A recently released report, which has been over 20 years in the making, has identified devastating losses of British and Irish fauna.
Four main trends have been identified since the 1950’s:
- 53% of our native plants such as Heather and Harebell have declined in Britain due to human impacts such as agricultural intensification and climate change
- non-native plants now outnumber native plants in the wild – this startling discovery has huge implications for the insects and other species that depend on our native plants
- many non-native species are not harmful, but some such as New Zealand Pigmyweed and Sitka Spruce have become invasive, disrupting ecosystem function and outcompeting native species
- many plants in upland/montane areas have declined due to climate change whereas some southern species such as Bee Orchid have benefited and spread further north
Plant Atlas 2020 has revealed how much of our landscape has been transformed over the last century. Hopefully the evidence presented in the report will help shape a plan for plant conservation moving forwards.
For more detailed information on the results visit ‘Plant Atlas 2020’