The world today contains an estimate 7.5 billion people and about 8.7 million different species-inclusive of birds, fish and mammals. Animals make an impact on our lives and we certainly make an impact on theirs. But currently in the western world, it is very normal to push aside any concerns regarding animals and their natural habitats due to the high demand in housing, schools, transport routes, farmland etc. The list of infrastructure we need is certainly not exhaustive and all of it requires land. The land needed for the building of infrastructure is naturally home to thousands of species, which cannot thrive in built up areas. Our wildlife requires natural varied woodland and sufficient nature corridors for them to be able to travel between any clearings.
The United Kingdom was once covered in natural woodland, which would grow wherever it was able to. The first clearing of woodland began throughout the initial agriculture during 3100- 2900 BC and forest coverage continued to decline throughout history up to this present day. Currently our natural forest coverage sits at approximately 5-10% which is one of the lowest percentages within Europe. Due to deforestation for agriculture our wildlife faces incredible challenges. The 75% of the UK that is now farmland, has caused 52% of animals living on the farmland to decrease in number and there has been a decrease in farmland birds by 54% since 1970. The truth is, the wildlife is not really consideration when we expand infrastructure and farmland.
Overall it’s not good news and we have to recognise the negative impact we are having in this country. I believe that most people would truly miss our natural world if were gone. Once we have admitted this, we can then start thinking about how to improve the situation. Because we don’t want to walk through our last few forests and find them silent and free from birds, we don’t want to find fields empty of rabbits and hares, ponds free from frogs and all their life stages. We don’t want and can’t live in a world where our pollinators have declined dramatically or even gone extinct.
To those who care, you have taken the first step towards improvement. In our gardens, homes and lives we can help our wildlife and our nature and throughout my blogs, I will give you tips, information, positive stories and examples of how we can do this. I can’t do it on my own but we can certainly change things together.