The State of Nature report 2016
The State of Nature 2016 report reveals that over half of UK species have declined over recent decades. Key drivers of the loss are intensive agricultural practices and climate change. We’re working hard to make changes to the way we manage our land and are calling on the Government to consider the environment when deciding the future of farming subsidies.
What is the state of nature?
The report, published three years on from the first State of Nature report, reveals that 56% of UK species studied have declined over the past 50 years.
Of almost 8,000 species assessed by the report, one in ten are at risk of disappearing from our shores altogether.
The report finds that more than 7,500,000 volunteer hours go into monitoring the UK’s wildlife every year.
We are part of the State of Nature partnership, a coalition of 53 nature organisations who helped compile the report.
What’s contributing to the problem?
For the first time, leading experts have been able to identify and quantify the main reasons why the UK's nature is changing.
They argue that changes in farming practices is the leading factor in wildlife’s decline over the last 50 years. Climate change is another important factor, although it was found to have benefited some wildlife species.
Wildlife habitats have been lost, soils have become depleted and flood and drought impacts have increased.
Our head of nature conservation, David Bullock, says: “We need to ensure that wildlife has space to move through our countryside. Many farmers are already making positive changes, benefiting wildlife on their farms. But, as a nation, we can do more.”
What we’re doing
The National Trust looks after 250,000 hectares of countryside. We’re working with our tenant farmers to benefit nature and restore wildlife habitats.
We’re also calling on government to support farmers to manage land in a way that benefits wildlife, as well as a range of other public goods land provides – from reducing the risks of flooding to storing carbon.