More needs to be done to protect farmland birds

Turtle doves are among farmland birds that have declined at an alarming rate.

Turtle doves are among farmland birds that have declined at an alarming rate.

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The number of wild birds in the UK is still falling, despite farmers’ efforts to protect them.

In the last ten years there has been a 13 per cent decline in the population of farmland birds, according to figures released by the government.

These figures show the decline has slowed, with some species in better health than they were in the 1970s when data began to be collected.

However, conservationists are concerned that the drop in numbers is continuing, with a halving of farmland bird numbers in the past 40 years.

Conservationists have urged environment secretary Owen Paterson to use newly available money from the EU to step up protection.