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How dairy farms can be good for biodiversity

How dairy farms can be good for biodiversity

The first sighting of a white stork in the area for more than 10 years is welcome proof that dairy farms aren’t a black hole of biodiversity

The stork was likely a European bird, but there have been successful reintroductions in Sussex

Driving around the intensive, monocultural, factory-farmed, Anthropocene bio-desert that is my farm, I am always amazed at the number of birds I see, which are nevertheless happy enough with what we are doing to make it their home. At this time of year rooks, jackdaws, wagtails and starlings are swarming across the dairy pastures to peck about in the cowpats for a smorgasbord of assorted bug life. Up above, swallows and sand martins circle endlessly as they harvest midges and other small flies that have been attracted by the cattle, while the hedgerows are rich with blossom, yellowhammers, warblers and finches. 

In fact, contrary to what you might expect from the narrative peddled by ‘environmentalists’ on our public service broadcasting channels, pasture-based dairy farming attracts more birds, and therefore also birdwatchers, than I had ever imagined it would when I took the plunge and re-established a dairy here two years ago after a 40-year absence. But never in my wildest…

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