We live in a land which may be one of the richest in the world in terms of money, but in terms of biodiversity, it has become one of the poorest

Awide-ranging alliance of wildlife conservation groups, large and small, last week published a remarkable report entitled The State of Nature: a comprehensive audit of what has happened to the natural world in Britain over the past half-century. The report is a stock-taking, and what it amounts to is an unprecedented synthesis of loss. No fewer than 60 per cent of the examined species have declined in numbers, 30 per cent have declined by more than half, and 10 per cent are threatened with extinction. Do people realise? Do they take it on board? For younger men and women, it’s hard to miss something you may never have known, but here is an unassailable documentation of an astonishing and unfortunate fact about our nation, about the United Kingdom. We now have a countryside which has lost 97 per cent of its flower-rich meadows, 90 per cent of its coppiced woodland and 80 per cent of its heathland – a countryside which, since the 1960s, has lost an estimated 44 million pairs of breeding birds and 72 per cent of its butterflies.

Source: The Independent, 29 May 2013