The study by the University of Reading has shown that populations of bird species in the UK are being altered by climate change (The Guardian, January 11, Bird species wiped out by altered habitat). But the outlook is different for each species. Increasing temperatures in the UK, for example, allow some species to expand their range and increase in population.
Agriculture is itself on the frontline of climate impacts and in the past decade alone, UK farmers have had to deal with the wettest year on record, tidal surges and late snows.
Over 130 different bird species – seven for the first time - were recorded by over 1000 participating farmers on their own farms in last year’s Big Farmland Bird Count. According to RSPB figures the majority of these species have increased or have been stable in number in the UK in recent decades.
This is in some part to farmers across the country planting or restoring 30,000km of hedgerows, and reserving the borders of their fields to plant wildflowers for birds and other wildlife. Farmers understand the importance of protecting the environment and ensuring we have a thriving, iconic countryside.
NFU Vice President