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Deeping St Nicholas farmer Nicholas Watts's latest column




All the swallows that were breeding around here had left by September 10. They keep leaving earlier and earlier. We have seen a few swallows since then migrating through.

I have just been to Aberdeenshire for a few days and there were swallows around up untilSeptember 27 when I left.

Farming in Aberdeenshire is not so intensive as around here. Also, most farmers have cattle and there are burns running through the countryside with steep sides that are too steep to farm so there is ground that is not grazed or sprayed.

Not so here in the Fens where the only places that are left for wildlife are redundant boundary dykes that separate one farm from another farm that are not required for drainage, or where a farmer is doing some conservation.

There are less farmers in conservation schemes than there used to be as government has made it more difficult for farmers to go into the schemes.

The money has gone elsewhere such as for the NHSor even to send money to Third World countries but by throwing thousands of thousands of pounds to save lives and thereby increasing the population, we are pushing wildlife to one side .

The real problem is that there are too many of us on this planet. All over the world, vegetation and forests are getting chopped down purely, in many cases, so people can make a living.

Then there are also big farming companies that are clearing thousands of acresto grow soya beans and maize.

No doubt many of you saw the David Attenborough programme around the middle of September highlighting the plight of wildlife worldwide.

As many of you can remember, he ended up by saying: “What happens now is up to us”.

I thought that there was one thing we could all do and that is to write to our MP and ask him to talk to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and tell him to go and see Sir David and ask him: “What would you like us to do?”



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