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A positive outlook?
In my office, I'm often mocked for my eternal optimism. Even when asked the question "What can we do about farmland bird declines?" my answer would be 'Lots!" I'm positive that the future could be much brighter for many of the specialist birds that depend on farmland for survival...
15 Dec 2011
Turtle doves are now the UK’s most threatened farmland bird, according to new official figures
The latest UK Wild Bird Indicators, published by Defra, the RSPB and the BTO, were released yesterday. The data covers farmland, woodland, wetland and sea birds, and worryingly shows turtle dove populations fell 21 percent between 2009 and 2010. It's not a straightforward issue - as migratory...
1 Dec 2011
All I needed was the rain...
The exceptionally dry conditions in eastern England have continued through harvest and crop establishment. This has made crop management easier in some ways but much more difficult in others. Easier in that all our crops were harvested dry thereby avoiding additional drying costs, more difficult in that...
21 Nov 2011
Fat birds in the barley
By Sarah Blyth, North Wessex Downs Farmland Bird Project Officer In my second year at college I did an ornithology module. My teacher was this bird mad FWAG advisor and he instilled in me a deep seated enthusiasm for the countryside and the birds that dwell there that’s never gone away. I was...
9 Nov 2011
34 and counting...exciting news from The Great Crane Project in Somerset
We are now well into the second year of the Great Crane Project – and have spent the spring and summer hatching and rearing another batch of cranes to joint the eighteen birds that were released last year. This brings the number out on the Somerset Levels and Moors to 34. After three weeks of ‘anchoring’...
27 Sep 2011
Creating space for a battling midfielder
Back in the Wilkinson years, before Batty turned England Captain, before Kamara turned Sky pundit, and before Eric turned Red, I was a Leeds fan. Me and Dad had season tickets in the East Stand and never missed a home game. Eventually the endless 0-0 draws under George Graham put me off football altogether...
23 Sep 2011
Advisory Team Wales Reach New Heights
It’s been a busy few weeks for us here in Wales. The Royal Welsh Show kicked things off back in mid July, the biggest and best attended event of its kind in the UK, with four days of good weather and a huge number of visitors to the stand, so many in fact, we ran out of our increasingly popular...
1 Sep 2011
Cirl Bunting Bulletin
When was the last time you had a cirl bunting on your farm? My guess is unless you live in Devon or parts of Cornwall you’ve probably never heard of them. These relatives of yellowhammers, until the turn of the 19 th century, had a stronghold throughout southern England and into parts of...
31 Aug 2011
Step into my Office
Welcome to my office. I reckon it’s one of the biggest in the UK. Vaguely speaking, the ‘walls’ are the A14 to the south, the Cambridgeshire border to the west, the start of the sandy Brecks to the east, and to the North... Well I haven’t quite decided but it’s somewhere...
26 Aug 2011
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