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Farm land birds still bumping along at the bottom
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Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8407
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 15 6:26 pm    Post subject: Farm land birds still bumping along at the bottom  Reply with quote    

Mark Avery. Farm land birds still bumping along at the bottom.

Quote:
In 2014 the numbers of farmland birds (as measured by overall trends in 19 species see below) were at the second lowest level of the last 45 years (since, almost, records began). Guess what? The lowest level was in 2013! This is not a record of which any politician can be proud.

The farmland bird index was adopted as an indicator of environmental sustainability by the previous Labour government and quietly shelved by the coalition government in 2010.

The aggregate population levels of farmland birds are less than half of their 1970 level and have been for years and years. The decline continues, though less rapidly than in the 1970s, with an 11% decline in the last five years covered by this update. Things are bad, and continue to get worse, despite all governments promising to make it better and despite hundreds of millions of pounds being given to farmers to improve the farmed environment every single year
Proof the current system isn't working?

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 15 7:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Farm land birds still bumping along at the bottom Reply with quote    

Tavascarow wrote:
Mark Avery. Farm land birds still bumping along at the bottom.

Quote:
In 2014 the numbers of farmland birds (as measured by overall trends in 19 species see below) were at the second lowest level of the last 45 years (since, almost, records began). Guess what? The lowest level was in 2013! This is not a record of which any politician can be proud.

The farmland bird index was adopted as an indicator of environmental sustainability by the previous Labour government and quietly shelved by the coalition government in 2010.

The aggregate population levels of farmland birds are less than half of their 1970 level and have been for years and years. The decline continues, though less rapidly than in the 1970s, with an 11% decline in the last five years covered by this update. Things are bad, and continue to get worse, despite all governments promising to make it better and despite hundreds of millions of pounds being given to farmers to improve the farmed environment every single year
Proof the current system isn't working?


Yep.

Ty Gwyn



Joined: 22 Sep 2010
Posts: 4225
Location: Lampeter
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 15 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The only thing that proves is certain bird numbers in certain area`s have declined.

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 15 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Ty Gwyn wrote:
The only thing that proves is certain bird numbers in certain area`s have declined.


And increased.

Just imagine what it would have been like without the stewardship measures.

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8407
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 15 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Ty Gwyn wrote:
The only thing that proves is certain bird numbers in certain area`s have declined.
It's a national study & proves the farming environment in all sectors isn't helping with biodiversity despite large amounts of money being thrown at it.
Some species are good indicators of where the problems are.
Species like woodpigeon & the corvids that eat a very varied diet & nest in trees are holding their own, wood pigeon are still a pest species in most places (collared doves are getting there as well in some places as are ringed parakeets).
The seed eaters aren't doing so well.
The ones that are really struggling are the ground nesters & the insectivores.

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8407
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 15 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I haven't seen a covey of grey partridge since the mid eighties.
Of all of the nineteen species there's only one (other than wood pigeon) that's doing well here, & that's the goldfinch.
Some of the species I wouldn't expect to find here anyway, but generally I'd agree with the findings.

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 15 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Tavascarow wrote:
Ty Gwyn wrote:
The only thing that proves is certain bird numbers in certain area`s have declined.
It's a national study & proves the farming environment in all sectors isn't helping with biodiversity despite large amounts of money being thrown at it.


It doesn't prove that, it doesn't even compare bird numbers with the amount or location of spending. You're generalising too much.

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8407
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 15 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

From the report.
www.gov.uk/defra
WILD BIRD POPU
LATIONS IN THE UK, 1970
TO 2014
Annual statistical release
29
October 2015

Woodland birds 20% lower
Water & wetland birds 15% lower.
seabird 27% lower.
Farmland birds 54% lower.
Happy to admit that most of that loss happened in the last three decades of the twentieth century but if things where really improving numbers should be increasing now not still dropping. They are over 10% down since 2010.

Ty Gwyn



Joined: 22 Sep 2010
Posts: 4225
Location: Lampeter
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 15 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I still disagree,this national survey,one would have thought that the people doing the survey would realise that not all the bird species mentioned live in All area`s,

ie. Skylarks,Lapwings and Yellow Hammers were abundant on the hill farm i came from,not seen either here in nearly 29yrs,
And the majority of this valley is as extensively farmed as it gets.

