Christine Broom on Wildlife
Well there aren’t very many rabbits about now because of the myxomatosis. We do have a few but not like we used to. Saying that, that’s not such a bad thing although I like to eat rabbit and of course today that’s unheard of but that’s what I used to do, eat a lot of it.
Birds, there aren’t many birds about and because I keep racing pigeons, I’m a little bit biased but the main reason we haven’t go t them is nothing to do with the way farmers farm the land. It is the birds of prey that are allowed to multiply with no restrictions.
So, for example, two days this week I’ve looked outside to see a hen sparrow hawk sat on my bird table and she has taken all my small birds and I have a list here of all the birds that have been here in the last two or three months. They’ve sadly, virtually all gone. We are inundated with peregrines round the Island. There’s probably at least 15 or 20 pairs and they will take any bird, so birds are sadly lacking.
We have quite a few pheasants here but they are put down by the Keepers that shoot the ground … that have got Shoots round here so there are very few native pheasants and the same with partridges. They’re put down by the Keepers, so yes it has changed. There’s a lot less wildlife and sadly people that live in the country now, the type of people that live in the country have no interest in the country.
If I say to them for example, “There’s a pair of snipe in my moor” they’ll say, “What’s that?” when they were quite common birds and now are rare and I’m delighted when I see them. We’ve got kingfishers in the river. The River Yar runs through my farm. It rises at Bierley at Niton and it ends up at St Helens. Down in the river there’s kingfishers and I have apparently the highest stock density per yard or however they measured it by the Environment Agency of fish, so it has changed, animal and bird wise.