Cowslips hit by intensive farming

16 May 2001

Cowslips hit by intensive farming

By FWi staff

INTENSIVE farming has driven cowslips out of their traditional habitats and left motorway verges as their last refuge, according to a new survey.

A count by wildlife charity Plantlife and the National Trust found that 97% of its favoured grasslands and meadows have been lost in the past 40 years.

Instead, 32% of the wildflower, once a common sight in the countryside, now cling on next to main roads, reports the Daily Mail.

However, the count by 600 volunteers revealed that the cowslip has staged a comeback in some chalky and light-soiled areas.

Meanwhile, the Daily Express reports that the turkey-sized great bustard, could be reintroduced in Britain more than a century after it became extinct.

The Great Bustard Group, which includes representatives from the RSPB and English Nature, is looking at introducing 100 birds in Wiltshire from 2003.

The great bustard is in decline across Europe as it is vulnerable to the use of pesticides in intensive farming which destroy insects on which it feeds.


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