Quiet campaigners take creative approach to climate change protests

Canary Craftivists have taken a different approach to climate change protests yellow canaries to send to our MPs

Canary Craftivists have taken a different approach to climate change protests by hand crafting yellow canaries to send to our MPs - Credit: North Herts Canary Craftivists

A group of climate change activists from Hitchin, Letchworth and Stevenage have taken an unusual approach to raising awareness - by using their handicraft skills to share their concerns.

Vicky Wyer and Gilly Chegwyn of 'What if Craftivists'

Vicky Wyer and Gilly Chegwyn of 'What if Craftivists' - Credit: North Herts Canary Craftivists

Vicky Wyer of Hitchin, Gilly Chegwyn of Letchworth and other group members have created a small handmade yellow canary each to gift to MPs Bim Afolami, Sir Oliver Heald and Stephen McPartland to urge them to use their position to push for stronger and faster action to tackle climate change locally and nationally.

Canary Craftivists out in force on Hitchin's Windmill Hill

Canary Craftivists out in force on Hitchin's Windmill Hill - Credit: North Herts Canary Craftivisits

The ‘Canary Craftivists’, as they’re known, even donned yellow canary outfits and spent time quietly creating their handmade canaries in public outside Morrisons in Letchworth, on Windmill Hill in Hitchin and at the Clocktower in Stevenage town centre.

The group have taken inspiration from yellow canaries because they are small and sensitive little birds - yet in the past they quietly helped warn miners of dangerous pollution such as carbon monoxide.

Canary Craftivists in Letchworth's Broadway Gardens

Canary Craftivists in Letchworth's Broadway Gardens - Credit: North Herts Canary Craftivisits

In the same way, the Craftivists hope that their little canaries and images of them sitting quietly in small ‘flocks’ in the local area will gently warn and help remind their MP and the government about the urgent dangers of global warming.

Canary craftivists

The Canary Craftivists believe that climate change action doesn't always have to be loud and disruptive, and canaries can serve as a gentle reminder to MPs - Credit: North Herts Canary Craftivists


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The Craftivists believe climate campaigning doesn’t have to always be big, loud and disruptive to have impact and suggest that gentle and quiet craftivism can play its part.

Canary Craftivists outside SG1 Radio in Stevenage

Canary Craftivists outside SG1 Radio in Stevenage - Credit: North Herts Canary Craftivists

Vicky Wyer, Craftivist coordinator, said: “As a parent, climate change is something very close to my heart. No one wants their children to suffer and if we don't turn this around it’s our kids who are going to be paying the price.

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“Canaries’ hopeful yellow colour and singing voices remind us of the beauty in the world we can save from environmental harm. It’s important our elected politicians know that many of us are worried about the effects of climate change and the swift silent collapse of the natural world, and we’re urging them to take stronger action.

North Herts Canary Craftivists

Hand crafted yellow canaries have been sent to Stevenage, North East Herts and Hitchin and Harpenden MPs to serve as a gentle reminder about climate change - Credit: North Herts Canary Craftivists

“Individually we may not all have the same views on everything but when faced with a common challenge like climate change and biodiversity collapse we can surely all put aside our differences to sing the same tune.

“This is our way of telling our MPs that the environment is something we all care deeply about and want them to take meaningful action to protect. I hope they will hang our canaries in their offices as a reminder of the urgent action we need."

Canaries outside Junction 7 Creatives in Stevenage town centre

Canaries outside Junction 7 Creatives in Stevenage town centre - Credit: North Herts Canary Craftivists

The ‘Canary Craftivists’ campaign is part of a nationwide initiative run by the Craftivist Collective, who use handicrafts as a tool in a form of quiet, kind and attractive activism.

The canaries were out in force across Stevenage, Letchworth and Hitchin in a quiet protest against climate change

The canaries were out in force across Stevenage, Letchworth and Hitchin in a quiet protest against climate change - Credit: North Herts Canary Craftivists

People can find out how to join by searching for ‘What If Craftivists’ on Facebook or Instagram.

Canaries for Climate

The Canaries Craftivists believe the canary will send a gentle reminder about the climate crisi - Credit: North Herts Canary Craftivists

The group will also set up a What If’ gazebo at the Triangle Garden Festival in Hitchin on September 5, and the Letchworth Green Festival on September 11.

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