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

Dry Street Pastures Local Wildlife Site. Photo: Annie Gordon

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 this is 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.

They provide homes for wildlife ranging from frog orchids and marsh gentians to grass snakes, harvest mice and water voles, give people access to nature in their local area and provide a network of stepping stones and corridors to connect wild spaces. To read more click here