A fight to save the county’s wildlife has begun as a conservation charity has shared its deepest fears for the county’s environment.
Single-use plastic, river pollution, flooding and the urgent need for more wild spaces have been highlighted by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust.
It has started a fight to save the county’s wildlife while households sit down to watch Sir David Attenborough’s latest documentary looking at an “increasingly fragile natural world”, Our Planet.
The UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world, with one in 10 species now threatened by extinction.
In Gloucestershire, 70% of traditional orchards have been lost and only tiny fragments of our stunning wild flower meadows remain.
Fencing around houses instead of shrubberies is also contributing to the decline of wildlife of Gloucestershire.
What are the species at risk?
Nightingales, water voles, curlews and small pearl-bordered fritillary butterflies are among those now at risk.
Meanwhile there are many other species which have been lost from the county.
There are also more which could also be at risk.
Over the last 70 years, the UK has lost 97% of its wild flower meadows and 80% of its heathlands.
Wildlife facts and figures
- In the last 70 years, 56% of the UK’s plants, animals, insects and fungi have declined
- Water voles are the UK’s most rapidly declining mammals and have been lost from 94% of the places where they were once prevalent
- 70% of Gloucestershire’s traditional orchards have been lost
- Common toads have declined by 68% in the last 30 years
- 80% of heathlands have been lost since 1800.
- Wild bees and other pollinators have been lost from 25% of sites in the UK since the 1980s
- Only 20% of rivers are healthy
What you can do
“This is such a critical point for wildlife, but there is still time to put Gloucestershire’s nature into recovery. We are calling on everyone – individuals, families, communities, politicians and businesses – to support our Wilder Gloucestershire campaign, and to take simple actions that will all help to make a difference,” said Roger Mortlock, chief executive of Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust.
Among the actions that people can take are:
- Sign Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust’s petition asking local MPs to support a strong Environment Act
- Buy a reusable water bottle or coffee cup instead of those made of disposable plastic
- Take children or grandchildren to a local park or other green space so they enjoy spending time in nature from an early age
“Wilder Gloucestershire draws upon the knowledge we have gained from nearly 60 years in wildlife conservation and the wisdom of our 28,000 members and 500 volunteers. Many of the ideas came directly from Gloucestershire’s young people.
“It’s a campaign for everyone who cares about the future of the county,” Mr Mortlock added.
To find out more about the Wilder Gloucestershire campaign and to read their Manifesto for a Wilder Gloucestershire, visit gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk/wildergloucestershire
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