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UK’s natural environment in jeopardy – Features – Al Jazeera English

UK’s natural environment in jeopardy – Features – Al Jazeera English. (FULL ARTICLE)

London, UK – The poet William Blake described Britain’s landscape as a “green and pleasant land” but much of the countryside – from the mighty oak tree to the humble hedgehog – are at serious risk.

Conservation groups and scientists have warned in an alarming report that a staggering 60 percent of UK plant and animal species have declined in recent decades, while more than 10 percent are at risk of being lost entirely.

Intensive farming, sprawling urbanisation and climate change as well as an invasion of species and diseases from abroad are combining in a perfect storm to threaten Britain’s fragile natural environment.

The State of Nature, a report compiled by a coalition of 25 conservation groups working together for the first time, warns that wildlife in the UK is under serious threat.

Common species like the lesser spotted woodpecker, barbastelle bat and hedgehog are vanishing before our eyes.

-Dr Mark Eaton, conservation scientist

Its lead author, Dr Mark Eaton, a principal conservation scientist at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), said: “This report reveals that the UK’s nature is in trouble – overall we are losing wildlife at an alarming rate. These declines are happening across all countries and UK overseas territories, habitats and species groups, although it is probably greatest amongst insects, such as our moths, butterflies and beetles.”…


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