Earth Day is an annual event, held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It is marked by events in more than 193 countries, co-ordinated by the Earth Day Network.
Earth Day was celebrated this year in many parts of Britain, including King’s Lynn in Norfolk, where, on Saturday 22nd April, a stall and display by King’s Lynn Quakers put particular emphasis on protecting the countryside and recognising the importance of biodiversity.
The King’s Lynn Quakers (KLQ) joined other groups, including environmental bodies and political parties, in reaching out to the community and reminding them of the vital importance of the earth’s resources. The event was held in the magnificent St Nicholas Church, which has Norman foundations but a nineteenth-century spire, and which is regularly used for civil and other local events in King’s Lynn.
One feature of the KLQ display which attracted particular interest was the opportunity for young (and not so young) visitors to investigate leaf litter, collected from a local wood, and to examine the various insects and invertebrates that make it their home. Each participant was given (and allowed to keep) a small plastic magnifying glass which enabled him/her to see in more detail the intricate structure of a woodlouse or ground beetle. See Figures.
Another attraction was jars of water, illustrating the adverse effects of chemical pollution. Fresh pond water was seen to be full of life – tiny crustaceans, leeches and other indicators of high water quality.
The KLQ also had displays relating to environmental degradation associated with natural factors, such as drought, and “anthropogenic” (human-induced) damage, such as felling of rain forests. The threat to our environment of certain widely-used agricultural chemical, such as glyphosate, was explained to those who visited the stall.
The three images illustrate the appeal of examining leaf litter. Children and their parents were joined in this activity by Joanne Rust, a local parliamentary candidate. All budding naturalists!
Written by John and Margaret Cooper