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The Independent Online

Time was when Salisbury Plain was reserved for military manoeuvres, rehearsals for battles against Russia. Now, in these happier times, it is to provide a nursery for a flock of young Russian immigrants: 30 great bustard chicks which, it is to be hoped, will become the first to nest in this country after a gap of almost 200 years. For the return of this magnificent bird we have to thank the personal initiative of one Wiltshire enthusiast and the growing openness of post-Soviet Russia. We wish the great bustard well, and trust that the descendants of the hunters who did for the bird last time will desist.

Time was when Salisbury Plain was reserved for military manoeuvres, rehearsals for battles against Russia. Now, in these happier times, it is to provide a nursery for a flock of young Russian immigrants: 30 great bustard chicks which, it is to be hoped, will become the first to nest in this country after a gap of almost 200 years. For the return of this magnificent bird we have to thank the personal initiative of one Wiltshire enthusiast and the growing openness of post-Soviet Russia. We wish the great bustard well, and trust that the descendants of the hunters who did for the bird last time will desist.

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