Hundreds of people turned up to show their support for Stand Up For The Planet this weekend, showing solidarity in the face of the climate crisis.
The event, organised by a group called Stand Up Kingsbridge and chief organiser John Taylor, was intended to bring the widest circle of people together to raise awareness and educate people on the current climate crisis and the situation across the world and in our little corner of the South Hams.
There was also a mass ‘paddle out’ with a large group of Stand Up Paddleboarders gathering in the estuary to bring awareness to the cause.
Gary Jolliffe, Till The Coast is Clear, talking from the bandstand - credit Rosa Hannaford
The event saw inspiring talks from Dr Juliette Jackson, a marine biologist behind the fantastic organisation Seadream Education, who spoke about the plight of our seas, and Gary Jolliffe, who runs the incredible Till The Coast is Clear project, clearing plastic and other debris from our water courses.
The event came hot on the heels of climate scientists announcing that for the “first time in recorded history, rain fell on the highest point of the Greenland ice sheet”, the Guardian article states: “It hardly made the news. But rain in a place historically defined by bitter cold portends a future that will alter coastlines around the world, and drown entire cities."
The town square was packed with interested people - credit Paul Vann
Rosa Hannaford, one of the organisers of the Stand Up For The Planet event, said: “We would love to say a massive thank you to everyone that came and supported our Stand Up For The Planet event in Kingsbridge this weekend - it was such an incredible afternoon!
“Thanks to everyone that came and paddled with us, made a pledge to change one small thing, got involved with our plastic creations, printed t-shirts, inspired us with your eco-conversations, soaked up the music, listened to the talks and helped create such a buzz in the town.”
She gave special thanks to Gary from Till The Coast is Clear “for bringing your ocean plastic and leading us on the water”, Dr Juliette from Sea Dream Education “for your inspiring talk and resources”, and Nick the Fish “for keeping us happy with your gorgeous mellow tunes that perfectly matched the tone of the day”.
Green Spirits and Ocean Blues - credit Tiger Sturdgess
Gary himself said: "A brilliant day! A fantastic team effort with wonderful support from the community. People were moved and inspired to chase a better future together. Already looking forward to the next one."
Rosa continued, thanking Green and Wild Store “for bringing your delicious zero waste snacks and inspiring books”, Crispin from Waterborn “for helping with boards and support on the water”, Tom Attwell – “our Samba saviour - for leading our plastic drumming crew so brilliantly”.
Thanks also went to Neptune Eco Watercrafts – “for showcasing your fantastic people-powered crafts”, The Water Beings and Green Spirits “for bringing your magical presence and reverence for the earth and water to our event”, Kingsbridge Town Council, the market traders and the Creeks End “for accommodating us”, Paul Beech “for the brilliant drone footage and photography”, Lisa and Marc from Deer Wood Trust "who manned the printing stall and prepared some great resources for the day", AND FINALLY “to all our incredible crew and volunteers who manned stalls, marshalled and shared readings – you all worked so hard to make this such a success.”
Lots of people who attended took it upon themselves to visit the “pledge tree” to make a promise to “make one change that will help the planet”. Pledges included ways to reduce carbon emissions, use less energy, protect local wildlife, divest from fossil fuels, educate themselves about the climate emergency and inspire action in others.
Rosa said her team is already starting to plan their next event. If you would like to find out more, find Stand Up Kingsbridge on social media, where you can contact them and get involved.
credit Paul Beech (Beechfpv)
MAIN IMAGE: Stand Up Paddleboarders meet in the estuary - credit Paul Beech (Beechfpv)