The crisis in biodiversity does at last seem to be registering across the popular consciousness.

The recent Chelsea Flower Show was notable for the biodiverse theme. Rewilding and re-use were at the heart of many of the designs.

Locally, it has been great to see biodiversity taking a greater hold over the daily fabric of people's lives. 

More and more people have adopted tree pits and planters. The work of the community gardeners from the high street beds to the work around the tube stations and on Cambridge Park at the approach from the Green Man are fantastic to behold.

The beds around the top of Draycot Road could warrant a place at the Chelsea Flower Show on their own. The move toward a genuine Greenway through Wanstead via Cambridge Park Road seems underway.

Many shops along Wanstead High Street and Leytonstone High Road are doing their bit for biodiversity with some great planters.

The Growzones on Christchurch and George Greens are bringing forward all sorts of natural surprises. 

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Paul Donovan is hoping for more people to take action against the climate emergencyPaul Donovan is hoping for more people to take action against the climate emergency (Image: Paul Donovan)

There is also the start of a community orchard on Christchurch Green.

The Growzone at the Roding Valley Park, neighbouring Elmcroft Avenue, has been supplemented with a tree planting program earlier in the year.

All of these developments are positive but there needs to be more. And more means a human conversion to nature.

The human being still seems determined to dominate rather than partner nature. The human wants total control. This can involve concreting over areas, using artificial grass or simply regimenting everything rather than letting it go a bit.

There needs to be a real change in lifestyles. Recycling a couple of yoghurt pots is not going to save the planet - though, recycling of course should be encouraged.

There needs to be substantial change in the way we all live. Far less waste, more preservation and sustainable growth. 

It is great that in so many ways things do seem to be changing for the better but there is no room for complacency. The world is in a biodiversity and climate emergency. Bold steps are urgently needed if the situation is to be saved.

  • Paul Donovan is Labour councillor for Wanstead Village ward, Redbridge Council and blogger (