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Ultimate Guide on the Loss of Biodiversity in the UK since the Industrial Revolution


Ultimate Guide on the Loss of Biodiversity in the UK since the Industrial Revolution

On the one hand, the industrial revolution made the lives of the people easy, but on the other hand, it polluted the environment, destroyed the ecosystems, and caused global warming. Biodiversity describes the total variety of life on earth. It is a composite of ecosystem, species and genetic variety of the species. All these things are interconnected with each other.


In the ecosystem, different living and non-living things interact with one another for their survival. The non-living things and living things are connected through various life cycles. Some producers make food, consuming food from other organisms and decomposers, which helps the recycling of the nutrients. Any imbalance in any of the parts of the ecosystem can cause the ruining of that ecosystem. Multiple organisms are connected through food links and food webs where one organism is the food of the other organism, and so on. There is also a relationship between predators and prey.


Species are another part of biodiversity, which means organisms have the same individuals who can freely interbreed among themselves. So when one species of an ecosystem becomes extinct, it may or may not have drastic effects on that ecosystem. For example, if the coral reefs in the see diversity become extinct, many other animals will become extinct because they are feeding on it. On the other hand, if the land a specie becomes extinct, it may not have drastic effects on other species of the ecosystem. Also, the habitat of species matters a lot. If the habitat of species is ruined, the species may become extinct.

Genetic Variation

Genetic variety is the third component of the ecosystem. If there are a group of organisms that similar genes, they have a poor chance at survival as compared to that group that a variety in their genes. This variation in genes is a basic reason for the evolution that those organisms have a better chance at survival, which has a variation in genes among them.

Migration from Rural area to the urban area

Before the industrial revolution, many of the people used to live in rural areas. They lived on agriculture and livestock. There was less pollution, and people lived a simple life on a household made things. As the industrial revolution started, people started migrating from the rural areas to the urban areas, which started getting crowded. The industrial revolution was an increase in production brought about by the use of machines and characterized by the use of new energy sources. The industrial revolution started in the mid-eighteenth century, and people started depending on machines from that time onwards. They made textile industries, steam engines, railway stations, and many other manufacturing factories. Soon everyone started depending on the machines. So the urban areas got more and more crowded, and the atmosphere became filled with stink and filth. The smoke from the industries started collecting in the environment, the contaminated water of the industries was drained into the water or rivers nearby, and the pollution started increasing day by day. These changes not only affected the atmosphere but also harmed the health of humans and all the animals on the land and in the water.

But the population of the cities increased day by day because they wanted to live a good life. The industries are continuing to grow all over the world, and the environment keeps on getting polluted. On the one hand, there is climate change across the globe, there is global warming, the temperature of the world is increasing day by day, the glaciers are melting, and on the other industrialization is growing day by day are more and more vehicles. These factors keep on making the environment more polluted. Because of the pollution, the food webs and food links are being disturbed. The birds which feed on insects and the animals which eat other animals are away from each other, and one main cause is habitat destruction. The habitat of aquatic life is disturbed because of fishing. The decline in the population of butterflies and moths is attributed to habitat destruction and pollution.

What factors affected the environment, and which species are declined?

Because of this, many species of animals have gone extinct. Their habitat got destroyed because of the terrible effects of industrialization on the environment, and many more species are becoming endangered. The only pollution is not a problem. The other causes are urbanization, water bodies being contaminated, cutting down trees for more land and furniture, and fishing on a large scale. Studies of British wildlife shows that almost 700 birds, mammal, butterfly, and moths have been decreased in numbers in the last decades. About 133 species out of 8400 species under observation have become extinct. Not only animals, but the world of flora has also been affected by pollution. Flowers species are under threat and are declining.

People these days are much aware of the terrible conditions that afflict the biodiversity, and they are actively taking part in protecting the saving the habitats of the animals and plants. For the protection of marine life, which is under great threat because of the oil spillage and contamination from wastes and industrial drainage, there has been made a marine conservation society. Its main job is to establish the areas where there should be less fishing and, on the other hand, to manage flourish habitats on which the fish depend.

Conservation of farming has a great role in making the environment clean.  Planting more and more trees helps lessen the temperature of the environment. British farmers have planted thousands of acres for flowers, trees, orchards, and created buffer strips.

Great Britain, where the industrial revolution began, and people began moving from the countryside to urban areas, is facing lots of problems with the pollution. The industries whose main sources of fuel was coal and the vehicles and trains which used coal as fuel were the main cause of air pollution. The terrible effects of these were not much visible at that time, but since then, the environment has been damaged so much that it needs a lot of years to correct this damage. But as people are now more aware of the damaging effects of pollution, they are now taking measures to protect the environment. Vehicles are currently using an exhaust system that has catalytic converter in them, which makes the pollutants of exhaust gas less toxic and environment friendly. Also, the hybrids car being made. Some vehicles work on electricity by charging the batteries of the car. 

In the past, the industrial water was discharged in the nearby bodies without being treated, and that was contaminated water, and it harmed marine life. Now, most of the industries have sewage treatment plants, which treat the contaminated water before discharging it. This saves not only the marine life from toxic effects of water but also the human and livestock from many diseases.

The industries which used to expel harmful gasses like sulphur dioxide, hydrocarbons, nitro oxides, etc., which were polluting the environment and causing serious health issues, have no mechanism to prevent all of this. Air pollution control systems are equipped in most industries that remove air pollutants by combustion, conversion, or collection before releasing into the environment. There are scrubbers, air filters, cyclones, mist collectors, incinerators, catalytic reactors, and biofilters to remove the air pollutants before being expelled into the atmosphere.

Another main factor, which causes damage to biodiversity, is the overpopulation of humans. This leads to the more demands of OD, the necessities of life, and more land to live on. This destroys the habitat of the other animals, which results in the extinction of other species. So the overpopulation and urbanization should be kept in check.

Mother Nature has a way of recovering itself:

The world wildlife fund for nature is doing a lot of steps to ensure the protection of the biodiversity, to protect the animals and plants' habitats. They are trying to reduce the harmful impact of humans on nature and the environment. They are planting trees and making habitats for animals to ensure their survival.

Recently, due to the pandemic of CoVid-19, the transportation was reduced, the factories got closed, and much of the impact by humans on the environment was so much reduced that the ozone layer had holes in it due to the pollution started regenerating. Also, marine life showed improvement. Continuous works of humans destroyed nature, and when everything got interrupted, pollution reduced, and the weather got better. Mother Nature has a way of recovering itself in one way or the other.

The words of Shaun Spiers, chair of the Greener UK coalition, who believes that 'the British government will be judged' on its environmental and agricultural policies. After all, he adds, 'no one wants a country that is visually beautiful and economically productive but dying ecologically. We desperately need ambitious action to reverse the decline in nature.'

It is possible to reverse the decline in the health of the environment by just taking a few steps and by precisely controlling the air pollution and planting forests.

The river Thames which was declared dead in the 1950s is now a thriving ecosystem for 100 fishes, seahorses, eels, sharks, and many marine plants just by making dedicated measures to restore the habitat of marine life and by controlling pollution.

The river Thames, for example, was declared ‘biologically dead’ in the 1950s but thanks to dedicated measures to restore habitat and tackle pollution, is now a thriving ecosystem home to more than 100 species of fish, including seahorses, eels and sharks; porpoises; and a growing seal population,’ he says. ‘It can be done!’