A very quick blog post, just to prove I’m still around in both the virtual and more appropriately, the real world.
“A Wee while back I said I would refer back to that excellent publication, that is Farming and Birds – New Naturalist Series no. 135, as written by Ian Newton. Well, here’s a quick “Did you know?” requote which ties in nicely with my activities as a professional Bird Surveyor and Researcher.
“In the lowlands, most farms might hold some 20-40 Breeding bird species per year, depending on the areas and diversity of habitats present.”
And to my mind, here is the rub. Which type of farming enterprise do you believe would host the most diverse range of species? I.e. if birds or perhaps more broadly, the wildlife were the main drivers for farming that particular piece of land? Of course, we cannot expect it to be this way as food-production will always be the no.1 priority for any agricultural business.
Referencing a 1960s study, but still highly relevant, once again as taken from the book “Farming and Birds*
“The lowest densities were on extensive grassland farms with few hedges, and the highest were on mixed farms, with many hedges and other features.”
So, in summary, “mixing it” up is a vital ingredient. That is not to say, of course, that other farming ventures (predominantly arable or livestock) cannot punch above their weight, ecologically-speaking as I know that they can. It is just solid proof that ultimately the often overlooked features like waste areas, outbuildings, field corners and the like can and should be looked upon more favourably by farmers and perhaps enhanced in some manner when it comes to feeding our always-hungry farmland birds.
Attached are some images of a typical farmed landscape practices, alongside some hopefully easily-achievable habitat enhancements which could benefit both the farmer and the wider environment
As ever, I thank my readers for taking the time to listen to my rambles; you can, of course, continue to access my Facebook updates by clicking on the Red Admiral butterfly icon below.