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  1. ITV Report

Guernsey habitats a 'bleak picture' as new survey reveals wide-scale decline

The 2018 Habitat Survey is the third to be carried out in the island. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Most of Guernsey's important habitats are seeing "wide-scale decline", according to new research.

The 2018 Habitat Survey is the third to be carried out in the island.

The data looks at how habitats have changed over the past 20 years, and one expert says the results paint a fairly "bleak picture".

We've lost all of our unimproved grassland, we've lost 90% of our semi-improved dry grassland and 40% of our wet grassland - that's really bad news.

They are some of our most diverse habitats, so they will support a wild array of wildflowers, invertebrates, birds and bats and everything else that feeds on them.

– Julia Henney, Guernsey's Biodiversity Education Officer
Julia Henney says the decline could be down to invasive species, but the way the areas are managed also plays a vital role. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Julia Henney says the decline could be down to invasive species, but the way the areas are managed also plays a vital role.

Mostly it's due to changes in land management or land use, so we're seeing either land is being abandoned and it's not being managed enough, or it's being too intensively managed.

They really are our version of our rainforests and they are being lost, so it's really concerning and I think if we don't do something to stop that now, then there's a risk that we'll lose a lot more habitats from our island.

– Julia Henney, Guernsey's Biodiversity Education Officer

She is now calling on the government to re-assess its policies, and see how they could be changed to "halt or reverse" the trends.