Half of all nature reserves not in a healthy state, report reveals

The Telegraph reports half of England’s nature reserves are not in a healthy state, a damning report by a government-commissioned body has found, as they warn that most climate targets have been missed. Natural assets including soils, land, plants and wildlife are in serious decline despite Government targets to improve the environment in a generation, according to the Natural Capital Committee. 

Conservation charities warn UK nature targets under threat without £1bn more funding

INEWS reports the Government must funnel more funding into nature schemes if it wants to save thousands of jobs in the sector and keep key green targets within reach. That is the message from the UK’s leading environmental charities, including the National Trust, Woodland Trust, Wildlife and Countryside Link and The Wildlife Trusts. They were among the green groups to pen a letter to the Chancellor, calling for Rishi Sunak to plough more cash into the Green Recovery Challenge Fund.

Businesses making eco-friendly claims to be vetted by watchdog

The Guardian reports companies that market their products or services as eco-friendly are to be scrutinised by the UK competition watchdog to make sure they live up to the claim and do not mislead consumers. The CMA said examples of misleading behaviour by firms could include exaggerating the positive environmental impact of a product or service, but also using packaging or logos that implied an item was eco-friendly when it was not. The practice is also known as “greenwashing”. 

Joanna Lumley blasts wind farms for turning dolphins deaf

THE TIMES reports the actress is campaigning for an end to the detonation of submerged bombs during the construction of wind farms, after fears that the blasts deafen marine mammals. She has joined with conservation charities to say that this approach is “crazy”. A vast quantity of live explosives still lies in the seas around Britain, many dumped by Nazi bombers that failed to find their targets. 

Bottlenose dolphins photo by Gregory “Slobirdr” Smith under creative commons.

Huge spider assumed extinct in Britain discovered on Surrey MoD training site

The Guardian reports one of Britain’s largest spiders has been discovered on a Ministry of Defence training ground in Surrey having not been seen in the country for 27 years.

Mike Waite from Surrey Wildlife Trust discovered the elusive spider after two years of trawling around after dark looking for it on the Surrey military site, which the MoD is not naming for security reasons.

The great fox-spider is a night-time hunter, known for its speed and agility, as well as its eight black eyes which give it wraparound vision. The critically endangered spider was assumed extinct in Britain after last being spotted in 1993 on Hankley Common in Surrey.

How Rewilding Brought Nature Back to England’s Knepp Estate

Vogue reports for the first time since we started rewilding, in 2000, I sensed my husband, Charlie’s, resolve beginning to waver. Letters from neighbors were reaching a crescendo of outrage. Over the nine years since we began handing Knepp Estate, our 3,500-acre farm in West Sussex, over to nature we had weathered complaints about our free-roaming animals, outbreaks of ragwort, unkempt hedgerows, and thorny scrub desecrating the picture-postcard image of England’s green and pleasant land. 

Photo from Knepp Estate by Fred Langridge under creative commons.

Restore natural habitats or ‘face wildlife catastrophe’, campaigners warn

The Daily Mail and The Guardian report a wildlife catastrophe is imminent unless urgent action is taken to restore Britain’s natural habitats, campaigners have warned today. Nature group Rewilding Britain said global warming means species’ ‘climate zones’ – areas with ideal temperature, humidity and rainfall for those creatures – are moving north too fast for them to keep up.