Wildlife numbers hit by unsettled climate

Another bad year for Britain’s wildlife caps of a decade of decline. But is there a glimmer of hope? And what can we do to help?

It has been well publicised that British bumble bee populations are in decline. Unfortunately this is becoming a common story for many British animal species. This is largely due to climate change along with changes in land management, with agriculture now accounting for almost 75% of land use in the UK.

These changes have had a worrying effect on British wildlife. The recently released ‘State of Nature Report 2016’ stated that 56% of all British species have declined over the last 50 years due to changes in agricultural practices and climate change.

The effects of climate change in the UK is has meant species previously restricted to Southern regions are moving further North as habitat areas become more suitable. This can cause issues for species currently at the Northern limit of their habitat range as they have nowhere to go if climate change continues.

The last decade has seen warmer winter months and bad summers become the norm which has impacted on Bee and butterfly populations in particular. Other species currently in decline include hedgehogs and turtle doves and there are an estimated 156 British species considered critically endangered.

There are some success stories however, with species such as Otters & Red Kites flourishing, and even some butterflies such as the Silver-Spotted Skipper and Large Blue (once extinct in Britain) doing well. These success stories are largely due to the conservation efforts made by a number of specific groups across the UK. But surely there is more that could be done?

What can we do to help?

Mitie Landscapes is committed to working with our clients to make their sites a more wildlife friendly place. By making simple changes, large or small, all of us can help stop the decline of species such as bees and butterflies. They don’t require much, just a little space, food and shelter. Putting just a small area of you grounds aside and introducing pollinator friendly plants and installing bee or bug hotels would be a real help in the conservation efforts.

If you would like more advice on how you can help just get in touch with one of the many wildlife partnerships and trusts such as the RSPB (https://ww2.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/).