1. ITV Report

Dramatic decline in wildlife

The region's hedgehogs could be extinct within 15 years - that's the shock warning from one wildlife expert.

Sandra Craske, of AFA Hedgehog Rescue at Fakenham in Norfolk, said slug pellets were being used to kill beetles, bugs and worms - the staple diet of the hedgehogs. She believes they could die out in the next 10 to 15 years.

A hedgehog feeds Credit: PA Archive

There's been a dramatic decline in many of the region's wildlife populations.

A bleak picture is painted in the first ever State of Nature Report, with almost a third of native UK species disappearing over the last 50 years.

Cley Marshes Credit: ITV News Anglia

The study's been undertaken by scientists from 25 wildlife organisations. It shows some drastic reductions in East Anglia. Eighty-one per cent of turtle doveshave been lost since the 1970s, while the decline of skylarks and barn owls is being traced to changes in agriculture.

Vital habitat Credit: ITV News Anglia

Ornithologist Richard Porter regularly checks Cley Marshes on the north Norfolk coast and he's noticed a mixed picture. "Here there are avocets which were virtually extinct and there's the biggest colony of sandwich terns in Britain, but inland it's adifferent story," he said.

"I haven't heard the sound of the cuckoo or the turtle dove for sometime and that's because of the use of pesticides on the land. It's a sad decline.

– Ornithologist Richard Porter

But the report also highlighted areas where wildlife has flourished. It acknowledges increased numbers of otters, red kites and bitterns.

View Malcolm Robertson's report...