Silage mowing study offers cash

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is looking for grass silage growers in Dorset and south Somerset to take part in a study of raised grass cutting heights starting in April 2006.

Many skylarks nest in grass silage fields, but the RSPB claims standard cutting heights probably destroy many nests.

The aim of this DEFRA-funded study is to determine whether a raised cutting height of 10-12cm allows skylark nests to survive mowing.

The RSPB is offering payments of £1250 for each field included in the study.

Participating farmers need to take two successive cuts from large (8ha) fields within 30 miles of Dorchester or Sherborne.

Interested farmers should contact Peter Giovaninni (07753 775 224), David Buckingham (07753 775 219) or Will Peach (01767 680 551).