HC Deb 12 February 1997 vol 290 c239W
Mr. Dalyell

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of the consequences for the numbers and varieties of song birds of the range of arable incentive schemes proposed by his Department. [14676]

Mr. Raymond S. Robertson

The rules of the arable area payments scheme have always encouraged arable farmers to maximise environmental benefits on their set-aside land and further changes announced last year will be of additional benefit. Furthermore, the environmentally sensitive area scheme, and forthcoming countryside premium scheme, contain prescriptions and measures directly aimed at conserving, improving or providing particular habitats which will increase the areas of cover, feeding and nesting sites for a wide range of bird species including song birds.