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Digital Subscriptions > Vegan Life > July 2019 > Nature on the brink

Nature on the brink

Where have all the hedgehogs gone?

It’s the perfect time to step outside and enjoy our great British countryside. With summer underway — hopefully accompanied by good weather — and nature in full bloom, you can surround yourself in our country’s varying landscapes and the incredible wildlife that call them home. Over 70,000 species of plants, animals and fungi are currently found in the UK — but it’s not all sunshine and roses, because we are losing our wonderful wildlife at an alarming rate. In just a few years, the flora and fauna that make up our countryside may be all but gone.

UK wildlife

According to The State of Nature Report 2016 (SONR), which looked at nearly 8,000 UK species between 1970 and 2013, 56 per cent declined, and more than one in seven currently face extinction, including hedgehogs, barn owls and water voles. The report also studied population trend information for UK species of special conservation concern, and used the results to determine how intact Britain’s biodiversity is. The figures were shocking. The calculated index for the UK, which looked at 213 priority species, has dropped by 67 per cent since 1970, and 12 per cent between only 2002 and 2013. This suggests that the UK has lost significantly more nature over the long-term than the global average, making it one of the most nature depleted countries in the world. Worse still, the loss of UK nature isn’t stopping, and won’t be any time soon — while many short-term trends suggest improvement, there was no statistical difference between SONR’s long and short-term measures of species’ change, and no change in the proportion of species threatened with extinction. Of the 7,964 terrestrial and freshwater species that were assessed using modern IUCN Red List criteria, 1,057 are believed to be at risk of extinction and 142 are known to have gone extinct from Great Britain.

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About Vegan Life

Welcome to our jam-packed July issue. It’s always around this time of year that our staff get a bit thin on the ground, as we all head off on our summer holidays. We’ve had team members head to Ibiza, Madrid and Bali, armed with lists and recommendations, all seeking sun, sea and delicious vegan food. So to make sure you have your best summer yet, we’ve rounded up our top holiday suggestions (p42), got your sun care (p44) and snacks covered (p48) and Will Rankin has some brilliant travel hacks guaranteed to make your trip runs smoothly (p50). Closer to home, we have taken an in-depth look at the state of British wildlife (p106). I can remember, as a girl, walking through woods and seeing a huge array of animals — moles poking their heads out of mounds, timid rabbits darting back to their burrows and ponds lined with frogs. A walk through the countryside, sadly, can feel very different now — our wildlife is in serious and rapid decline with 11 per cent of our woodland species threatened with extinction. We uncover the issues affecting British nature and talk with those trying to save it. I’m also really excited to introduce our hilarious new columnist Claire Thrift (p58), who tells us about how her family are winning this BBQ season. Have a great month

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