Britain’s biodiversity


What’s the challenge?

Britain’s biodiversity is fragile. Bee pollutions are declining and plant and animal diseases like bovine TB and Ash dieback threaten the health of our countryside. What are the risks and are we doing enough?



Panel discussion

The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) held a panel discussion on 26 June 2013 to discuss the issue.

Tom Heap, Investigative reporter, BBC Countryfile
Tom Heap presents the investigations on BBC Countryfile. This is the most journalistic element of the show, breaking news and revealing the hidden depths of current rural and environment stories. He is also the principal voice of ‘Costing the Earth’ on Radio 4, the nation’s only dedicated environment series. He is also a regular Panorama reporter covering food, farming energy and wildlife and he was the presenter of the long running BBC 1 Daytime series Animal 24:7 which remains popular with regular repeats.  He chairs and speaks at events and conferences.

Tom started his career at Sky News as a sound man and worked his way up through the BBC News Trainee scheme to BBC News Correspondent specialising in Rural affairs, Science and the Environment.   He also led a broadcasting team to cover the 50th anniversary of the ascent of Mount Everest with regular broadcasts and hosting a live 30 minute programme from base camp. More information about Tom can be found at and tweets @tomheapmedia



Nick Pidgeon, Professor of Environmental Psychology and Director of the Understanding Risk Research Group, Cardiff University
Nick Pidgeon is Professor of Environmental Psychology and Director of the Understanding Risk Research Group at Cardiff University where he works on risk, risk perception, and risk communication. His research is interdisciplinary at the interface of social psychology, environmental sciences, and science and technology studies.

He is currently researching public responses to energy technologies (e.g. nuclear power, renewable energy), climate change risks, and climate geoengineering and in the past has led numerous policy oriented projects on issues of public responses to environmental risk issues and on ‘science in society’ for UK Government Departments, the Research Councils, the Royal Society, and Charities.



Dominic Dyer, Policy Advisor, Care for the Wild
Dominic Dyer is Policy Advisor and Trustee at Care for the Wild International a leading wildlife protection and conservation charity. He worked in the UK Ministry of Agriculture between 1987 to 2000 in a number of policy roles focusing on marine environment protection, EU trade policy and organic farming developments.  He joined the Food and Drink Federation in 2000 and played a key role in developing a number of new industry groups in the organic, soya food, vegetarian and functional food sectors. He was Chief Executive of the Crop Protection Association between 2008 -2012 and played a key role in raising awareness of the importance of plant science to the future of farming and food production on a UK and International basis.

Dominic was also recently appointed to the Council of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in London as a member of their Veterinary Nurses Council and undertakes regular broadcasts on TV and radio and contributes to press articles and journals on a wide range farming, food production, conservation and foreign policy issues.



Craig Bennett, Director of Policy and Campaigns, Friends of the Earth
Craig Bennett is Policy and Campaigns Director at Friends of the Earth where he represents the charity with Government and other key lobbying contacts and leads its tactical response to the changing political and policy context. Prior to this he was Senior Associate and Deputy Director for the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership and Director of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change.

He has been a campaigner for Friends of the Earth and the Environmental Investigation Agency and was a columnist for Business Green. Craig is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.



Further reading

UK land becoming more urban, Geographical Magazine, July 2015

UK Political Party Manifestos: Environment and Wildlife, Geographical Magazine, May 2015

Hampstead Heath Ponds Project, Dr Meg Game for ‘Ask the experts’,