The State of Nature report, launched on 4 October, highlighted negative overall trends, in the last decade in particular and over the last 50 years of statistically comparable data. This is set against ongoing longer term declines that have been in train for even longer. The UK as a whole is losing species diversity – most marked in Countryside Survey plots, surveyed specifically for a rich species diversity where it is declining. The next Countryside Survey report, now long overdue, is unlikely to show an improving picture.
Scotland is arguably the most nature rich part of the UK. With more than 60 per cent of the coastline and marine habitat, all the UK’s arctic/alpine habitats, all the machair, Caledonian pinewood and most of the temperate rainforest, Scotland is nature rich. But the prospects are not good.