WILDLIFE across the Sussex coast and countryside is in steep decline, according to a damning new survey.
The RSPB State of Nature report is heralded as the most comprehensive ever published and brings together the work of 25 conservation groups across the country.
It reveals that our native wildlife is in a perilous state with 60 percent of UK species in decline and one in 10 in danger of disappearing from our shores altogether.
The RSPB says that the national decline is reflected in Sussex and across the south east.
Once common farmland birds, such as the turtle dove, are in danger of disappearing altogether while the hedgehog has declined in numbers by 33 per cent since 2000.
Chris Corrigan, RSPB south east regional director, said: “The south east’s wildlife reflects the declines this new report highlights.
“The region has consistently shown the greatest declines in both the farmland and woodland bird indicator lists and there is nothing to suggest that these declines are slowing.
“The RSPB, together with a whole range of other conservation bodies and perhaps more importantly individual landowners, is working hard to protect the wildlife we have left and make sure it is around for future generations.
“This may not be a new message but it is as important as ever and now there is compelling new evidence that it is even more urgent.
“Concerted efforts will be needed if our wildlife and our countryside are to be properly protected.”
The report was launched by Sir David Attenborough and UK conservation charities at the Natural History Museum in London last week.
Sir David Attenborough said: “This report shows that our species are in trouble, with many declining at a worrying rate.
“However, we have in this country a network of passionate conservation groups supported by millions of people who love wildlife.
“The experts have come together to highlight the amazing nature we have around us and to ensure that it remains here for generations to come.”
Dr Mark Eaton, a lead author on the report, said: “Overall we are losing wildlife at an alarming rate.”