Discover more from The Letts Journal
The State of Nature Report: The Dormouse is our Future!
The UK's much unawaited Nature Report - a reality check, a mouse and dull as dishwater!
The UK just published its State of Nature Report from the aptly named State of Nature Partnership, the loose coalition of environmental NGOs, academic institutions and government agencies, including Natural England, which might be one of the most incomprehensible agencies in town. The report is supposed to grab headlines about how stuffed the UK is when it comes to nature and to galvanise us all to presumably ‘rewild’ our homes(?) for the sake of a little ginger (dor)mouse - who you have to admit is pretty cute. Apparently rewilding homes is cheaper than insulating them.
The biggest take away from this landmark report is that we have to remake Britain and its farming for the dormouse because it is so docile and small and chilled out. Which presumably means going back to the stone ages so we can stack Lidl with, well, rocks. It also means that bramble is the new cool because the little hazel critters like munching on its berries? Could bramble replace our asbestos?
The dormouse is so cool and chilled out it makes any vet look positively AI. And btw is any one else concerned about where they’re placing the microchip?
So, like Mickey did for Disney up until hot Ron (DeSantis) took over as their cartoon character of choice, it seems that UK naturalists are going with a little unknown and impossible to find dormouse as their brand influencer and ‘spokesanimal’. You know, like Ratatouille did for Pixar (now owned by Disney just to confuse things further) and Sergei does for those nice Compare the Meerkat people - and their groovy ad agency VCCP.
Like all good brand ambassadors the dormouse will apparently get a shortened name - DORMO! Not to be confused with Dolmio who make half decent Italian food - also available at Lidl - we think - or if you’re Italian not a command to sleep!
Getting back to the State of Nature Report, according to DORMO!, the stark facts laid bare are that nature is still seriously declining across the UK, a country that is already one of the most nature-depleted in the world. The data show that since 1970 UK species have declined by about 19% on average, and nearly 1 in 6 species (16.1%) are now threatened with extinction. Ouch.
This is a timely reminder, if we needed it, that the nature crisis isn’t restricted to far-off places like the Amazon or Great Barrier Reef or a little rat’s kitchen in Paris. It is right here, on our doorstep. And we’re losing familiar wildlife that we cherish including the skylark and the hazel dormouse. Just to re-enforce the whole DORMO thing.
The current nature stats are quite painful. It seems we are a long way from our stated 30 by 30 objective which is not just a nod to cricket fans but a way to Create more, bigger and messier places for wildlife - i.e. rewilding. It seems clear that our wildlife needs more space, and we know that many species can benefit from habitats that are quick to create such as ponds, scrubby habitats and un-trimmed hedgerows. Apparently we also need more bogs and peatland but not bags of peat (from Lidl). Presumably it would be better if we fill our pots with dog poop and vegetable waste.
According to DORMO the government is planning to Improve the quality of our protected sites on land and at sea. This could include places such as national parks and nature reserves that have been chosen because of their special natural qualities and wildlife should be thriving within them, yet too many are currently in poor condition. Mind you, given the postponement of net zero targets by the current UK government this might not happen until DORMO’s grand-mice are all dead and buried.
In the meantime, another report states that we should stop eating fish - because we’re running out of them. British diners have been warned off a bunch more fish types due to low stocks in waters making pollack from the Channel and dover sole from the Irish Sea the latest fish to avoid.
Charlotte Coombes, Good Fish Guide manager at the MCS, said: “With the majority of UK ratings in the Good Fish Guide staying on amber, it is evident that the UK has yet to fulfil its commitment to achieving world-class sustainability in fisheries. In this latest update, an additional 12 ratings have regrettably received red ratings. Urgent and improved fisheries management is imperative for the sake of our seas.”
So, if you like DORMO, fish and about 10,000 other species then it's time to spring into action. Plant a hazel tree, train a little bramble and adopt DORMO. If not, dig a bog and a pond and dump a few preferably live fish in it - and get everyone you know to become a member of LettsSafari because they rewild nature not houses. If you fail to do this then you might have to rewild your house after all because the climate will have collapsed and taken out every builder you know. Either that, or the Labour party will have gotten rid of the builders because they all give money to the Tories. Taking us all the way back to getting behind DORMO because she/he/un-identified is the only chance nature has of ever becoming sexy!
The Letts Journal is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support our work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber. Like DORMO.