Freshwater is vital to a huge amount of life on Earth, including human life. Freshwater only accounts for approximately 0.7% of all the water on the planet (if you exclude freshwater frozen in ice caps and glaciers), but is teeming with wildlife. It is an extremely important wildlife habitat in the UK.
The UK has always had plentiful freshwater habitats, but with the development of agriculture, human settlements and industry, many freshwater habitats have been lost (e.g. filled in, covered, diverted etc) or somehow polluted. This loss of freshwater habitats means that there is a great need to preserve what we have, restore what we have lost and create new freshwater habitats wherever possible.
There is a great diversity of freshwater habitats in the UK, all with very specifically adapted invertebrate populations. These habitats include:
Freshwater invertebrates spend at least part of their lifecycle in some kind of freshwater. They play a vital role in maintaining the quality of our water; they help to break down and filter organic matter and provide a food source for fish, birds and mammals. Their presence is a good indicator of the health of the habitat they live in.
Buglife’s Freshwater Projects
Buglife’s freshwater work aims to raise awareness issues affecting the health of freshwater invertebrates, as well as carrying out research and conservation for specific freshwater invertebrates.
We focus on species and habitats not covered by other conservation organisations.
What can you do to help?