Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust respond to the 2019 State of Nature report

The State of Nature 2019 report is a cutting-edge assessment of how nature is doing across the UK. As well as an overarching assessment of UK nature, results are also presented for England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, and there are separate short summary documents for each country.

The State of Nature 2019 report reveals that 35 per cent of English species studied have declined, 31 per cent have increased and 34 per cent shown little change since 1970, while 13 per cent of species assessed in England are threatened with extinction.

Butterflies have been particularly hard hit with numbers of butterflies down by 23 per cent. The numbers of species, such as the High Brown Fritillary and Grayling, which require more specialised habitats, have declined by more than three quarters.

England’s mammals also fare badly with greater than 27 per cent of species at risk of disappearing altogether. The Red Squirrel and Greater Mouse-eared Bat are among those species teetering on the edge of disappearing.

The reports pool data and expertise from over 70 nature conservation and research organisations, as well as government statutory agencies, in a partnership unparalleled in UK conservation. It presents newly developed measures of change for more species than ever before, including the marine environment, in order to give high-level, easy-to-understand measures of change. Additionally, it summarises the latest knowledge on what has driven these changes and showcases inspiring examples of how to work together to save nature.

Gareth Parry, Director of Conservation at Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, said: “The 2019 State of Nature report shows that our wildlife is continuing to disappear. One in seven of the species found in the UK are now at risk of extinction, but alarmingly many other species are becoming less common. The report tells a story of nature slowly becoming dominated by the small number of species that thrive alongside humans. This reflects what we are seeing in Gloucestershire.

“Stories about wildlife in trouble are now common, but these declines are not happening elsewhere, they are having a direct impact in Gloucestershire too. Unless we make significant changes and make them now, the next generation will inherit a poorer natural world. Continued loss of wildlife will have a profound impact on our economy and way of life.”

The State of Nature 2019 report highlights the many pressures on wildlife, nearly all of which are the result of human activities. The biggest impacts are from intensive agriculture, climate change, pollution and urbanisation. The report shows that although there is no quick fix, levels of public concern for nature are high, with local and national government quite rightly declaring climate and biodiversity emergencies, including across Gloucestershire. It is vital that this momentum leads to real change that halts wildlife declines and begins to restore what has been lost. This is one of the defining challenges of our time.

Earlier this year, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust released its Manifesto for a Wilder Gloucestershire, outlining the seven changes needed to put nature into recovery in Gloucestershire. The manifesto states what Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust will do, but it also includes actions that politicians, local leaders and members of the public can take. Wildlife declines are not inevitable, they are caused by the choices of people, but nature can recover if it is given a chance.

For a full copy of the State of Nature 2019 report and to find out how you can do your bit to save UK wildlife – www.nbn.org.uk/stateofnature2019

To download Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust’s Manifesto for a Wilder Gloucestershire visit
www.gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk

Image credit: Sandy Fothergill.