27 December 2005

Farmers' role in saving birds

Belfast Telegraph

By Michael Drake
27 December 2005

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Skylark - photo from >>here

North of Ireland farmers can play a major role in restoring declining bird populations throughout the countryside, Department of Agriculture experts have said.

"Our agri-development schemes have a very important role to play in helping farmers increase the numbers of birds on their farms," said Clare Dore, DARD Countryside Management branch.

"While birds like robins are doing well others are not as common as they used to be.

"Skylark, yellowhammer and corncrake have all suffered such serious declines in numbers they have now been placed on the 'red list' of bird species which are of high conservation concern.

"If farmers participate in either the Countryside Management Scheme or the Environmentally Sensitive Areas Scheme it can make a difference to birds.

"Under these schemes farmers can provide nesting habitat, insect food and food for seed-eating birds. Insect food will be plentiful in unimproved and species-rich grasslands and upland habitats."

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