New research reveals two-thirds of Brits are experiencing ‘eco-anxiety’

Emmy nominees Himesh Patel and Will Poulter, It’s a Sin star Callum Scott Howells, Ghosts lead Charlotte Ritchie, and Top Boy actor Saffron Hocking are joining forces with the environmental campaign group to show how nature and community can turn fear and worry into hope and action.
  Published:  17 Jan 2023    |      3 minute read

Stunning new images of some of the UK’s biggest stars in some of their most cherished outdoor spaces, are being released today by the environmental campaign group Friends of the Earth.

The nature-driven images, taken by award-winning photographer Tom Oldham, are unveiled as a new survey, carried out by YouGov for Friends of the Earth, reveals that more than two-thirds of Brits say they are worried about the climate crisis – an increase on last year.

Following a year of record-breaking temperatures and destructive floods, Himesh Patel, Will Poulter, Saffron Hocking, Callum Scott Howells and Charlotte Ritchie have joined forces with Friends of the Earth to share their concerns about the climate crisis and inspire people to turn their worry into action.

Eco-anxiety, described as the feelings of stress and fear that many of us feel about the future of the planet, is affecting people of all ages and from all walks of life, with the survey showing that all generations are similarly concerned.

It's a Sin breakout star, Callum Scott Howells, photographed in Richmond Park, said: “The climate crisis is something I think about, and I know how it feels to lie awake at night worrying about the future of our planet. It’s hard to know what to do to support the climate movement but I know that doing something is more helpful than doing nothing at all - and we can all do something.”

Callum Scott Howells photographed by Tom Oldham
Callum Scott Howells photographed by Tom Oldham
Credit: Tom Oldham

Pictured in London’s Hilly Fields Park, Top Boy star Saffron Hocking said: “I’ve definitely become more concerned about the climate crisis but I’m trying to be more proactive in how I can do my bit. Talking about what we are all doing to support our planet can help us all feel a little more hopeful about its future.”

In the new photo series, taken in outdoor spaces selected by the stars, the five actors visually showcase the importance of nature and green spaces for health and wellbeing. It comes as the survey also reveals that 69% of people in the UK feel they don’t experience nature as much as they would like to.

Don’t Look Up actor Himesh Patel said: “Being photographed in the incredible landscape at Beachy Head is particularly meaningful for me as I’ve been able to find solace there in the last few years

“Experiencing the beauty and benefits of nature shows the urgent need to protect our environment and take action to prevent climate breakdown, so that we can ensure future generations have a world that’s worth growing up in.”

Himesh Patel photographed by Tom Oldham
Himesh Patel photographed by Tom Oldham
Credit: Tom Oldham

Discussing his own anxieties around the climate crisis Marvel star Will Poulter, photographed in Camley Street Natural Park said: ‘‘Climate change is a real worry and not something we should ignore.

“Being able to understand the climate crisis a bit more through research and information from experts like Friends of the Earth has helped me get an idea of the progress we need to see and what we can all do to help.”

Ghosts lead Charlotte Ritchie, pictured in RSPB Rainham Marshes, added: ‘‘I’ve always spent a lot of time in nature, and it is really important to me that the beautiful environments that I enjoy remain unharmed by climate change. The more we get to know our local spaces, the more inspired we will be to protect them.”

Charlotte Richie photographed by Tom Oldham
Charlotte Richie photographed by Tom Oldham
Credit: Tom Oldham

Photographer Tom Oldham said: ‘‘It’s been such a privilege to photograph this wonderful Friends of the Earth cast, as it is a cause close to all of our hearts. Taken in some of the stars’ favourite spots across the UK, we’ve been able to capture how much the planet means to them in these worrying times.”

Friends of the Earth healthy environment campaigner Emi Murphy said: “It’s not surprising so many people of all ages are increasingly worried about climate change, especially in the face of continued government inaction.

“It’s only human for us to admit that climate change is causing anxiety as it genuinely is a crisis. Joining a local group and connecting with others to protect the environment and put pressure on our government to prioritise climate action is a great way to feel less alone and be part of a powerful movement working for a fair, green future."

Link to images