COINCIDING with International Earth Day, over 80 people attended a rally in Bovey Tracey on Saturday, raising awareness of the growing climate crisis and putting pressure on MP Mel Stride to introduce tougher controls on fossil fuel extraction and use.

The event was organised by a  local group – Climate Emergency: Bovey and Heathfield.

Joining the World’s Largest Environmental Movement, people from all walks of life and all ages marched to the beat of a drum through the town. The procession marched from the Cromwell Arch in the centre of Bovey, down the high street and into Mill Marsh Park. 

The rally culminated in the park, where demonstrators formed a circle with their banners, to mirror the globe for International Earth Day. 

MDA22042A_SP005  Photo: Steve Pope 

Cimate change march in Bovey Tracey to mark Earth Day on Saturday.  The  annual event on April 22 is to  demonstrate support for environmental protection
(©Steve Pope/MDA)

Sue Simmons, the Chair of Climate Emergency: Bovey and Heathfield and one of the key organisers of the event, said: ‘We only planned this about six weeks ago. 

‘We were aware of the big demonstration in London and we wanted to do something in solidarity with that, because this is a local issue as well as a global issue. 

‘One of the messages we were trying to get over was that it’s about acting locally and individually, but it’s also about political pressure at the national and international level. 

‘We were very careful not to cause too much disruption and the reaction from locals was mainly positive, although some people were less so. However, there was no significant hostility. 

‘All the kids did some really good placards, they put lots of work into them and were keen to be a part of it and be heard, which is really encoraging. 

‘We had people of all ages, even teenagers which are pretty hard to get out at the best of times.’

‘We’re going to send those photos to Mel Stride, alongside a petition that asks to cease the use of any kind of coal and stopping any development of new fossil fuel exploration and development. 

‘Many thanks to all the stewards, volunteers, first-aiders, photographers, the organisers and all that came along.Watch this space for more events!’

For more information on Climate Emergency: Bovey and Heathfield, or to get involved, email: [email protected]