MAFF pledges to reverse bird losses

7 August 2000

MAFF pledges to reverse bird losses

FARMLAND bird numbers which have plummeted over the past 30 years will increase by 2020, the ministry of agriculture had pledged.

This promise represents one of the most ambitious conservation commitments ever given by a British government, reports The Independent.

A Treasury document setting out the objectives of the Comprehensive Spending Review states the MAFF aim to reverse the long-term decline.

Ministers are relying on 1bn increases in agri-environment schemes over seven years, announced last December, to achieve their goal.

Intentive agriculture has been widely blamed for huge delcines in species such as skylarks, corn buntings and lapwings since the 1970s.

The same newspaper also reports on the linnet which has avoided the severe decline affecting other species by starting to feed on oilseed rape.

Oilseed rape, which in the past 30 years has become the third most widely grown arable crop, have been substituted for increasingly rare wildflower seeds.

  • The Independent 07/08/2000 page 9

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