Rising temperatures and fragmented habitats have resulted in the UK’s insect population falling sharply over the last two decades.
While the declines are dramatic – 60% in 20 years – conservation charities Buglife and the Kent Wildlife Trust have asked members of the public to count the number of insects splatted against their vehicle numberplates,
In a similar study from 2004, they found that counts were down the most in England, where 65% fewer insects were recorded, and the least in Scotland, which recorded a 28% fall.
Paul Hadaway, the director of conservation at Kent Wildlife Trust, said: “’The results from the Bugs Matter study should shock and concern us all. We are seeing declines in insects, which reflect the enormous threats and loss of wildlife more broadly across the country.
“These declines are happening at an alarming rate and without concerted action to address them we face a stark future. Insects and pollinators are fundamental to the health of our environment and rural economies.”
Mr Hadaway added: “We need action for all our wildlife now by creating more and bigger areas of habitats, providing corridors through the landscape for wildlife and allowing nature space to recover.”