Wednesday, 24 December 2014

More than one in 10 of England's wildlife sites 'lost since 2009'

Wildlife Trusts says monitoring of ancient woodlands, hedgerows and churchyards shows 717 have been lost or damaged between 2009 and 2013

Monday 22 December 2014 08.58 GMT

More than one in 10 of England’s Local Wildlife Sites have been lost or damaged in the last five years, conservationists say.

Monitoring of 6,590 of the country’s “quiet, unnoticed wild places in which nature thrives” such as ancient woodlands, hedgerows and churchyards revealed that 717 of them had been lost or damaged between 2009 and 2013.

The Wildlife Trusts warn that the figures are just the tip of the iceberg, with many more of England’s 42,865 Local Wildlife Sites potentially under threat, and the latest losses come in the wake of decades of destruction of natural habitats.

Local Wildlife Sites are not protected by law, but national planning rules require local authorities to identify sites for their wildlife value and provide for their protection under local policy.

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