The State of Nature report was for many a tough read. The statistics are frankly horrifying.

In very short form, 60% of species in decline, 30% seriously so and 13% in danger of extinction. So you may wonder why I was so pleased to see it printed and publicised. Well, I've thought that for too long we've needed just such a short sharp shock because we've been to easily distracted from this horror show by our accomplished but seemingly insignificant successes in conservation. Yes, we've been making a difference but not on a scale that clearly counts. And truthfully a walk through the UK countryside has become progressively quieter and less rewarding but we have all been to scared to admit it. But now the writing is on the wall, plain and clear - we are presiding over the destruction and decay of our green and pleasant land and I for one am not happy about it.

So what can we do? Firstly read the report, man-up and face the grim reality, then rejoice that the vast majority of the declines and problems are very well understood. You see, if we know why a species or habitat is imperilled then in most instances we have a good idea of how to fix the problem. And we do... the trouble is that those problems are big ones.

We can no longer be satisfied by buying a few more reserves, re-introducing a couple more animals with big, expensive and flashy projects or simply stumping up our memberships and hoping that someone is out there patching it up. No, we have to raise our game, start to demand better service and better results from all our agencies and begin to sculpt a body of decision makers who are better informed, genuinely motivated and brave enough to turn things around.

Key targets - urgent and decisive reform of farming and fisheries policies in tandem with far enhanced support of our farmers and fishermen. Reform of forestry practices and the serious criminalisation of those who harm wildlife. We should implement national quotas of wildlife and begin to measure its yields and then seriously reward those who meet the targets. Agricultural subsidies should need earning.

But what can we do? Pick up the keypad or the pen and write to the wildlife charities that you support and tell them you want more results, less small successes and more bigger picture action. Then double the number of your nestboxes, put in a pond, plant some nectar-full species and keep your cats in at night. There's nothing wrong with making a difference on the home-front. Your wildlife needs you more than ever so lets go to it!

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  • Comment number 81. Posted by Louisecookie

    on 6 Jun 2013 20:13

    This is a very serious problem that we need to so something about. It's not really thought about when it comes to Amphibians

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  • Comment number 80. Posted by MrNatural

    on 4 Jun 2013 17:22

    Natural England have granted licences to destroy buzzard nests and eggs at the request of pheasant shoots. What does Chris Packham think of this?
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/may/23/government-licenced-buzzard-egg-destruction

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  • Comment number 79. Posted by benny Wilson

    on 4 Jun 2013 10:33

    Another subject , I just found an Orange Beetle on my large Lillies, what to do next ??.

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  • Comment number 78. Posted by stevieweave

    on 3 Jun 2013 10:32

    Chris Packham on Robins.
    Although I like Chris and I'd love a tiny fraction of his knowledge, I have to contradict him on a comment he made last year when he said that, if you see a Robin in your garden, it wont be the same one as the year before.
    MY ROBIN, after building his nest in my neighbour's garden (6 doors down from my other neighbour where he'd nested last year!) then came back to my door waiting to be fed. As soon as I opened the door, in he popped for his mealworms.
    Although I hadn't ringed him last year and he looks identical to every other Robin, I find it difficult to believe that this is not MY ROBIN from last year.

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  • Comment number 77. Posted by theSteB

    on 30 May 2013 14:51

    @Andrew Cullum

    I to have noticed the decline of Kestrels. When I was young these were the only birds of prey you saw regularly. Sparrowhawks used to be pretty scarce in the late 1960s to early 1970s. Peregrines were rarities, and you only saw Common Buzzards in the wilds of Wales or Scotland.

    My personal insights into this are that Kestrels filled the niches left by Buzzards, and to a certain extent Sparrowhawks. That when Common Buzzards recovered and re-occupied their former range, that this pushed Kestrels out of this niche and into probably their own more specialized niche. Despite their difference in size, Kestrels and Common Buzzards actually feed on a similar range of prey items, except of course Kestrels don't take rabbits. In fact I have seen quite a bit of Kestrel Common Buzzard interaction in my area. Normally it is the Kestrel trying to drive the Buzzard away.

