Cuts Danger for West Country Birdlife
The RSPB has warned that some of southern England’s most endangered farmland birds face extinction because of cuts in the European Union payments to farmers who look after the wildlife on their lands. Projects such as the chalkland bird scheme in Dorset & Wiltshire, as well as bird protection schemes on Exmoor, face the chop when the EU’s new budget is unveiled next week.
Conservationists estimate that the future of at least 10 of the West Country’s endangered farmland birds will face an uncertain future, or even extinction, if these cuts take place and the protection programmes are axed. The RSPB’s representative for SouthWest England stated that the region’s farmers had long complied with schemes that saw them leave areas friendly for birds, maintain hedges where birds can nest and erect bird boxes to help species from the stone curlew to the barn owl.