One of our members, Vivian Stratton has requested that we notify our members of a serious conservation issue with breeding Nightjars and other species in West Cornwall, –
” I could do with some of the members that attended the Nightjar evening at Rosewall Hill with me a few weeks ago to contact me with regards to saving the Nightjars on Rosewall Hill, as they have failed this year as the farmer has allowed his horses onto the hill, contravening the agreement he signed with the National Trust. The horses have trampled the young Nightjars, killing them, which happened two years ago and I have been told that if I can get some support from the CBPWS, RSPB and Cornwall Wildlife Trust we can change this policy and save one of the three pairs left in West Penwith.
I am hopeful of the support of all the members representing all three societies.
I would be grateful if this message can go out to any members of the CBWPS or RSPB, as well as this problem being more widely publicised. If there are letters either to me or the National Trust ,they will put the matter into the hands of Natural England who will then ensure that the Nightjars, Dartford Warblers, and all the breeding birds get full protection. Last year we lost a catastrophic 80.8% of all breeding birds on the Rosewall and Buttermilk Hill. This figure will be higher this year because of the loss of the Nightjars and Dartford Warblers, both Scedule 1 Breeding Birds, that require special protective measures when breeding and the National Trust and the farmer will not protect these valuable species. I have also lost three Cuckoo chicks this year being trampled to death by the herd of Exmoor Ponies, we have not reared any Cuckoos on this National Trust Land for 7 years, because of being trampled by the ponies, the main host for the Cuckoo is the Meadow Pipits which nest on the ground, where over the last five years i have lost 91% to 93% of all the nests. I have 5 species of birds that no longer breed on this moorland because of the activities of the Exmoor Ponies during the breeding season. I spend four to six hours a day, every day, monitoring the breeding birds and recording and document all success’s and failures that occur here. My detailed documentation goes back five years where each year we are looking at between 81% to 84% loss of all breeding birds on Rosewall and Buttermilk Hill, this is a catastrophic loss, and just cannot go on.
If West Cornwall is to retain the rare, and common breeding birds, something has to be done to protect the species for generations to come after I am gone. A letter, or email to the National Trust sharing my concerns will go a long way and I need as many people as possible to respond to this.
Thankyou, Viv Stratton”
Vivian can be contacted at – email@example.com