    In my part of Lancashire Kestrels are still fairly common across the edges of the moorland i.e. the hillsides, rather than the hill tops. About 6-7 years ago I watched a group of about 8 Kestrels all hovering above the same brow ridge on Pendle Hill from a distance, and occassionally swooping down. Later on, on the return I had a look at this patch as the Kestrels had now gone, and I didn't want to disturb them at the time. There was a lot of sheep dung, and dung beetles at work.

    I would guess that on many of these moorland edges the Kestrel population must be close to ecological carrying capacity. In other words I am saying it might not be a serious decline, and more of a re-adjustement to their more specialised niche.

    These are just my views, so they might not be right, but it is based on a lot of observation and knowledge of ecological principles.

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  • Comment number 76. Posted by karen elliott

    on 30 May 2013 14:16

    Thanks for a great programme chris I particularly loved the hedgehog and am very concerned about their decline. I live in a country village and last year a lot of rats were noticed in the gardens. I was disturbed to find how easily available rat poison was to purchase with no advice or warnings about the dangers to wildlife , one shop keeper actually advised to keep blocks of poison under the garden shed all year round. Needless to say the three hedgehogs that regularly visited my garden are no longer alive, I witnessed the death of one that suffered massive blood loss and probably suffered for a week before her distressing death. Where is the legislation to ensure that idiots don't get their hands on poisons ?? Have you got any ideas how to educate people to ensure the safety of our wildlife ?

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  • Comment number 75. Posted by Lol

    on 30 May 2013 12:07

    Everything is welcome to eat and drink in my garden, no discrimination, but I do find that the local pigeons have latched onto the bowl of peanuts I put out everyday and although they are also welcome to feed they are becoming a bit of a problem now but I feel guilty if I send them away. Was thinking f purchasing one of those plastic sparrow hawks you can purchase from the local garden centre to frighten them away. Do they work?

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  • Comment number 74. Posted by Lol

    on 30 May 2013 11:47

    I have always fed the birds. I spend a small fortune all year round. I never had to worry before because I had dogs, but I ow have a cat which I took in after finding her living rough at my
    workplace. She has filled a deep void in our lives after loosing our beloved dog. The problem is she is a killing machine like all cats. In the 18 months we've had her she has killed 2 birds and 1 wood mouse. I never leave her out if we a not home and keep her in at night time. I do feel at times that she has her own takeaway in the back garden but what is the alternative? Do I stop feeding the birds who have come to rely upon me all these years?

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  • Comment number 73. Posted by marcuslewis

    on 30 May 2013 11:36

    my point being theres over 8 million cat owners so you cant really call it a natural balance if half that number took a couple of songbirds and small mammals then that in its self adds upto big numbers.all animals and mammals can carry diseases not just rats and mice.,yes birds of prey do take birds and mammals as a food source to feed themselves and there young what they don't do is leave there prey outside my backdoor.millions of domestic cats free roaming at night is not a natural thing like our birds of prey and is causing an imbalance and having a big impact on british wildlife in my opinion.i just think its irresponsible to let your cat free roam after all they are supposed to be pets and how can the owner vouch for its wellbeing when they don't even know were there much loved pet is.

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  • Comment number 72. Posted by Andrew Cullum

    on 30 May 2013 09:23

    FAO. Chris Packham,
    In all the years we have had kestrels around our local fields,we saw one last week hovering,
    Then perching on telegraph lines.
    Now I know there is a serious problem regarding the decline in numbers I will try to keep a
    Kestrel diary.
    We live in a rural area and two years ago were fortunate enough to have installed by the local
    Drainage board an owl box,close to our house.
    Last year,3 Barn Owl chicks were reared and fledged.
    This year the box is occupied again.
    Our post code is [Personal details removed by Moderator].

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