SPRINGWATCH presenter and naturalist Chris Packham has urged Basingstoke residents to act on the environment by supporting an action group in the town.

Following his recent show at The Anvil, Chris met with Greener Basingstoke, known until recently as Basingstoke Transition Network, and produced a brief video on the urgency of the climate and ecological crisis.

He went on to encourage residents to support Greener Basingstoke in their campaigning and action.

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"We're in the midst of the most challenging time for our species and our planet," said Chris, England’s one of the best known and loved supporters of natural world.

He urged residents to support Greener Basingstoke who are "getting people thinking about changing their minds, so that we can have a happier and healthier future”.

Miranda Chubb, chair of Greener Basingstoke, said: “It was so inspiring to see Chris at The Anvil; his views are so similar to mine and to most people in our town. It's clear that we must protect our green spaces, create green corridors and Nature Recovery Networks.

“We can no longer keep polluting our land, our rivers and air; we can’t keep burning fossil fuels. We must improve the energy efficiency of our buildings, stop building poor standard homes, replace fossil fuels with renewable energy, and we need to do this now. But the best thing about Chris’s video message was his pointing out that we can all do something to help, and a great start is to join your local green action group. And that is exactly what Greener Basingstoke are.”

Martin Heath, Greener Basingstoke member, said: “After Chris's Anvil show loads of people came up to our stall there to ask how they could help. Our next action is a family walk through the town centre this Saturday, 16th July to highlight the climate and ecological emergency.

“We will hand in a reminder to the council offices of the commitments made to tackle the climate and nature crisis we are in, and would love lots of people to come and join us for the walk and the picnic afterwards in War Memorial Park. Chris’s final point is that we all have to start somewhere, and the easiest place to start is joining Greener Basingstoke.”

Miranda added: “This is great timing. The council supported the motion to declare a climate emergency three years ago in July 2019; our walk will highlight this anniversary and raise awareness of the climate and ecological emergency. We need to come together as a community and help people understand what they can do as individuals to tackle the challenge we all face. And as Chris Packham says, ‘The first step is to get active and join us’.”

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Greener Basingstoke is also organising a walk from Basingstoke train station at 11am on Saturday, July 16, to raise awareness. The walk will proceed through town to the Council Offices, and end in a picnic in War Memorial Park.

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