Our Changing Environment

What can we do?

Early human intervention

The picture is not all bad and attitudes to conservation have undergone a radical change over the past decades. It is just as well because during earlier eras historical remains were destroyed in a frenzy of town, factory, railway and canal building; near Congleton in Cheshire a huge megalithic cairn 3,500 years old was destroyed so the stones could be used for road building; foreign plants and animals were imported so that our native red squirrel has been almost completely wiped out by the American grey squirrel and hundreds of acres of rhododendrons now cover Welsh hillsides, choking the native species.

This would all be unthinkable now but we live in a changing world and every hedgerow that's grubbed out, every new inch of motorway, every piece of cliff that falls into the sea can threaten the habitat of our birds, animals, plants or insects so it is vital that on an individual level we are all aware of the issues and play our own part however small and at a higher level every planning application whether it is for a new sea wall to protect a particular stretch of coastline - which may cause problems with a different stretch - or for a length of roadway which may interfere with animal tracks - is accompanied by a detailed consideration of how the proposed works will impact on wildlife, and proposals on how this disruption can be lessened or eliminated. Many ethical questions have to be answered. Should we, for instance, have a policy of exterminating the grey squirrel, and if so by what means? Is it right to re-introduce wolves to the highlands when they may prove a danger to other wildlife? Should resources be spent on eradicating non-native plants from the countryside when there are other demands on budgets? Should we allow fauna to grow unchecked on motorway verges when this could create possible fire hazards? Finding the right answers to all these questions and many more will require education awareness and debate and we must all play our part in ensuring that these continue.

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Beginnings of agriculture

Beginnings of industry

Climate change

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