Sunday, 11 November 2012

Is our strongest wildlife lifeline facing the chop?

For the last 25 years, many UK farmers have become wildlife champions and have rallied to the plight of some of our most threatened species by creating the conditions they need to survive.
Using payments for wildlife-friendly farming - known as agri-environment schemes - some of these 'champions' have reversed population crashes of those species most in trouble and some species, including the cirl bunting and the stone-curlew, now largely depend on wildlife-friendly farmers for their future survival in the UK.
But just as conservationists and farmers are celebrating the 25th anniversary of these schemes and what they have achieved, the RSPB is fearful that cuts to European and domestic budgets mean the axe could be wielded close to this wildlife lifeline - potentially slashing the largest single budget for wildlife conservation in the UK.
Vital lifeline
Anxiety about the threats facing this funding has compelled the RSPB and the Wildlife Trusts to write to David Cameron urging him to defend this vital lifeline when he attends the European Heads of State meeting in Brussels, which not only protects nature, but also helps the Government achieve its own conservation objectives.
David Cameron will be attending the European Heads of State meeting in Brussels - on 22-23 November - to discuss the future of the EU's budget, including the amount of money spent on agriculture.

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