25 November 2019

Farmland bird declines can be reversed in three years says GWCT Wales

Chaffinch

GWCT’s three-legged stool approach - habitat management, predator control and supplementary feeding – are the key ingredients needed to reverse the decline in farmland birds in just three years, according to GWCT Wales director Sue Evans.

Talking at the Commons Graziers Gathering last week organised by the National Sheep Association & Welsh Commons Forum, GWCT is unequivocal in its message that in just three years a real difference can be made to reversing wildlife declines.

Years of GWCT evidence has proven that the three-legged stool approach can produce staggering uplifts in bird numbers alongside maintaining farm yields.  GWCT demonstrated the positive outcomes of this approach to Welsh Government on Terry Mills' Cruglas Farm, encouraging the adoption of these principles into the future farmer focused scheme. 

“Previous schemes have focused on habitat alone with little to show for years of public investment.  The next programme to deliver public goods needs to include feeding over winter and predator control if we are to make a real difference in reversing biodiversity decline,” said Sue Evans, who is at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair this week in Llanelwedd.

“The proposed new programme of payments now offers us an opportunity to reverse wildlife declines if we make the right choices.  But we would like to see action taken before the new schemes come in as we have demonstrated over and over again how in just three years the three-legged stool approach can reverse biodiversity declines and action is needed now.”

For more information about the vital conservation work GWCT is doing in Wales, visit www.gwct.org.uk/wales/

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Notes to editors

The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust – providing research-led conservation for a thriving countryside. The GWCT is an independent wildlife conservation charity which has carried out scientific research into Britain’s game and wildlife since the 1930s. We advise farmers and landowners on improving wildlife habitats. We employ 22 post-doctoral scientists and 50 other research staff with expertise in areas such as birds, insects, mammals, farming, fish and statistics. We undertake our own research as well as projects funded by contract and grant-aid from Government and private bodies. The Trust is also responsible for a number of Government Biodiversity Action Plan species and is lead partner for grey partridge and joint lead partner for brown hare and black grouse.

ISDN radio broadcast line - at our Fordingbridge HQ we have an ISDN radio broadcast line, allowing us to conduct interviews remotely.

For information, contact:
Joel Holt
Telephone: 01425 651000
Email: press@gwct.org.uk

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