• More than half of animal and plant species in UK dying out

    22nd May 2013 | News | Claire
  • For too long the human race here in the UK and globally, has plundered what it can from the earth, without giving anything in return. And this is the result.

    It’s about time our own government – and those across the planet – woke up to how this world will be in 50 years. Will it be a world where birdsong is barely heard, water is scarce, bees are a rare species and our eco-systems are irretrievably broken down?

    Because if this is the case then we are staring down our own demise and we will only have ourselves to blame – and if governments can’t see this or refuse to face this, there is no hope.

    The coming together of a multitude of environmental organisations today is a watershed moment. As David Attenborough wisely acknowledged in his BBC Today programme interview this morning, the human race is extremely good at destruction. It’s about time it got good at protection and conservation.

    Reading the news reports is a massive motivator for me. I will give this issue everything I have. Councillors are in a unique position to be able to influence issues like this and help turn the tide and I intend to do just that.

    Watch this space.

    Here’s how the Telegraph covered the story:………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    More than half of the plant and animal species in Britain, including hedgehogs and skylarks, are dying out, according to a report that confirms your worst thoughts, said Sir David Attenborough.

    People have got an extraordinary expertise in destroying things, said the naturalist and television presenter in the wake of the State of Nature report, which brings together 25 leading conservation groups for the first time to assess the condition of British wildlife.

    The results paint a stark picture of a future without dormice, water voles and species of butterflies unless more is done to create havens for wildlife in farms and towns.

    The report found that 60 per cent of more than 3,000 species studied have declined over the past 50 years. About 31 per cent are decreasing rapidly. The species in danger include the turtle dove and tortoiseshell butterfly.

    We’ve got this extraordinary expertise in destroying things, poisoning things and knocking down things, Sir David said on Radio 4 Today programme this morning.

    The consequences on the wildlife is bound to be that we have less and less.

    He said that the report “confirmed your worst thoughts”, but added: “The reasons are not difficult to find, of course.

    “It’s not surprising, they’re getting on for a third more people living in this country over the last 50 years.

    “I suspect quite a lot of people are beginning to realise what’s happening. A lot of us, even if we are not dedicated bird watchers, will notice that, hello, we haven’t heard the cuckoo this year, or last year.”
    Meanwhile, other species have invaded the UK, Sir David said, with more dragonfly species now in Britain than 50 years ago.

    Sir David has also blamed the use of chemicals on farms for the decline.

    “The causes are varied, but most are ultimately due to the way we are using our land and seas and their natural resources, often with little regard for the wildlife with which we share them. The impact on animals and plants has been profound,” he said. “The population has increased and is still increasing so there is less and less space available for the natural world.”

    Sir David called for better planning of the countryside so that key areas are not built on and derelict areas are returned to nature. “We can stop many of the issues causing the problem. We can also plan better and take greater care of the bits we do not notice.”

    He said it was not only the beauty of the countryside in danger but resources such as clean air and water. “If you allow the natural world to gradually decline the consequences are multitudinous. Not just because of the pleasure, delight and glory in looking at wildlife but for the natural systems we depend on like fresh water.”

    A separate study of 6,000 species found that more than one in 10 are in danger of extinction. This includes species such as the natterjack toad, great bustard and basking shark.

    The conservation groups behind the State of Nature report, including the RSPB and Royal Botanic Gardens, blame development for destroying habitats and intensive farming for killing wildlife. It recommends creating new habitats on farms and in cities and “green corridors” through urban areas.

    The link is here – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/10072574/More-than-half-of-plant-and-animal-species-in-UK-dying-out-says-report.html