SO good of the Craven Herald to highlight the risk of disturbing birds by flying drones without permission (Drone flyers at risk of disturbing birds, Craven Herald, April 28).

Unfortunately, they are not the only risk to birds, particularly to the Dales’ important ground-nesting birds. Irresponsible dog owners and hang-gliders also pose a threat.

Hang-gliders landing in the open fields around Ingleborough, Park Fell, the Attermire Scar and many other places in the Dales not only frighten the ewes with lambs but also the ground-nesters. Some hang-gliders are not even aware of the damage they can cause.

The same is true for irresponsible dog owners. Last time I went up Park Fell near Ribblehead a group of walkers had six dogs between them, all roaming freely, well away from their owners.

They scare the sheep and the birds who cannot know if they are about to be attacked or not. Nearer Horton-in-Ribblesdale, up at Sulber, I noticed somebody exercising four dogs off the lead, just in the place where lapwings were breeding. That was some time ago but the constant exercising of dogs there has meant that lapwings no longer breed there.

We need both visitors and local people to respect our great countryside much more if we want to continue enjoying its wildlife.

We also need to be much more mindful of those who are trying to make a living from sheep farming. Dales people have always welcomed caring visitors but those who harm what they have come to enjoy should really be encouraged not to come here.

Wilf Fenten

Environmental Advisor