Our Ecosystem Responsibilities

Britain’s native species are in serious decline, the implications of which are hugely significant for the balance of this country’s ecosystem.

A new study, published on 8 December in the Journal “Nature Communications” and the largest analysis of British wildlife ever conducted, reveals a broad spectrum of fauna and flora across the UK which have been in critical decline over the past 40 years. The plight of some of those species that are perhaps better known to most of us, like the hedgehog and skylark, is well covered; however, the scale of this decline and the extent to which it impacts on our human environment is arguably less publicised.

BIODIVERSITY

2013’s landmark “State of Nature” Report, compiled by a controlled network of 25 conservation groups, revealed that almost one third of all wildlife species in the UK have lost 50% of their population over the last 50 years and that 1 in 10 species is at very real risk of extinction.

Wildlife, trees and plants perform vital functions in our ecosystem, from food production, and the underpinning functions of pollination, pest control and decomposition, to climate regulation, through carbon sequestration, to intrinsic cultural values. Around 28% of pollinators, such as bees and moths, and 16% of pest controllers, like ants and beetles, are in decline, all of which impacts directly on the availability and price of our food. Indeed, many foods taken for granted such as apples, strawberries and raspberries would ultimately no longer form a part of our diet.

Growing urbanisation is already having a direct impact on the availability of suitable agricultural land, therefore continuing to propagate the environmentally unfriendly practice of intensive farming and invoking all its negative consequences. The resultant decline and ultimate extinction of numerous biological species is anticipated to accelerate climate change still further, with the potential for catastrophic implications for human well-being.

Irrespective of our individual affinity with nature, our wildlife heritage is unarguably much more than for our aesthetic pleasure alone; it is vital for our future prosperity and survival. In the face of ongoing cuts to Government environmental budgets, efforts to protect what still remains of this heritage now comes under even more pressure from the recently announced programme of new house building, which will impact directly on current green belt land.

Enzygo’s remit as an environmental consultancy extends far beyond protecting the habitats and safeguarding the future of more widely publicised species, such as bats and newts, or mitigating the environmental impact of invasive species, like Japanese knotweed and American white-clawed crayfish. We have a front-line responsibility to integrate the environmental demands of a burgeoning human population within the confines of an ecosystem that is under unprecedented threat and to consult and advise in full recognition and understanding of the implications of our recommendations and actions.

To find out more please visit http://www.enzygo.com/what-we-do/ecological/

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