New community project celebrates conservation success story
RSPB Scotland has launched a new project as part of their long-term work to help corn buntings.
Thanks to players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, the Postcode Local Trust has awarded funding for a ‘Corn Buntings in the Community’ project which aims to celebrate the corn bunting’s return from the brink of local extinction and will create food, farming and wildlife trails which RSPB Scotland believes might be the first of their kind in Scotland.
The wildlife conservation charity has been working with landowners and farmers in Fife for several years to prevent the corn bunting from disappearing in the region. Work has been focussed in the East Neuk area as it is one of the remaining strongholds for the species in Scotland. The others are Angus, NE Scotland and the Western Isles.
The commitment of landowners and farmers to help corn buntings has paid dividends as numbers of corn buntings have increased by 60% over the past four years in Fife with birds recolonising areas where they have not been recorded for decades.
This increase is down to a collective effort from all partners managing their land to support the species by ensuring the corn bunting population has access to the Big Three: safe nesting sites late into the season, availability of insects to feed their chicks and provision of seed food especially during the winter months.
The ‘Corn Buntings in the Community’ project is the next step in this conservation success story. The project has several key areas:
- Providing free ‘Corn bunting’ seed mix to farmers and landowners. The mix has been developed over many years to provide corn buntings with all they need to thrive.
- Engaging local communities and visitors in the East Neuk area of Fife with this rare farmland bird and its conservation success story.
- Developing walking and cycling routes which will take people to areas where they have a chance of spotting corn buntings as well local farm shops and cafes that support corn buntings.
- Develop a self-guided leaflet to ensure people can continue to learn about corn buntings and enjoy the routes for years to come.
Alasdair Lemon from RSPB Scotland who is part of the team working on the project said: “We are really excited to see the ‘Corn Bunting in the Community’ project get started. The seed mix has been distributed for this year and the corn buntings have been making good use of the areas. I’ve been out to some of the farms and spotted corn buntings perching on telephone wires and have run a few walks around the St Monans area already, but I am keen to get feedback from as many people as possible.”
If you want to find out more about the project, RSPB Scotland will be running more walks over the coming months. The next one will be taking place on Friday 26 July in St Monans check out the events section of the RSPB website for more information or contact Alasdair Lemon (email@example.com). You can also contact Alasdair if you have ideas or feedback on what the routes should look like and what information you would like to see included in the leaflet.
Alasdair added: “We are really excited to see the final routes and to distribute the leaflet later this year for what we believe will be Scotland’s first food, farming and wildlife trails. It’s such a great opportunity to raise awareness of the story of these charismatic birds and how farmers and landowners are helping them. It would not have been possible without funding from the Postcode Local Trust so a massive thank you to all the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.”
Please contact Ally Lemon on 01738 630783.
Corn buntings were once one of Scotland’s fastest declining birds, but thanks to the efforts of farmers and landowners across Fife, Angus and NE Scotland they are now on the road to recovery. There is more information available about corn buntings and the conservation work that has prevented this species from disappearing in Scotland in this blog.
RSPB Scotland is part of the RSPB, the UK’s largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home. Together with our partners, we protect threatened birds and wildlife so our towns, coast and countryside will teem with life once again. We play a leading role in BirdLife International, a worldwide partnership of nature conservation organisations.
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Last Updated: Monday 15 July 2019