Lapwings: Conservation

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 17th June 2020.

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Photo of Lord Greaves Lord Greaves Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the current (1) numbers, and (2) distribution, of lapwings in the United Kingdom, and what plans they have to support an increase in their numbers.

Photo of Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park The Minister of State, Department for International Development, The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State

The latest estimates of lapwing are 6,500 pairs and 620,000 individuals in Britain (Frost et al. 2020).

The latest national bird survey, ‘Bird Atlas 2007-11’, published results on the distribution of lapwing during the breeding and non-breeding seasons. In Britain, during the breeding season, lapwing were present in 2,241 ten-kilometre squares, which is 74% of the total. Except for southwest England, lapwing breed almost throughout rural England. During the non-breeding season, lapwing were present in 2,309 ten-kilometre squares, which is 80% of the total.

The lapwing is a species of conservation concern and is closely associated with the farmed and managed landscape therefore agri-environment schemes have an important role to play in its recovery.

The current Countryside Stewardship (CS) scheme includes tailored options designed to meet the requirements of breeding lapwings on grassland and arable farmland, including the management of grassland to provide the right structure for nesting and to supply food for chicks. On arable farmland CS fallow plots have been created and designed to suit lapwing that breed in that particular habitat. This year, new CS options are also available which will benefit lapwings.

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