Birds enjoy north east hospitality

THE north east’s hospitality towards visitors is legendary and now it seems birds too are flocking to enjoy it.

New figures from an RSPB study show that while bird populations in the south of England have been declining since 1994, they are increasing in the north of the country.

And from 1994 to 2009 in the north east, farmland birds have increased three per cent, woodland birds by one per cent and birds from other habitats, such as wetlands, coastlines, heath, moors and urban areas, are up by six per cent.

The species that have shown the greatest increases are goldfinch, whitethroat, coal tit and swallow, while there have been declines in willow warbler, curlew, skylark and yellowhammer.

RSPB Conservation Director Martin Harper said: “The divide between northern and southern England is intriguing. There could be many reasons to explain this, including different forms of land use in parts of northern England, but other factors like development, climate change, altitude and water scarcity all vary from south to north and could all be playing part in these staggering regional differences.”

The study was produced in association with the British Trust for Ornithology.