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Farm land birds still bumping along at the bottom
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Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 15 10:50 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

Ty Gwyn wrote:
It does`nt say,but presume these are both arable farms,surrounded by similar farms.


Yes, they're both very much arable farms.

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 15 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Mark Avery and the RSPB are saying different things, though;

Farmland birds increase but two key species decline

RSPB wrote:
The fundamental design of the scheme is sound, but DEFRA needs to learn the lessons from this year and improve [its] implementation, including enhancing [the] focus on biodiversity, fixing their broken IT system and ensuring Natural England has the resources to make the scheme a success


Mark Avery wrote:
Defra is not doing its job properly.


The DEFRA report does, at least, seem to agree with me though;

Quote:
The historical declines in breeding waders, such as those featured in the water and wetland indicator, resulted from land management changes such as drainage, the
intensification of grassland management and the conversion of coastal and floodplain grazing marshes to arable land.


But I won't bore you with my thoughts on drainage, as it's getting a little off topic.

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8407
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 15 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Mark Avery is an individual beholden to no one.
The RSPB are a very large charity ,very dependant on government (defra) cooperation & funding for their projects. We have a government who like to slash funding (& cooperation) to anyone who disagrees with them.
They have to be more diplomatic in their statements for their own good.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 11123

PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 15 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Unfortunately these very schemes that you say farmers are not keeping to are part of the problem Tavascarow, as Rob says. Take hedge cutting. There is a ban on hedge cutting between I think it is now April and October, so it all has to be done between November and March. This means that the fruits and nuts the birds would normally feed on are destroyed at the very time in this area, when the birds most need them. The reason for the long period of prohibition is nesting, but feeding is as important, and surely it would be better if the farmer was allowed to asses the best time for trimming that is best for his area, farm and hedge.

Some of the problem is not even within the UK. Migrant birds are affected by things sometimes 1000s of miles away.

Not doing some things can be as bad as doing them at the wrong time of year or too much. Woodland birds are also declining, because woodland flowers and insects are. This is mainly due to lack of management which makes the woods too dark to support flowers, which support the insects and so the food chain goes on.

Tavascarow



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

Mistress Rose wrote:
Unfortunately these very schemes that you say farmers are not keeping to are part of the problem Tavascarow, as Rob says. Take hedge cutting. There is a ban on hedge cutting between I think it is now April and October, so it all has to be done between November and March. This means that the fruits and nuts the birds would normally feed on are destroyed at the very time in this area, when the birds most need them. The reason for the long period of prohibition is nesting, but feeding is as important, and surely it would be better if the farmer was allowed to asses the best time for trimming that is best for his area, farm and hedge.

Some of the problem is not even within the UK. Migrant birds are affected by things sometimes 1000s of miles away.

Not doing some things can be as bad as doing them at the wrong time of year or too much. Woodland birds are also declining, because woodland flowers and insects are. This is mainly due to lack of management which makes the woods too dark to support flowers, which support the insects and so the food chain goes on.
Hedge cutting isn't necessary most of the time & does more damage thsn good in most instances (flailing obviously). My two nearest neighbours flail their hedges every year. Why? one in three is ample.
A recent article I read said farmers would be better off just light trimming the sides of hedges once in three years & then harvesting for firewood every eight to ten. Thus encouraging new growth from the base (something flailing rarely does).
It didn't say how to keep the hedge stock proof after coppicing unfortunately but as most flailed hedges aren't stock proof anyway I suppose temporary fencing isn't that big a deal.

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8407
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 15 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Why isn't the UK standing up for EU Nature Laws?.
Quote:
Last week, nine European countries called on the EU to protect two key pieces of nature legislation: the Birds and Habitats Directives.

A coalition of European Parliament members (MEPs) followed up with another letter, taking the same strong position. The UK stayed silent.
Established in 1979 and 1992 respectively, the Birds and Habitats Directives form the basis of European wildlife law. The Habitats Directive alone protects over 1,000 animal and plant species and 200 habitats.
Probably because they can't exploit it if it's protected. (IMHO).

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 15 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Tavascarow wrote:
Mark Avery is an individual beholden to no one.
The RSPB are a very large charity ,very dependant on government (defra) cooperation & funding for their projects. We have a government who like to slash funding (& cooperation) to anyone who disagrees with them.
They have to be more diplomatic in their statements for their own good.


So am I, that doesn't make either of us automatically right.

I'm more inclined to believe someone who has participated in the process though and comes back with constructive criticism than one who doesn't.

Any bureaucratic system that relies upon eligibility criteria instead of paying for results is bound to under perform, though. Essentially you're getting paid by just complying to a set of arbitary rules , it doesn't provide farmers with the flexibility to innovate, or if it does, it doesn't reward them for doing so, so there is no incentive to be innovative nor perform well.

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8407
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 15 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Rob R wrote:
Tavascarow wrote:
Mark Avery is an individual beholden to no one.
The RSPB are a very large charity ,very dependant on government (defra) cooperation & funding for their projects. We have a government who like to slash funding (& cooperation) to anyone who disagrees with them.
They have to be more diplomatic in their statements for their own good.


So am I, that doesn't make either of us automatically right.

I'm more inclined to believe someone who has participated in the process though and comes back with constructive criticism than one who doesn't.

