The bold new plan to save the UK’s wildlife

Prickly situation: Hedgehog numbers in the UK have fallen by 97% since the 1950s.

Can ordinary people save the UK’s wildlife? In the last 50 years, wildlife numbers have halved in Britain. Around 15% of species are at risk of extinction. Now one man is on a mission to help.

What’s happening

The UK’s wildlife is teetering on the edge of disaster. The numbers of wild animals have halved in 50 years and many are in danger of going extinct. Now, the naturalist and TV presenter Chris Packham has written a manifesto which puts forward a series of ideas to help solve the problem.

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Many of the ideas are simple things which can be done by ordinary people. For example, keeping cats inside at night and fitting them with a bell can stop them from killing birds. Dogs should be kept out of nature reserves. People could also eat less meat, plant more trees and keep a bird box in their garden.

There are suggestions for schools, such as going on trips to farms and growing plants in the playground.

Then there are ideas for the government, such as ending the badger cull, banning harmful weedkillers and making sure there is a pond in every park.

Packham presented his manifesto to the government this week. On Saturday, there will be a march through London.

“It is not too late… there is action we can take,” wrote Packham.

Can it work?

Some say…

Yes! The great thing about this plan is that there are practical things we can all do to help. This is important, as real change cannot happen until everyone gets involved. We all have a responsibility towards the animals who share our home. The plan even includes children by suggesting that young people should be the ones to make decisions about nature.

Others think…

Ordinary people cannot do it alone — the government needs to get involved in order to make it happen. Many of the suggestions will be ignored unless they are turned into laws. Unfortunately, the government is distracted by lots of other things at the moment. Until saving wildlife is made a priority, there is not much the rest of us can do.

You Decide

  1. Who is responsible for saving the environment?

Activities

  1. As a class, come up with a list of things you can do to protect wildlife in your local area. They could be based on ideas in this article or your own thinking! Choose one idea and work with your teacher to make it a reality.

Some People Say...

“Every child is born a naturalist.”

Ritu Ghatourey

What do you think?

Word Watch

Teetering
Swaying.
Naturalist
Someone who is an expert in nature.
Manifesto
A declaration of policies and ideas. They are usually written by political parties, but not in this case.
Nature reserves
An area where plants and wildlife are protected.
Cull
A policy of killing animals to reduce their population.
Weedkillers
Chemicals which kill weeds.
Priority
Something which is considered more important than others.

Subjects

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