Between 1970 and 2013, 56% of UK species declined. Of the nearly 8,000 species assessed using modern criteria, 15% are threatened with extinction.
This gives a terrifying picture of the state of nature in this country, a country that is thought of as being full of nature lovers, but where we seem complacement about the amount of green space we are carelessly destroying (see this earlier post about a current campaign to save one of Edinburgh's much loved green spaces).
The People's Manifesto for Wildlife has been put together by Chris Packham, Robert MacFarlane and Patrick Barkham to put forward ideas that could change our relationship with nature and ensure that wildlife survives and thrives in our islands.
The manifesto includes ideas on how to improve our relationship with nature such as to increase the amount of nature studies in education, to get children and young people involved in practical conservation tasks such as planting trees and to increase the amount of greenery surrounding all of us in our everyday lives.
The manifesto includes proposals to protect wildlife such as rewilding our uplands, protecting trees and hedgerows, gardening for wildlife, stopping the badger cull and replacing it with a TB immunisation programme in badgers, ending the culling of mountain hares and seals, better policing of and harsher sentences for wildlife crime.
It proposes the creation of a new Environment Act to enforce protection of the environment for the benefit of nature and people and enshrining environmental rights in law (this will be particularly important if we leave the European Union which currently offers a lot of environmental protection - see my 2016 blog post about the benefits of the EU as relating to the environment).
There's also a section on improving the relationship between agriculture and nature in this country - many of our farmers farm in harmony with nature but nowhere near enough of them, largely because the systems in place make it expensive and difficult to do so.
It's an excellent, well researched document and you can access two versions of it on this page of Chris Packham's website - there's an illustrated version and a non illustrated, fully referenced version.
If you're in London on 22 September (tomorrow) you can join Chris and organisations such as the Woodland Trust on the People's Walk for Wildlife.