UK wild bird numbers continue to fall | Environment | guardian.co.uk: "Mark Avery, the RSPB's conservation director, said: 'It is staggering that farmland birds, such as the turtle dove and lapwing, have reached such a low ebb. But the good news is that we know how to turn around these declines.'
A secure future for farmland wildlife rested with farmers being financially rewarded for managing land in an environmentally friendly way, through agri-environment schemes, he said.
The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is currently reviewing key entry level stewardship (ELS) payments to farmers, which cover 70% of England's farmland. 'Defra only has to tweak ELS a little to ensure a recovery in farmland birds such as skylarks and corn buntings,' said Avery."