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Beckham joins Duke to back anti-poaching campaign

David Beckham joined the Duke of Cambridge to warn about the "devastating" effects of poaching, as the pair kicked off their new #WhoseSideAreYouOn campaign in London today.

The social media campaign aims to use the power of football to raise awareness of the illegal trade in endangered animals.

The Duke of Cambridge and David Beckham at the launch of the #WhoseSideAreYouOn campaign.
The Duke of Cambridge and David Beckham at the launch of the #WhoseSideAreYouOn campaign. Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Speaking to the specially invited audience of conservationists the former England captain said:

"We're in a world where our generation, and the younger generation can really, really make a difference and we really need to do it now.

"Are we on side of the criminals? Or are we on the side of the animals? I know what side we're all on and I'm sure you know what side you're all on."

Warning over HS2 wildlife damage

Around 500 wildlife areas could be at risk from the HS2 high speed rail line, conservationists have warned.

The Wildlife Trusts called for a £130m investment to create new green areas over the length of the new line.

An anti-HS2 poster in a the Staffordshire village of Whittington. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Among the areas affected by the new line are 43 ancient woods and nine Wilflife Trust nature reserves.

Read: Osborne: No further spending on £50bn HS2

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Wildlife presenter catches suspected burglar on foxcam

Simon King, a presenter of the BBC's Springwatch, accidentally captured a late night snooper on a camera placed in his garden which was meant to film foxes.

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Our Fox Family Live Cam captures suspected burglar! Police DELIGHTED with quality of evidence! http://t.co/h4HfYl5Bsq http://t.co/QTIsJTnudB

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Nothing was taken from Mr King's house in Herne Hill, South East London, but police released the image after the man pictured was suspected of being involved in a burglary nearby.

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@sarahjanethomo This is NOT Springwatch, it was our Fox Family cam that captured the image of the suspected burglar.

Mr King appealed to anyone who recognised the snooper to contact the police on 020 7232 6142 or email Marie.H.Hamilton@met.pnn.police.uk.

Up close: Nature's wildest animals in new book

Wildlife photographer David Yarrow has released images from his new book, Encounter.

A lioness appears to smile as she gazes into the camera.
A lioness appears to smile as she gazes into the camera. Credit: David Yarrow/ Clearview/PA Wire

The self-taught photographer's tome features 87 black and white images of wildlife and people in some of the world's most remote landscapes, along with 25,000 words detailing the environmental and geo-political matters surrounding his subjects.

Polar bears and penguins having fun frolicking in the snow.
Polar bears and penguins having fun frolicking in the snow. Credit: David Yarrow/ Clearview/PA Wire

Yarrow is known for his patience in the field and was recently shortlisted for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award 2013.

Bull elephants approaching an unprotected remote control camera.
Bull elephants approaching an unprotected remote control camera. Credit: David Yarrow/ Clearview/PA Wire

Encounter is published this month by Clearview.

These gorillas look deep in thought as they're snapped by the self-taught wildlife photographer.
These gorillas look deep in thought as they're snapped by the self-taught wildlife photographer. Credit: David Yarrow/ Clearview/PA Wire

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RSPB: 'Nature in the UK is in trouble'

Nature in the UK is in trouble and some of our more familiar garden species are amongst those suffering serious declines.

Gardens provide a valuable lifeline for species like starlings, toads, hedgehogs and butterflies, which are struggling to find homes in the wider countryside.

Our aim is to provide one million homes for nature across the UK, because if there's no home for nature, then there's no nature - it really is that serious.

– Mike Clarke, chief executive of the RSPB

Report: 72% of UK's butterflies in decline

  • The state of the UK’s butterflies (2011) concluded that 72% of species had decreased over the previous ten years, including common “garden” butterflies that had declined by 24%.
  • The state of the UK’s birds (2012) reported that the UK has lost in the region of 44 million breeding birds since the late 1960s.
  • In 2012, Our Vanishing Flora looked at the extinction of plants from counties across the UK in the 20th century, and found widespread losses.
  • In 16 counties, one plant species went extinct every other year.
  • The state of Britain’s mammals (2011) highlighted the decline of hedgehogs, the ongoing loss of red squirrels and the recovery of otters.

Source: www.rspb.org.uk

Calls to create habitats to protect UK wildlife

Conservationists are calling for the creation of a "million homes for nature" in gardens and open spaces to in a move to protect UK's struggling wildlife.

People are being encouraged to build homes for the UK's struggling wildlife. Credit: PA

The call comes following a report by a coalition of wildlife organisations which found that 60% of species that had been studied had suffered declines in the past few decades.

Garden favourites from starlings to hedgehogs as well as some species of butterfly and ladybird were among those creatures in trouble.

They are all in danger of further declines without work to provide them with better habitats, according to the RSPB, one of the wildlife groups behind the State of Nature report.

The RSPB is encouraging people to take steps such as putting up nest boxes, planting wildflowers or digging ponds in their gardens to help wildlife. The charity hopes the public will create a million new homes for nature under the scheme.

Read more: Dramatic decline in wildlife

Defra: 'Everyone has a role to play' in protecting wildlife

A Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) spokeswoman said "everyone has a role to play" in protecting the UK's wildlife:

Losing even one species is one too many. That's why we're doing more to improve the natural environment than ever before.

We have already invested £7.5 million to create 12 new Nature Improvement Areas and established 48 Local Nature Partnerships.

Everyone has a role to play in protecting and encouraging wildlife for future generations.

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