223-1316-GREY PARTRIDGE ADV

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					                                                                                                                                                                                                              Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)
                              Distribution map showing the relative abundance
                              of lapwings in Britain and Ireland 1988–91



                              This distinctive bird gives a tumbling display flight over breeding territories in spring.

                              Lapwings can be found on all types of
                              farmland, but are scarcer in purely                 WHAT DO LAPWINGS NEED?
                              arable or intensive grassland systems.
                                                                                 Nesting habitat                           unimproved or semi-improved              can find lots of these, such as in
                              The UK population of the lapwing fell
                                                                                 The most important attributes of          grassland). Arable nesting birds         grazed pasture. Wet grassland
                              by 45% between 1970 and 2003. This
                                                                                 nesting habitat are an open               often walk their chicks onto             is a particularly important source
                              decline has been largely caused by the
                                                                                 aspect and short, variable                grazed pasture to feed.                  of food.
                    Lapwing
FARMING FOR BIRDS




                              loss of mixed farming and spring
                                                                                 vegetation structure to allow
                              cropping, and the intensification of                                                         Food (soil and ground
                                                                                 adults to detect predators but
                              grassland management. Declines in
                                                                                 also allow chicks to find cover in        invertebrates)
                              the west of the UK have led to local
                                                                                 the event of danger. They nest on         Lapwings feed mainly on
                              extinctions. Large winter flocks are
                                                                                 spring-tilled arable land or on           earthworms, leatherjackets, soil
                              not an indication of good breeding
                                                                                 short grassland with a low                surface insects and their larvae.
                              numbers as these birds have often
                                                                                 stocking rate (particularly on            They generally feed where they
                              travelled from northern Europe.

                              ANNUAL LIFECYCLE OF A LAPWING
                                January        February        March            April         May           June            July      August       September        October       November       December

                                Flocks feed in fields where soil        Main breeding season. Require short swards or rough         Winter flocks generally move south or west, especially in cold weather,
                                invertebrate densities are high         fallows for nesting. Only rear one brood, but may make                and find areas with plenty of soil invertebrate food.
                               before returning to their breeding                          several attempts.
                                   areas early in the spring.
 HOW CAN I ENCOURAGE LAPWINGS?                                                                                                                                  PRIORITY ACTION
                                                                                                                                                                     The lapwing is a target species for Higher
                                                                                                                                                                     Level Stewardship.
                                      Nesting habitat                                                    Summer and winter food
                                                                                                                                                                     Maintain suitable nesting habitat in fields
  •   Look out for nests in fields during              •    ELS     HLS Maintain or restore         •    HLS Arable reversion to grazed                              traditionally used for nesting.
      cultivation, drilling, muck-spreading or             areas of unimproved or semi-improved         pasture in large or open fields will                         Where spring cropping is no longer a viable
      rolling operations between mid-March                 grassland used by nesting lapwings.          boost feeding opportunities for                              option, create fallow plots using set-aside
      and June; where a series of operations           •   Adopt stocking rates during the              lapwings in predominantly arable                             or Higher Level Stewardship.
      is required, try to undertake them all               nesting season to maintain a short           farming areas.
      within one week, so that failed pairs                sward, but with the fewest animals to                                                                     Look out for nests during agricultural
      can re-nest safely.                                                                           •    ELS    Buffer strips and field corner                       operations between mid-March and June.
                                                           reduce the risks of nest trampling.
  •   Avoid planting new trees or hedges in                Raise stocking rates in late summer to       management may boost insect
                                                                                                                                                                     Avoid planting new trees or hedges in areas
      fields used by nesting lapwings.                     graze sward down for following               abundance in arable fields. Beetle                           used by nesting lapwings.
  •   Create suitable nesting habitat where                spring.                                      banks in larger arable fields provide
      birds have nested before, or in large            •    ELS Take measures to control rush           insect food and good cover for chicks.
      open fields away from tall hedges                    levels below 30% of field area.
      or woodland.                                                                                  •     HLS Maintain or restore areas of
                                                                                                        wet grassland in fields where
  •   Maintain or restore spring cropping in                                                            lapwings nest.                                          See also the RSPB advisory sheets on:
      areas used by nesting lapwings.
  •   Plan cropping so that some spring                                                             •    HLS     Create small wet features in                   •   Fallow plots for ground-nesting birds
      crops are adjacent to areas of                                                                    grasslands used by nesting lapwings,                    •   Set-aside management
                                                                                                        such as wader scrapes, damp hollows                     •   Grazed pasture
      grazed pasture.                                                                                                                                           •   Rush management
  •     SA     HLS Where spring cropping
                                                                                                        created by blocking field drains, or re-                •   Scrape creation for waders
      is no longer a viable option, or in                                                               profiling ditch banks and raising the                   •   Managing water levels to benefit birds
                                                                                                        water levels.                                           •   Buffer strips on cultivated land
      arable fields particularly favoured by                                                                                                                    •   Beetle banks
      nesting lapwings, create a 2-ha fallow                                                                                                                    •   Reversion of arable and temporary grassland
      plot by ploughing in autumn, or
      ploughing and discing in February (a                                                                                                                      For answers to all of your farm wildlife enquiries,
                                                                                                                                                                visit www.farmwildlife.info
      derogation is needed for set-aside),
      then leave undisturbed until mid-July.


KEY
        = all farms         = arable and mixed farms            = pastoral farms
  ELS    = Entry Level Stewardship   HLS   = Higher Level Stewardship      SA      = Set-aside


You can get further information on this and other ways of managing your farm for wildlife from:

           Agricultural Adviser,The RSPB,                          Farming and Wildlife Advisory
           UK Headquarters, The Lodge, Sandy,                      Group, NAC, Stoneleigh,
           Bedfordshire SG19 2DL                                   Kenilworth, Warwickshire         The Game Conservancy Trust, Fordingbridge,
           Tel: 01767 680551                                       CV8 2RX Tel: 024 7669 6699       Hampshire SP6 1EF Tel: 01425 652381
           www.rspb.org.uk/farming                                 www.fwag.org.uk                  www.gct.org.uk

                                                                                                                 RSPB regd charity no 207076   223-1315-05-06

				
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Description: 223-1316-GREY PARTRIDGE ADV