Suffolk County Council has launched a survey about the state of nature in the county.

It comes amid growing concerns about loss of biodiversity and climate change across the UK.

One in six species is now at risk of being lost from Great Britain, according to a landmark State of Nature report in 2023 produced by wildlife organisations including Suffolk Wildlife Trust.

East Anglian Daily Times:

Councillor Richard Rout, Suffolk County Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for finance and environment, said: “In Suffolk we have a higher proportion of protected sites for nature than other places. But these spaces are largely in isolated pockets that need improving and linking together.

“Protecting and enhancing these sites will of course help nature to recover, but also have a positive impact on all of us too.

"For example, the creation of additional coastal habitats can assist communities in adapting to sea-level rise, safeguarding homes and businesses; new green spaces for recreation can improve our health and wellbeing; supporting farmers to manage their land for nature can bring new funding into the rural economy, generating employment and training opportunities.

“At Suffolk County Council we’re revising our land management to be more nature friendly, supporting enhanced biodiversity across at least 30% of our estate by 2030, and in the last few years we have planted over 250,000 trees.”

The wildlife studied has, on average, declined by 19% since monitoring began in 1970.

East Anglian Daily Times:

Christine Luxton, chief executive of Suffolk Wildlife Trust, said: “Suffolk has fantastic wildlife and nature-rich landscapes; wetlands bursting with rare orchids and invertebrates, heathland home to nightjars and natterjack toads, water voles and otters in our rivers, and woodland and hedgerows harbouring dormice and turtle doves.

“But these precious habitats and species are under huge pressure from pollution, habitat loss and climate change.

“Despite being home to some of England’s most recognisable places for wildlife, less than eight per cent of land in Suffolk is legally protected for nature, and just like elsewhere in the UK, wildlife in Suffolk has seen massive historic declines.

“We desperately need more, bigger, better-connected places for wildlife, so nature can recover and adapt to climate change, and we can create healthier, happier, and more prosperous communities. Nature recovery is the answer to so many social challenges and it’s up to our elected representatives to ensure that is reflected in policies ahead of the next election.”

The results will feed into Suffolk’s Local Nature Recovery Strategy, a plan to tackle the decline in nature.

The survey is open until June 30.