DEAR SIR: I have been farming all my life and always had an interest in nature and wildlife. Since I retired, I have had more time to observe and take note.

Over the years, I have rented many farms of land that contained areas of moor and marsh land – areas that never saw a tractor, even to this day.

I have seen curlew, sky lark and other ground nesting birds successfully hatch out and rear their young as I hauled cattle.

Alas, they have all disappeared.

It is quite clear to see that it is mink that are robbing all of their nests on the ground.

I have seen wood pigeon build in evergreen trees near my home, all of my life, and in the last two years I have seen pine marten rob their nests. I saw magpies build high in ash trees and saw their nests destroyed by pine marten to get the eggs.

There is a small lake at the end of our home farm and for over 70 years I have been looking at a flock of swans build a nest every year and rear five, six or seven young and, when they are fully grown, they beat them off the lake to make space for the next brood. They still hatch out but in the last few years I have seen them go off swimming only to see one young to disappear each day until they are all gone.

The birds that nest in reeds have all of their nests robbed by mink.

In my younger years, every farmhouse for miles around kept a few free-range hens, some a few ducks, geese and turkeys.

A fox might take one that strayed away too far on a rare occasion but, today, anyone that tries to keep a few foul will inevitably go out and find them all killed and left there.

We are continually being told that farming practice and climate change are to blame for the birds disappearing. I know for a fact that there are other reasons as well.