HC Deb 25 April 1995 vol 258 c471W
Ms Quin

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement regarding the disappearance of the corncrake from mainland Britain and what proposals he has to encourage its reintroduction to the countryside. [20244]

Mr. Atkins

The population of the corncrake started to decline in the 19th century and current figures suggest that there are between 500 and 600 pairs in Britain. The present population is primarily concentrated in Scotland where they nest in pasture and rough grassland.

Since 1991, the Government have been involved in schemes in Scotland to provide financial incentives to landowners and farmers to introduce farming methods which are more conducive to breeding corncrakes. The corncrake is a candidate species under consideration by the biodiversity steering group for an individual action plan to improve its conservation status. The steering group will report later this year.