THE South Downs National Park Authority has made a call to action following the release of the latest State of Nature report.

The report lays bare the full extent of the biodiversity crisis. Based on analysis from 60 organisations, it shows that one in six species are at risk of being lost in Great Britain.

The figure from a decade ago was one in 10.

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Responding to the research, Andrew Lee, director of countryside policy and management at the South Downs National Park, said: “We welcome the publication of the report, which reveals just how much nature needs us at this critical time. It’s a watershed moment for wildlife that should make us all take stock and, if we’re to turn a corner as a nation, the decisions made over the next few years are going to be so important.

Hampshire Chronicle: Andrew Lee, Director of Countryside Policy and Management at the South Downs National ParkAndrew Lee, Director of Countryside Policy and Management at the South Downs National Park (Image: South Downs National Park Authority)“There’s bad and good news to take away. The bad news is that our key species are still declining and by an average of 19 per cent since 1970.  There are fewer of them, and they are found in fewer places. This tells us that nature as a whole is really struggling.

“The good news is that we know what we need to do and how to do it. The report found that nature recovery action makes a difference. We just need to work harder, faster and most importantly, work together. This is why the National Park Authority launched our 10-year ReNature campaign in 2021 with an ambitious target that 33 per cent of the National Park is managed for nature by 2030.”

The National Park’s ReNature initiative is looking to create 13,000 hectares of new habitat, including new woodlands, wetlands and wildflower meadows.

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Mr Lee added: “Work is now underway to develop a species component to our programme, focusing on restoring habitat for some of our most important and endangered animals and plants.

“It’s important to say that nature recovery action does not just sit with organisations such as National Parks and Wildlife Trusts. The beauty of it is that we can all make a difference. Whether it’s by planting more wildflowers in your garden, a business pledging to help nature, or volunteering in your local community, every little action could make a big impact in the long-run.”

More information about the ReNature initiative can be found on the South Downs National Park website.