Over the past few years I have written over 100 newspaper columns covering everything from the decline of wildlife, to Fair Trade chocolate and thinking through a future for the New Forest to hunting foxes.

But a common thread throughout the last three years has been the need for us to change our attitudes and behaviours.

In the past few days a shocking new United Nations (UN) report has revealed that over one million species are threatened with imminent extinction. The speed of loss is greater than at any other time in recorded history.

The risk of our own extinction as a species, has gone from astronomically small to statistically significant.

At one level we can be proud of some of the things we have achieved in Hampshire.

We have no fewer than two amazing national parks, we have access to some of Britain’s rarest plants and animals, we have a growing Transition Town movement and many forest schools, passionate about introducing young people to the outdoors.

But the pace of change is far too slow and many of us are still reluctant to take on significant lifestyle changes. In short many of us remain unconvinced that the crisis warrants the level of change many people are proposing.

In response I believe that we are rapidly approaching a point where no level of local action will be able to prevent some of the worst impacts of species loss and climate change.

Imagine Hampshire with no bees; and the impact is not just loss of a wonderful insect; but the loss of orchards, flowering plants and migrant birds associated with bees. There is a huge risk that we are reaching a point of no return.

Against that threat I would like to encourage each of you to adopt two of the four following challenges. My promise is that for anyone who adopts three or more I will offer a full day out wildlife watching in the forest as a prize……..

1)A massive 70% of all farmland is connected to our insatiable appetite for meat. So the first challenge is to go vegetarian in 2019; and move completely away from eating meat.

2)Every minute ONE MILLION plastic bottles are produced. This year decide to refuse to buy any food that is wrapped in single-use plastic and agree to contact the customer service centres of at least five companies to explain why you are not buying from them anymore.

3)We have lost 40 MILLION birds in the UK over the past 40 years. That’s one in every two of Hampshire’s birds. This year buy six house martin boxes; and give two to your neighbours on either side and put two up on your home.

4)97% of our wild flower meadows have gone since 1950 in Britain. This year agree to use 25% of your lawn or flower beds for native wild flowers.

If we can adopt really challenging targets for our homes and families, we can begin to shift the shocking statistics in the right direction. But this is no longer just a mission for a few greenies-but a mission for all of us. Our survival may depend on it.