For the first time ever, the UK’s wildlife organisations have joined forces to undertake a health check of nature in the UK and its Overseas Territories. The full report is online at:www.rspb.org.uk/stateofnature
The report reveals that 60% of the 3,148 UK species assessed have declined over the last 50 years and 31% have declined strongly.
“This matters because our current and future health and happiness is dependent on nature through the many free services it provides. And it matters because we have a moral responsibility to live in harmony with the species with which we share this planet.
“We cannot save wildlife in Wiltshire with nature reserves alone; there must be a step change in the way we tackle this problem. We all have a role to play, not just farmers and conservationists, but politicians and business leaders too.
“We are challenging all decision-makers to think differently about nature so that short term actions taken to address socio-economic problems today do not sacrifice the long term future of wildlife and our children’s future."
Dr Mantle added “We have so much to lose; Wiltshire has a unique diversity of wildlife, possibly greater than most other counties in the UK. We may have the lowest extinction rate for wild flowers, the most biodiverse rivers, the finest hay meadows and the greatest expanse of chalk downland anywhere in Europe. But we are still losing species. What was once common is becoming rare and what was rare is becoming endangered or extinct. We cannot continue on the same path. Wiltshire is a stronghold for many rare or endangered species, such as the snakes-head fritillary, the green winged and burnt orchids and marsh fritillary butterflies. The once common water vole has become extinct elsewhere in the South West. Wiltshire has a vital role to play in securing nature’s recovery.”
Wiltshire Wildlife Trust's response is online at: www.wiltshirewildlife.org/News/Wiltshires-Nature-in-Trouble