Letter: A hedge row

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Tim Cuff's glorious picture of Devon hedges exposes the accompanying article by Christopher Brocklebank-Fowler ("Act now to save out hedges", 26 August) as uninformed rhetoric. It is as unrealistic for farmers to abandon mechanical hedge maintenance as it is for newspapers to abandon computer typesetting. This is not the reason for the decline in bird numbers.

Bird populations have shifted because crows and magpies have been allowed to rule the skies, fields and hedges in Britain. They plunder nests and eat eggs and young birds and their population goes largely unchecked.

This is happening all over the country, even in areas such as West Wales where hedges are numerous and often left untidy and agro-chemicals are used sparingly.

Some farmers have devised practical methods to humanely control the wily crow - it is these which need a page of your paper.

MIKE DONOVAN

Llanboidy, Carmarthenshire

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