England's biodiversity is constantly under threat and preserving it is a major challenge. We need to balance the needs of the natural environment with those of agriculture, the need for development such as for housing and people's quality of life.
An analysis of the issues posing a threat to our habitats and species has revealed the key pressures and risks to be:
Habitat destruction and fragmentation by development.
Agricultural intensification and changes in agricultural management practices.
Changes in woodland and forestry management practices.
Water abstraction, drainage or inappropriate river management.
Inappropriate coastal management and coastal squeeze.
Sea fisheries practices.
Atmospheric pollution (acid precipitation, nitrogen deposition).
Water pollution from both point and wider (diffuse) agricultural sources.
Climate change and sea level rise as a result of global warming.
Recreation pressure and human disturbance.
Invasive and non-native species and diseases
Over-fishing and fisheries by-catch.
Harvesting and collection of species (including hunting).
Intrinsic factors (such as poor recruitment, limited dispersal, low population size, slow growth rates and natural fluctuations).
Changes in native species dynamics (including competition, disease, predation, and declines in prey and food sources).
Natural disasters (such as droughts, floods and storms).
In 2008 Natural England published the State of the Natural Environment Report for England. The report provides a summary of the major drivers of change and examines the key pressures that have major direct effects on the state of our natural environment. These pressures arise from: