Why wildlife needs you

Changes like urbanisation and intensive farming mean many of our native birds, insects, and other species are struggling to find food to eat and places to live.

 

Suburban gardens can be an oasis for wildlife, providing a habitat for as many as 700 different species. But in towns and cities, the shortage of room for parking and extensions means green space is rapidly being developed. Every year in London, an area two and a half times the size of Hyde Park of vegetated garden land is lost.

The Government’s new 25-year environment plan includes the principle of ‘development with net environmental gain’. You might need to build a driveway or extension, but if you manage the remaining space with wildlife in mind, you can create an area that’s better for nature than ever before.

 

That’s why wildlife needs you. What you do with your outdoor space, the plants you choose and the wildlife-friendly elements you include, can really make a difference. 

Wildlife in trouble

  • Almost two thirds of species in the UK have declined in the last 50 years

  • Britain's hedgehog population has dropped from around 30 million in the 1950s to just 1 million today

  • London’s sparrow population has fallen by 75%, starlings by nearly 60%, swifts by half and blackbirds by more than a quarter since 1995

  • 69% drop in urban butterflies in 20 years

  • Evidence from Germany points towards a 75% drop in flying insects in the last 25 years 

There may be other benefits too. Research suggests nature in cities helps combat air pollution, enhances health and wellbeing, cools rising urban temperatures and even improves children’s cognitive and behavioural development.