13 March 1998
Spey Valley bunny blitz boosts crops
A MEETING planned for the end of the month will assess the first
phase of the Badenoch rabbit clearance project in Scotland. The
project was launched last October after rabbit damage left fields in
the Spey Valley, Grampian, almost impossible to cultivate.
More than £100,000 of rabbit fencing and netting and box traps
are in place to prevent re-infestation of farmland in the Spey Valley
and a similar scheme is being proposed in the nearby Nith Valley.
Controls in the Spey Valley will continue over the next 18 months
to keep the population as low as possible. The removal of several
hundred thousand rabbits is expected to boost spring growth of hay and
Reports from several farmers say ground conditions and the natural
regeneration of the woodlands have already improved.
It is thought that six or seven rabbits eat as much grass as one
sheep. So Scottish agriculture could be suffering losses in the region
of £13 million a year because of the hungry bunnies.
- The Scotsman 13/03/98 page 30