Any bureaucratic system that relies upon eligibility criteria instead of paying for results is bound to under perform, though. Essentially you're getting paid by just complying to a set of arbitary rules , it doesn't provide farmers with the flexibility to innovate, or if it does, it doesn't reward them for doing so, so there is no incentive to be innovative nor perform well.
The very reason the communist system failed. People got paid for not doing the job. I'm not attacking farmers but the system for not overseeing it properly.
But for that to happen you have to have an administration who is actually commited to the principle of improving & protecting biodiversity.
This one isn't as my last post proves.
People like yourself & Ty might have had a few quid here & there but there are landowners who have been paid very large sums of money to protect sensitive habitat & endangered species & the money has been wasted.
Some less charitable might say pocketed.
Edited to say people got paid whether they did the job or not. Some people are committed regardless.

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 15 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Tavascarow wrote:
Rob R wrote:
Tavascarow wrote:
Mark Avery is an individual beholden to no one.
The RSPB are a very large charity ,very dependant on government (defra) cooperation & funding for their projects. We have a government who like to slash funding (& cooperation) to anyone who disagrees with them.
They have to be more diplomatic in their statements for their own good.


So am I, that doesn't make either of us automatically right.

I'm more inclined to believe someone who has participated in the process though and comes back with constructive criticism than one who doesn't.

Any bureaucratic system that relies upon eligibility criteria instead of paying for results is bound to under perform, though. Essentially you're getting paid by just complying to a set of arbitary rules , it doesn't provide farmers with the flexibility to innovate, or if it does, it doesn't reward them for doing so, so there is no incentive to be innovative nor perform well.
The very reason the communist system failed. People got paid for not doing the job. I'm not attacking farmers but the system for not overseeing it properly.
But for that to happen you have to have an administration who is actually commited to the principle of improving & protecting biodiversity.
This one isn't as my last post proves.
People like yourself & Ty might have had a few quid here & there but there are landowners who have been paid very large sums of money to protect sensitive habitat & endangered species & the money has been wasted.
Some less charitable might say pocketed.
Edited to say people got paid whether they did the job or not. Some people are committed regardless.


Yep, exactly.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 11123

PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 15 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The Habitats Directive is not very comprehensive. It means that where there is a risk or certain animals being present, nothing can be done to damage their habitat or put them at risk. I have heard of instances where a Natural England rep has said coppicing has to stop because there are bats in a tree, which would not be affected. It was pointed out to him that the bats are there because the coppice was cut so there were lots of insects available for them. A bureaucratic tick box rather than common sense.

Having said that, I don't think we can expect support from the government on anything that doesn't give short term profit, and even less from anything that will cost money.

Falstaff



Joined: 27 May 2009
Posts: 1014

PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 15 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Quote:


The 19 species on the farmland bird index are: Grey Partridge, Kestrel, Lapwing, Wood Pigeon, Stock Dove, Turtle Dove, Jackdaw, Rook, Skylark, Starling, Yellow Wagtail, Whitethroat, Linnet, Greenfinch, Goldfinch. Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting, Corn Bunting, Tree Sparrow.


Falstaff



Joined: 27 May 2009
Posts: 1014

PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 15 2:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Species Not included -

Carrion Crow, Magpie, Jay, Grey Squirrel, "Domestic" Cat, Mink, Heron, Buzzard, Red Kite, Sparrow Hawk, Cormorant, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Hobby, Peregrine Falcon, Goshawk.

It has been mooted that many of the declining species are a) Insectivorous, b) ground nesters

It should also be noted that some of the others are c) migratory or d) reliant on holes in trees for nest sites.

The depletion in insect life is very valid IMHO - this has (or should have been linked ) to the flailing of hedgerows and the "Neatness fetish" which destroys nettles and long grass in verges - precisely at the time when some species (Grey Partidge for instance) need to be nesting in that environmet. [Grey partridge chicks are also insectivorous in their early lives ! ]

However - Some noticeable omissions - Cuckoos for instance are less easy to explain - except for the lack of their (insectivorous) hosts !

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35900
Location: yes
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 15 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

between the three places where i have some input 16 out of those 19 are doing ok.

organisations such as english nature should be made to realise that a one size fits all tick box sheet is not the best way to manage landscapes

a glaring example is the not before/not after a calender date to do or not do something.
not before or not after something has set seed/fledged etc etc might be a much better way to time activity.

the idiots that think do nothing will preserve a habitat have really missed the point that the habitat in question only exists because folk have done something to create and maintain it(marine environments less so but some are a result of human activities)

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8407
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 15 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Falstaff wrote:


However - Some noticeable omissions - Cuckoos for instance are less easy to explain - except for the lack of their (insectivorous) hosts !
I don't know much about cuckoo wintering habitats.
I know ten or fifteen years back swallows populations took a dive (deliberate pun) because of drought conditions in the Sahel.
They at least appear to be buoyant again.

This BTO study seems to think similar, but early days.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 11123

PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 15 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

That's an interesting report Tavascarow. I knew cuckoos wintered in Africa, but not so far south. Question is whether they are a tropical bird that breeds in temperate climates, or a bird of temperate regions that visits the tropics, or just plain misguided.

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