The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) has launched a new appeal to help tackle the continuing decline of many once familiar farmland birds.
Despite conservation efforts farmland populations have still not recovered to former levels and some are still actually declining.
BTO research has been central to the whole ‘farmland bird story’, from identifying declines, through diagnosing causes, to designing solutions for this conservation problem.
The chief government policy response has been to instigate agri-environment schemes. These schemes, which are funded through the EU Common Agricultural Policy, were set up to support farmers and land managers to farm in ways that promote biodiversity, protect soil and water and enhance the landscape.
Some of the scheme options were wholly or partly designed to provide resources for declining farmland birds.
Previous BTO research has highlighted limitations to some of the schemes, prompting modifications to improve their design.