The UK’s natural world is facing a crisis, with nearly 40 million birds disappearing from the skies and a quarter of all mammals at risk of extinction. Sir David Attenborough, the renowned natural historian, has issued a warning that urgent action is needed to save our wildlife. His response, the Save Our Wild Isles campaign, launched by WWF-UK, the RSPB, and the National Trust, is calling for an immediate halt to the destruction of UK nature and a concerted effort to aid in its recovery.
As Attenborough said, “now is the time for action, and together we can save it.” The campaign’s call to “go wild once a week” – whether by planting wildflower seeds, eating more plant-based food, or getting involved in community projects – provides a practical way for everyone to make a positive difference.
The call for urgent action to protect British wildlife is in stark contrast to the BBC’s decision not to air an episode of Sir David Attenborough’s new flagship series on British wildlife. There are rumors that the decision was made due to fears of backlash from the right-wing press. The BBC has strongly denied this and clarified that the episode in question was never intended for broadcast. However, these fears do not align with Scottish sentiment, especially when 81% of Scots support an action plan to protect wildlife and 79% are in favor of harsher penalties for businesses contributing to its decline. The Save Our Wild Isles campaign is urging businesses and leaders to prioritize nature in their decision-making, as our natural world is under threat and in urgent need of protection.
Environmentalists and Scientists Alarmed at the Decline in Nature
The decline of nature in the UK is alarming, with figures showing that in Scotland almost half (49%) of bird species have declined in numbers since 1994, and one in nine species are now threatened with extinction. Scottish breeding seabirds are particularly threatened, with numbers of kittiwakes and Arctic skua falling by more than 70% between 1995 and 2020, while kestrels, curlews and lapwings were all down by more than 60%. The numbers of some species have dropped so drastically that they are now listed as ‘critically endangered’.
UK Government Must Step Up
The Save Our Wild Isles campaign is calling on the UK government to act swiftly to protect nature. WWF-UK’s Director of Advocacy and Campaigns Lang Banks said: “For too long, governments across the UK have failed to take meaningful action to protect nature. That’s why it’s essential that the new government acts now to ensure that nature is restored and protected for future generations.” Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey said: “We must do more to protect and restore our natural environment and I am committed to making sure we do just that. This includes introducing a new Environment Bill which will deliver a greener future for us all.”