As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

'Rare' habitat on Dartmoor set alight for scarce birds

Sections of a "globally rare habitat" will be deliberately set alight on Dartmoor in an attempt to help endangered bird species.

The legal burning of prime heather moorland in Devon will help create a suitable habitat for species including ring ouzels and skylarks, the national park authority has said.

It will allow fresh heather to grow and provide new nesting sites, it added.

Plots of about 300 sq m (about 3,200 sq ft) will be burnt from Monday.

The moor is home to about 30 breeding pairs of ring ouzels and is the only upland in the south of England where they breed.

Head ranger Rob Steemson said: "The burning will also help skylarks, which are nationally in decline.

"Fire will remove all the old vegetation and allow the nutrients to go back into the soil to encourage fresh growth.

"Within four years, ring ouzels should be nesting in the heather," he added.

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