Page last updated at 13:53 GMT, Thursday, 21 January 2010

Snow menace to drivers and birds

Snowdrift- pic by Nic Fisher
Snowdrifts closed the Burway road - pic by Nic Fisher

Deep snow at a Shropshire beauty spot is likely to have killed scores of small birds, the National Trust has said.

The Long Mynd in the Shropshire Hills has been covered in snow and ice for about four weeks.

The National Trust said small ground feeding birds were likely to have starved due to the earth being frozen.

It said there were 5ft (1.5m) snow drifts in some areas and two drivers had been forced to abandon their cars.

National Trust warden David Cowell said a snowdrift had closed the Burway road leading to the Mynd.

'Millions dead'

He advised visitors to drive to nearby Church Stretton instead if they wanted a walk, as snow was taking longer to clear in other parts of the Shropshire Hills.

Mr Cowell said small birds such as meadow pipits, stonechats and wheatears would struggle in the icy conditions in the Shropshire Hills.

The RSPB said ground feeding birds such as robins, wrens and blackbirds were also likely to have been affected by the harsh weather conditions.

Louise Pedersen, an RSPB spokesman for the West Midlands area, said: "It is already the worst winter we have had for many decades and millions of birds across the UK will have died."

She said species like robins, wrens and blackbirds were common in the UK and one hard winter would not damage their population in the long term as they were prolific breeders.

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