I did, kind of, tell you so…
In The Times, once a dull but reliable newspaper, a few days ago there was a headline thus ‘Farmers praised as Skylarks soar again’ (click here but you need a subscription).
The piece by Ben Webster was a write-up of the GWCT ‘survey’ of farmland birds by farmers in February. Some farmers (37%) saw some Skylarks apparently.
Quite how a one-off survey by a self-selecting bunch of farmers shows that Skylarks are soaring is a complete mystery to me. But let’s not blame either the GWCT or Ben Webster for that as it is customary to blame the sub-editors for loopy and misleading headlines.
The GWCT are more measured in what they say about the survey on their own website.
However, Jim Egan is quoted by the Times as saying ‘…that some wildlife groups had over-emphasised the decline in farmland birds. “A lot of environmental NGOs fund-raise on bad news. They say, ‘Look what farmers have done, isn’t it bad?’ That puts people off.” ‘
I’d love to see the reference for that!