Despite Fermanagh being full of nature from it hills and valleys to loughs and rivers, Northern Ireland and the UK in general as well as the Republic of Ireland are languishing when it comes to biodiversity loss.

In new analysis from the Natural History Museum, in collaboration with the RSPB, the UK sits bottoms of the league table of both G7 and EU countries for the amount of nature it has left.

In a global assessment, Northern Ireland was revealed as the 12th worst performing country for biodiversity loss with the Republic of Ireland ranking 13th lowest out of 240 countries.

Using the Biodiversity Intactness Index (BII) the analysis estimated biodiversity loss across an area using a combination of land use, ecosystem, species and population data to give a simple figure for ‘intactness’, that is, how much nature is left in a given area.

Northern Ireland reports a BII percentage score of 50 (12th from bottom) just 0.1 of a percentage behind the Republic of Ireland which ranks 13th lowest. Figures for rest of the UK are no more promising and all fall within the bottom 12 per cent - England (BII 46.6 and 7th worst), Wales (BII 51.2, 16th worst) and Scotland (56.4, 28th worst). Overall, the UK has a BII percentage of 50.3, compared with 65.3 for France, 67.1 for Germany, and 88.6 for Finland, which is among the best countries worldwide for retaining its natural biodiversity.

Also the 2019 State of Nature report, which both the Natural History Museum and RSPB contributed to, revealed that in Northern Ireland over 80 per cent of the curlew population has disappeared since 1987 with only Fermanagh and the Antrim Hills the last remaining hotspots.

In Northern Ireland, 11% of all wildlife is now threatened with extinction and the Natural History Museum and the RSPB believe the new league tables provide an urgent wake-up call that more and faster action is needed to reverse the terrible losses in wildlife seen in recent decades.