United Kingdom Environment

flora and fauna of the United Kingdom

According to ezinereligion.com, the flora and fauna of the United Kingdom have particular characteristics as they are the result of an anthropic intervention on the territory that has occurred since ancient times. In fact, most of the territory of the United Kingdom was once covered by deciduous forests (especially oaks), currently reduced to 11.9% of the national territory due to extensive deforestation works which, which began already in medieval times, have continued until at the end of the century. XX (reforestation policies have been initiated for some decades). The destruction of the forests, in order to obtain arable land and land for pastures and subsequently to satisfy the demand for timber for housing and to feed industry, has determined the current prevalence of moors with vast areas covered by moors shrub vegetation (especially heather and broom) and the significant spread of peat bogs. This type of vegetation is particularly common in the Scottish Highlands, the Pennines, the Lake District, the mountains of Wales and some regions of north-east and south-west England. If in the far north (Shetland and Orkney islands) there are tundre formations, the first signs of the subarctic environment, in the mildest region of Cornwall on the other hand, Mediterranean vegetation proliferates. Due to the high level of human settlement, wildlife is poorly represented: at least a quarter of the mammals currently living in the wild have been introduced (foxes, rabbits, fallow deer, squirrels, moles, martens). The only specimens of endemic fauna are the red deer (or red deer), which lives in the Scottish forests and in southern England and the moose, present in the Highlands. The presence of birds is considerable, however, mainly represented by migratory birds. There are numerous finches, sparrows and above all starlings, present in particular in large cities. There are numerous species of seagulls among seabirds, while ducks and geese abound among freshwater ones. L’ high level of industrialization in the United Kingdom is the cause of the emission of considerable quantities of sulfur dioxide.

The European Union has intervened several times to encourage greater attention to environmental protection by the government: the situation should improve following both the application of EU directives and the protocols of the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE). Other environmental problems derive from the country’s energy supply. If the oil resources of the North Sea make the country sufficiently autonomous in terms of energy production, the lack of adequate security measures has led to serious oil pollution of the waters. In the early days of nuclear power generation, however, the mistake was made of eliminating waste in the sea, particularly damaging the waters of the Irish Sea.. Moreover, the advent of nuclear power has not supplanted coal plants which continue to supply energy at the cost of increasing pollution. Also not to be underestimated is the pollution of water basins due to the massive use of pesticides and fertilizers in agriculture. The British government has for some time embarked on a path of reforms for the protection and enhancement of the environment. Thanks to a new energy policy inspired by the objectives of the Kyoto protocol (1997), the United Kingdom has in fact reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by 12.5% ​​in 2001, compared to 1990 levels, even exceeding the objectives of the treaty which foresaw a reduction of 5.2%.

Nationally, the country has also allocated an annual funding fund to be allocated to the Hadley Center research programs on climate change, which aim to monitor the quantity of dangerous gas emissions and make reliable predictions on future scenarios. In England, the Department of the Environment (DOE), established in 1970, deals with environmental problems, controlling urban and land use planning, the construction of new industries, national parks, pollution, water resources, the conservation and protection of monuments of historical interest. In Wales, the same functions are performed by the Welsh Office; in Scotland these responsibilities are shared between the Scottish Development Department and the Scottish Economic Planning Department; in the’ Northern Ireland has a separate Department of Environment. About 23.4% of the national territory is protected by national parks and protected areas, in some cases also privately owned, defined AONB (Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty), while in Scotland they take the name of NSA (National Scenic Area). Among the national parks it is worth mentioning that of Dartmoor (established in 1951), located in Devon, of Exmoor in southwestern England, established in 1954 to safeguard the Exmoor, a plateau of sandstone and slate at about 396 m above sea level; the Peak District (1951), located on the southern slopes of the Pennines, and the Lake District (established in 1951), a protected area located in north-west England, which is the largest national park in Great Britain. Natural sites such as the Giant’s Causeway (Northern Ireland, 1986), a natural rocky outcrop, the volcanic archipelago of Saint Kilda (1986) and the coasts of Dorset and East Devon (2001).

flora and fauna of the United Kingdom