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 15 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

There's no evidence that the money spent isn't helping.

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8407
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 15 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Ty Gwyn wrote:
I still disagree,this national survey,one would have thought that the people doing the survey would realise that not all the bird species mentioned live in All area`s,

ie. Skylarks,Lapwings and Yellow Hammers were abundant on the hill farm i came from,not seen either here in nearly 29yrs,
And the majority of this valley is as extensively farmed as it gets.

These studies are done in a scientific way.
They choose species from various habits & habitats because it's a good indicator of where the problems are.
Certain species are always going to be found in certain habitats & not others. It's the numbers that are important.
54% is twice the decline of the worst of the others (seabirds 27%)
& farming has (although I don't know) probably had more money given to it for environmental purposes than all the others put together.
So either that money is being wasted or not being used honestly IMHO.
My gut feeling as I've said before is farming systems have to change radically. At the moment the money is being spent on window dressing.
& even that not very well.
I know of one farm twenty odd years ago that was given a number of apple trees & a reasonable grant to plant them.
He pocketed the money & didn't even get the trees in the ground.
I don't know what it's like now but back then I'm sure a lot of that went on.

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8407
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 15 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Rob R wrote:
There's no evidence that the money spent isn't helping.
No there isn't, these species might be hurtling towards extinction even faster if the farmers weren't having extra cash.
That doesn't make it right.

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 15 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Tavascarow wrote:
Rob R wrote:
There's no evidence that the money spent isn't helping.
No there isn't, these species might be hurtling towards extinction even faster if the farmers weren't having extra cash.
That doesn't make it right.


No, it's not right, and until we stop telling people to cut down on certain food groups and start telling them to eat foods grown in a certain way it will remain the best compromise. Wildlife should pay and people should pay for it.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10596

PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 15 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

There has been a change in the way farming has been done, and this may account for some of the changes. Round here nearly all crops are winter sown, and very few spring sown. That will affect some of the birds and no amount of money thrown at that is going to do anything unless the farmers decide to go back to spring sowing.

Tavascarow, if farmers have to jump through the same hoops that woodland owners are now being expected to jump through, for something like 150 a hectare you are expected to produce reports, take pictures and all sort of other things, which in my case won't really be worth while.

In the past it is quite possible that people got away without doing the work, although they still layed themselves open to having the money taken back at least, with possible fines and even prosecution for fraud if they were too blatant.

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8407
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 15 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Rob R wrote:
Tavascarow wrote:
Rob R wrote:
There's no evidence that the money spent isn't helping.
No there isn't, these species might be hurtling towards extinction even faster if the farmers weren't having extra cash.
That doesn't make it right.


No, it's not right, and until we stop telling people to cut down on certain food groups and start telling them to eat foods grown in a certain way it will remain the best compromise. Wildlife should pay and people should pay for it.
Here we go again.
Eat meat good eat greens bad!!
That doesn't hold water & you know it.
Individual farming practices & management systems are at fault not the produce.
An example from a Dartmoor Blog an area with probably less arable than anywhere in the UK apart from the highlands of Scotland & Wales.
Worth reading in full & studying the maps. & note an area that receives the full higher level stewardship payments because of its environmental sensitivity. (upper Plym).
Quote:
These maps do not tell a happy tale. Our land is now in far worse condition than it was in 1990 as a result of overgrazing and burning (known as swaling on Dartmoor). We have recently commissioned a further vegetation survey I have yet to receive the document but has spoken to the author who confirms that the overall situation has probably not deteriorated further but neither has it improved. Since around 2002 the entire area has been subject to either an Environmentally Sensitive Area agreement or a Higher Level Stewardship agreement which has paid the Commoners and the NT (as landowner we get 10% of the payments but have no specific input into the management) to manage the land in a way which will be beneficial to its special interest (i.e. the blanket bog, the wet and dry heathlands). It has failed to deliver those improvements but it probably has halted the declines.
Finding an arable equivalent is harder because most arable land isn't deemed environmentally sensitive. but IMHO that shouldn't stop farmers from encouraging biodiversity & I'm sure there are many arable farmers being paid funds to encourage wildlife ineffectually as well.

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