CAMPAIGNERS are appealing to help tackle Britain's alarming decline in insect numbers as fears grow that two in five species could soon be extinct.

Cheshire Wildlife Trust is launching the Take Action for Insects campaign today, April 8, as part of a national movement.

The trust is encouraging people to sign up to for a free guide showing them how they can make a difference for insects from their own home.

It includes tips on how to create spaces that are more friendly to nature, and how to go chemical-free in the garden.

James Melling, campaigns officer, said: "People have been aware that bees have been in decline for some time but people are only just waking up to the fact that it is the same story for all insects.

"Their decline is hugely damaging for wildlife as insects form the base of many food chains.

"It’s also bad news for people because a vast majority of crops depend on insects for pollination.

"If they are not pollinated, we’ll see less food being produced and crop yields will fall."

The move follows a recent Wildlife Trust Report which highlighted that more than 41 per cent of insect species are expected to go extinct if trends continue.

Since the 1970s, the number of butterflies in the UK has almost halved, with species such as the pearl bordered fritillary becoming extinct in Cheshire over the last decade.

The decline of insects has also affected other species – particularly birds, with the number of spotted flycatchers plummeting to just five per cent of previous levels, and the red-backed shrike disappearing entirely from Britain.

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James added: "We all have a role to play in changing the picture – from governments, to councils, to people in their own garden.

"Given the current circumstances, now is particularly a good opportunity to do things in your garden that will really make a difference to nature.

"It might seem like our impacts are small but, together, we’ve the power to transform an area of land bigger than our largest national parks combined into something that is great for wildlife.

"If everyone just makes one small change from our guide, then that’s us one step closer to helping nature recover."

Other countries are already taking action to reduce pesticide use.

France banned the use of pesticides in green public spaces in 2017 and in private gardens last year.

Cheshire Wildlife Trusts is calling on the government to set ambitious pesticide reduction targets nationwide.

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