The latest UK State of Nature report underlines the UK’s status as one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world. Read our response here.

The United Kingdom had already cemented its status as one of the most nature-depleted nations on the planet, but the recent release of the UK State of Nature report, published last week, reinforces the dire state of our environment. 

  • 16% of species in the UK are threatened with extinction  
  • The abundance of freshwater and terrestrial species has fallen 19% on average since 1970 
  • The distribution of invertebrate species has decreased by 13% since 1970 
  • The distribution of flowering plants has decreased by 54% since 1970
  • The distribution of mosses and liverworts has decreased by 59% since 1970 
  • The abundance of 13 species of seabirds has fallen by an average of 24% since 1986 

We depend on nature for human health and wellbeing, ecosystem services, carbon sequestration and climate resilience, so protecting and restoring our landscapes to enable nature to thrive is of paramount importance.  

Last week, news that the implementation of Biodiversity Net Gain legislation will be delayed until 2024 drew criticism from across industries. Meanwhile, the outpouring of sadness resulting from felling of the Sycamore Gap Tree highlights the value that landscape brings to our lives, and the highly emotive response that these events can provoke.  

In just a few days, both the ecology and the politics of the climate and nature emergencies have been drawn into sharp focus. Looking to the future, it is imperative that we develop a social, natural and economic landscape in which these challenges can be addressed through integrated, collaborative means.  

Landscape architects and landscape managers have the skills and experience to facilitate this action. Their work brings people closer to the environments in which they live, fostering civic pride alongside landscape heritage, and the health of people and planet.  

The LI’s aim is to protect, conserve and enhance the natural and built environment for the public benefit, and we look forward to supporting our members as they continue this important work in the months and years ahead.  

The latest figures on the state of nature in the UK make for distressing reading. Coinciding with the delayed rollout of Biodiversity Net Gain, and the public felling of a precious piece of natural heritage, events this week have highlighted the deep connections between society and the environment.  

Good landscape practice brings the two together, providing integrated solutions to address the challenges we face. As we look ahead, we expect the government to provide a policy framework that enables us to do this with certainty and long-term vision.”   

Robert Hughes, CEO, Landscape Institute. 


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