Campaigners raise more than £13k to repair Bristol green after Greta Thunberg rally

Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg attends the youth climate protest in Bristol. (Reuters/Peter Nicholls)

A Go Fund Me campaign to raise money to repair a college green damaged by a climate change rally has raised more than £13,000.

Greta Thunberg led the rally on Friday through the streets of Bristol.

An estimated 30,000 protesters endured torrential rain and high winds to hear the 17-year-old Swedish activist speak.

Protesters at the youth climate protest in Bristol. (Reuters/Peter Nicholls)

Thunberg told the crowd: “This emergency is being completely ignored by the politicians, the media, and those in power.

“Basically, nothing is being done to halt this crisis despite all the beautiful words and promises from our elected officials.

Read more: Chris Packham slams Jeremy Clarkson for calling Greta Thunberg 'mad and dangerous'

“So what did you do during this crucial time? I will not be silenced when the world is on fire. Our leaders are behaving like children. So it falls on us to be the adults in the room.”

Watch Greta Thunberg speak in Bristol:

The event was declared a success by organisers and protesters, but left the grounds of the college green muddy and inaccessible.

Read more: Greta Thunberg's parents 'thought her climate activism was a bad idea'

Campaign organiser Jon Usher said: “Bristol welcomed Greta Thunberg to the city for the Youth Climate Strike and thousands turned out to see her and to stand in solidarity for climate action. 

“The weather however wasn't on our side and it rained. A lot!

Greta Thunberg embraces a crying girl who joined the march in Bristol on Friday. (Reuters/Dylan Martinez)
Demonstrators filled the streets and the green for the event, but the weather left the green muddy and inaccessible. (Reuters/Peter Nicholls)

Read more: Greta Thunberg responds to explicit cartoon mocking her

“Now College Green is a bit muddy. Contribute some funds to help Bristol City Council restore the grass in time for spring time picnics in the sun!”

Speaking exclusively to Yahoo News UK, Usher said: “Friday was my first march and I took my 5 year old daughter - the chance to see Greta was too good to miss!

“We got to College Green after cycling into town and stood in the mud listening to the speeches. We marched for a short while - but by that point my daughter was starting to get cold so we headed for some lunch and shelter.

Jon Usher and his five-year-old daughter at Friday's climate march (Jon Usher)

“I knew there would be people waiting to jump on the organisers or Greta for the damage to the grass, so I set up the fundraising page while we ate lunch.”

The charity executive said he had “no idea” there would be such a positive reaction to his campaign.

Campaigner Jon Usher is now raising money to repair College Green. (Jon Usher/Twitter)

He said: “I am grateful to all that have contributed so far. I'm pleased that the response has silenced the critics of the march and Greta's visit to Bristol.

“It was such an overwhelmingly positive day - and Bristol has shown how positive we are.

“Yes College Green got a bit muddy, but we've probably raised enough money to put it right as well as improve other green spaces across the city too - win-win!”

Having created the hashtag #TurnCollegeGreenGreenAgain Usher launched the Go Fund Me campaign, and by Monday afternoon the page had received £13,666.

He said: “Bristol City Council have confirmed that if there are any funds left over they will use it for wildflower areas across the city.

“I think there could also be an opportunity for additional wildflower/pollinator planting on College Green, which would be a lovely legacy from Greta's visit to Bristol!”

Supporters hold a banner as they wait to catch a glimpse of Swedish environmentalist Greta Thunberg during the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate (Leon Neal/Getty Images)