Roll up, roll up! It’s British wildlife painted as a map showing the wondrous treasures of our wildlife species. Look closely at the our native species, they are as thrilling and colourful as a fairground ride! I have made the painting with an affectionate nod to the folk art tradition of fairgrounds, circuses and canals.
Sadly, many native British wildlife species have been, and continue to be, horribly persecuted such as foxes, badgers and pretty much everything that depends on the sea! Many other species struggle to maintain their populations due to habitat loss, pressures from modern farming practices or climate change. But there is good news too. The red kite and the white tailed sea eagle, for example have recovered, thanks to efforts from dedicated conservationists. But we must not be complacent.
Speaking in 2014 at the RSPB‘s Conference for Nature, broadcaster, naturalist and British national treasure Sir David Attenborough said:
“Where in 1945 it was thought that the way to solve the problem was to create wildlife parks and nature reserves, that is no longer an option. They are not enough now. The whole countryside should be available for wildlife. The suburban garden, roadside verges … all must be used”.
“50% of the hedgehog population has gone in 25 years, 90% of the wildlife meadows have disappeared in 100 years; 60% of all wildlife is diminishing and in danger, with 10% doomed to disappear in the next decades. Nowhere in Britain is unsullied, is unaffected by human action. We now have a huge population living cheek by jowl with nature”.
“Because of the complex relationship society has with nature, it is obvious that our response to saving it must extend from every possible quarter too. With an increasing global footprint, mankind is intensifying the crisis for wildlife, but as individuals we can all be part of the solution for saving it too.’’