HC Deb 15 October 2001 vol 372 cc1088-9W
Hugh Robertson

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment. Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to seek to increase the numbers of farmland birds. [6001]

Mr. Morley

This Department has a Public Service Agreement (PSA) target to reverse the long-term decline in the number of farmland birds by 2020. A number of existing policy measures will help to achieve that target—not least the significant expansion of our agri-environment schemes under the England Rural Development Programme. However, we recognise that the reasons for the decline in farmland bird numbers are complex and we have commissioned research from the British Trust for Ornithology and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds to help us identify more precisely what needs to be done to deliver the PSA target.

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