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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 August, 2004, 11:21 GMT 12:21 UK
Lord Bragg aids bird rescue bid
Skylark
Skylarks are among the threatened species
TV presenter and writer Melvyn Bragg is returning to his Cumbrian roots to highlight the plight of farmland birds.

Lord Bragg is revisiting his home town of Wigton to back a farmer's bid to reverse the decline of threatened species.

Martin Baird of Red Hall Farm is taking part in a scheme to foster habitats for endangered birds like lapwings, snipes, curlews and redshanks.

Lord Bragg became aware of the situation in a book sent to him.

The South Bank Show presenter was born in Wigton and wrote about Red Hall Farm early in his career when it was still a Clydesdale stud farm.

Conservation project

When Cumbria Bird Club sent him a copy of its award-winning book, The Breeding Birds of Cumbria, he was shocked to discover the decline in population of so many of the county's special birds.

The book highlighted the plight of many of important species and the declines they have suffered over the last 30 years.

Cumbria Bird Club spokesman Peter Ullrich said: "We undertook the monumental conservation project of producing the first ever British county atlas of breeding birds with distribution maps and population estimates.

"We sent Melvyn Bragg, as a prominent Cumbrian, a copy and he contacted us immediately to ask how he could help."

John Bowman, of the Rural Development Service in Cumbria, said: "Red Hall is an excellent example of how a working dairy farm can incorporate conservation measures into an intensive farming system.

"Martin has been involved with countryside stewardship for many years, creating ponds and restoring hedgerows on the farm."




SEE ALSO:
Corncrake enjoys resurgence
20 Aug 04  |  Science/Nature
World 'ignores extinction threat'
21 May 04  |  Science/Nature


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