The State of Nature report 2016

A Gatekeeper butterfly at Nymans

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.

Shepherding at Hafod y Llan, Snowdonia

Conservation shepherding at Hafod y Llan

Learn about how Hafod y Llan manages shepherding in a way that protects and restores sensitive habitats and maintains traditions.

Friendly cattle grazing coastal fields, Cape Cornwall

Seven of our most nature-friendly farms 

All over the country our wildlife is in trouble. But here are seven of our farms where our tenant farmers are working to bring nature back

Impression of High Peak Moors Plan

High Peak Moors Vision and Plan in the Dark Peak

We've been working hard on putting into practice the High Peak Moors Vision. Here's an update on what we've been up to.

Wardens at work on the High Peak Estate

Key peatland projects 

Find out how we're protecting peatland across the UK with some of our key projects.

Ennerdale Water, Cumbria.

Wild Ennerdale, Cumbria 

Ennerdale is an ancient valley, formed by glaciers millions of years ago. Find out why it’s such a significant site for wildlife and how we’re protecting its future.

A view of flooded fields from Glastonbury Tor, Somerset

Living with change - managing water and flooding 

We examine the ways climate change has impacted on the north coast of Somerset, and how we're responding.