DEAR EDITOR: I was delighted to see the coverage in a recent edition of the Irish Farmers Journal about the effects of stubble cultivation on wild bird feeding ground.

I live on a tillage farm in Meath and I saw the impact straight away. I wrote to Birdwatch Ireland last year highlighting my concerns but received no reply. The population of yellowhammers in our area has decreased dramatically.

It is awful as they were already confined to the east of the country as that’s the tillage area and now we are removing the vast majority of their feeding grounds.

Here’s hoping the Government will take note.

When it was first raised by Birdwatch Ireland, the requirement changed and farmers were allowed to leave 20% uncultivated stubbles.

How could they think it was acceptable to remove 80% of the feeding ground for these birds?

It beggars belief and, in my opinion, shows how out of touch the Department of Agriculture actually is.

Thank you for highlighting this.