State of Nature

State of Nature header
'Good’ quality rivers in Somerset have decreased
Somerset has lost 5.74% of its grassland
Non-native invasive species have increased by 260%
Fritillaries have declined 60% between 1990-2021

Somerset’s changing landscapes

The first Somerset State of Nature report 2023 provides an important benchmark of how wildlife is faring across our county and follows the national State of Nature Report launched in September 2023. It is produced at a time when the climate and ecological crises are recognised across the globe, and when new legislation is being brought in across the UK with ambitious objectives for nature’s recovery. The UK government has made ambitious pledges to protect at least 30% of land and sea for nature by 2030 - the ‘30x30’ target.

The report makes for sobering reading. But if you reach beyond despondency, what you can see and grasp are real seeds of real hope. What it highlights very clearly, is that where there has been focussed effort on a landscape-scale, underpinned by a truly meaningful and committed partnership approach to nature restoration, the results can be simply outstanding.
Simon Clarke
Head of Nature Recovery

Somerset's State of Nature Report

This is the very first report of this kind for the county and, as such, this year very much provides the foundation upon we must build going forwards, both in terms of our knowledge, data and evidence and - with the support of wider stakeholders across the county - devising a shared, meaningful plan to deliver our 30x30 goals. It is only by working together in partnership that we can have the impact we need for people and wildlife, and adapt to the changes in our natural environment brought about by climate change.

The headlines and key findings reported here are a catalyst for action and the overwhelming message from within these pages is clear; in spite of significant efforts, we haven’t done enough. We know what we must do now, and we must do it faster, bigger and better than ever before.

Download the full report

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