the march and performed. The choir will also perform at Cop26.

Noah Macaulay, 16, a sixth-form student from Hampshire and co-founder of SOS From The Kids, said: “The Royal Family has an amazing opportunity, because they own so much land, to lead by example and rewild that.

“They could really, really help to improve nature and help biodiversity.”

One of the petitioners, Hannah Clayton, 41, from Islington, north London, attended the march with her young son.

She said: “The Royal Family have a huge amount land, they are really committed environmentalists, and I think rewilding would be a really easy thing to do and makes such a big difference to biodiversity.”

Barbara Cope, 70, from Hampshire, whose granddaughter is a member of SOS From The Kids, said: “I think it’s so wonderful the children are here to support rewilding and being aware of the environment. I think people will listen to children.”

Ecologists believe the royal estates would naturally feature beavers, wolves, bison, wild boar, pine martens and white storks and these creatures could be introduced if re-wilded.

The Wild Card campaign is also demanding that 50% of land in the UK be fully re-wilded.

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