Before the Industrial Revolution, the UK was covered in dense forests that covered much more of the countryside than they do now.
These massive areas of wilderness were home to many animals and plants that are now a rare sight or have disappeared completely. Believe it or not, both bears and wolves once roamed the British Isles.
Over many years, centuries even, farming and industry have taken away much of this landscape and we are now left with a nature depleted country. The building of roads and factories, train lines and the expansion of towns and cities has left the UK with only half of its natural biodiversity.
It’s a sobering thought - some people may not even know what biodiversity means, but biodiversity loss is steadily changing our lives.
What is biodiversity?
It’s the name given to all varieties of animals, plants, bacteria and fungi that we are lucky enough to share our planet with. It can be found in every habitat from seashores to the very remotest of mountain tops.
As humans change their local environment by doing things such as building roads and extending housing estates, we lose this diversity of life by reducing the number of species once found in the places we dig and disrupt.
Biodiversity is everywhere - right down to the air we breathe, to the water we drink and the food we eat, and we depend on it because we depend on the natural world.
It’s all about finding a balance. Yes, we need to farm so we can feed people and we need roads to transport people and goods, but we also need to help nature too.
We all need to take an active role in helping wildlife. One of the easiest ways to help is to leave out food for your local wildlife. Whether it’s food for hedgehogs, peanuts for squirrels or birdseed, we can all make a difference.
After all, it’s not just having these animals and birds around that’s important, it’s how they interconnect with each other to create a complex network of life.
It needs a big change, one that stops us from damaging our planet but if we all work together, we can do it.
Let’s start today.