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UK’s prized habitats remain in bad condition, government data shows

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Some of the UK's most iconic habitats and species, such as blanket bog and dormice, remain in a bad or poor condition, according to government data.

Some animals, such as the mountain hare, have actually seen their status downgraded due to their ongoing decline, according to the latest environmental assessment of the UK’s European designated sites, published earlier this month by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee  on the European Environment Agency’s data collection website, Eionet.

Improved wastewater treatment has led to wildlife ‘success story’, research shows

Monday, September 16, 2019

Insect life has rebounded in a river receiving all of Swindon's wastewater thanks to substantial investments to improve sewage treatment, according to a DEFRA-funded study.

The River Ray in Wiltshire, which lies downstream of Swindon’s major sewage plant, is largely formed of treated wastewater and had seen steep declines in wildlife populations from the 1960s onwards. 

Rust fungus to tackle ‘out of control’ UK invasive

Thursday, August 29, 2019

A specialist natural enemy of Himalayan balsam is being introduced as part of a trial to kill off the invasive plant that has spread throughout south Wales.

Invasive species cost the UK economy £1.8bn every year, according to government figures. Experts believe the UK is home to around 2,000 non-native species, with about 10-15% of these deemed invasive – a plant or animal that does not have a natural predator to keep its numbers in check.

Rivers used as 'open sewers', says WWF charity

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Targets for 75% of rivers to be healthy by 2027 are "very unlikely" to be met in England, a charity has warned.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) says rivers are "used as open sewers".

The Environment Agency predicts 75% of rivers in England and along the Scottish and Welsh borders will meet EU expectations by 2027, compared with just 14% now.

It is planning an autumn consultation on "challenges and choices" faced in cleaning up water.

The agency said it would review the target based on "what can realistically be achieved".

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