BOOST FOR AONB'S FARMLAND BIRDS

The RSPB Lapwing Landscapes project aims to work alongside the AONB's farmers and communities to increase stunning wading birds such as lapwings, redshanks and snipe.

Free farm conservation advice, school and community awareness talks and farm visits, farmer workshops and the restoration of water meadows will be carried out over the next few months.

The project will focus on wading birds, living and breeding around the rivers Windrush and Evenlode, between Bourton-on-the-Water, Burford and Leafield.

Drew McVey, RSPB Lapwing Landscapes, said:

"Thanks to the Cotswolds Conservation Board we can really work together with Gloucestershire's farmers and communities to boost some of the UK's finest wild birds."

The Conservation Board helped fund the project through the Sustainable Development Fund, a grant scheme administered by the Board and funded by DEFRA through Natural England. Almost anyone can apply but successful projects will have been able to demonstrate a principle of sustainability and a central aim to help conserve and enhance the AONB.

Claire Cunningham, spokesperson for the Cotswolds Conservation Board said:

"The Lapwing Landscape project is a really positive use of Sustainable Development Fund money because it helps to protect one of the Cotswolds Conservation Board's priority species. The Board is working to reverse the decline in farmland birds, like Lapwings, by encouraging traditional management of arable crops to provide better habitat. Sustainability is all about achieving a living balance between our needs and that of the environment and anything that works towards this is a step in the right direction."

Farmers in the project area interested in restoring their land for breeding waders should contact Drew McVey, RSPB Lapwing Landscapes, on 01865 352035 or drew.mcvey@rspb.org.uk