Letter: Save songbirds

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The Independent Culture
Letter: Save songbirds

Sir: The WWF report Doomsday for Wildlife (report, 14 December) is right to call for greater legal protection of Britain's wildlife, yet this alone will not halt the decline in biodiversity. The long-term viability of wildlife populations depends upon a more sustainable use of the farmed landscape and this can only be brought about through reform of agricultural subsidies to place greater emphasis on environmental stewardship.

Declining species such as the water vole and skylark cannot depend solely on the continued management of fragmented "island" reserves, but demand a more hospitable "wider" countryside. Throughout Britain local biodiversity action plans are being developed through the co-operation of statutory and non-statutory organisations. If the targets are to be achieved a massive injection of government and private sector finance must be forthcoming. The time is nigh when each person should ask how much they value the natural world.

JAY DOYLE

Biodiversity Projects Officer

Surrey Wildlife Trust

Pirbright, Surrey

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